Seymour Mace left the Fringe in a desperate place last year, unfavourable reviews and psychological burn-out being the proverbial straws that left him so enraged that even bins and kitchen sponges didn’t escape his all-consuming wrath. This year, as indicated by his title Happypotamous, things are starting to look up. This is the tale of his journey from prescription-drug hell to a perkier place of reflection.
Tackling his clinical depression as his main subject matter, this show constantly teeters on the edges of black comedy. With such raw emotions at hand, Seymour’s exasperation is palpable. Thankfully, he has the abilities to reign back that dark stuff before it becomes too much for the audience to take at 2.20 in the afternoon. His injections of subtle humour and moving observations give it its needed oompf. His series of artful sketches particularly provide wonderfully hilarious comic relief, my favorite being ‘Rabbits on Drugs on Springs:’ genius.
While this man is passionate, he needs to avoid simply screaming at the audience REALLY REALLY LOUDLY! In a small venue such ear piercing volume is completely unnecessary, and, in fact, rather painful. His snap from being extremely morose to overtly happy-clappy at the end of the show is too rushed to work and feel sincere. He needs to weave more positive humour into the build-up, otherwise a game of ‘Happiness-balls’ loses all relevance.
Seymour Mace: Happypotamous, The Stand II, 3-28 Aug (not 4 or 15), 2.20 pm
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