Andrew Dipper

Review: Seymour’s Gang [feat. Gavin Webster, John Scott & Rob Gilroy] – Newcastle Stand

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The label ‘surreal’ is often applied to comedy with questionable accuracy. If you forgive the cliché, if any comedy can be described as “surreal”, then it’s Seymour’s Gang.

Sat at a small desk full of props, Seymour Mace holds the jumps between semi-improvised rants and routines, all punctuated by snippets of songs. With the hypersonic pace and daftness, Seymour’s Gang is sort of an orgy between Vic, Bob, and Harry Hill.

To cut a long story short, there are so many elements of this show that it’s only possible to mention a handful. Mace’s adaptation of the transcendent game show Play Your Cards Right is marginally swearier than the Forsyth canon; as a result, this latest incarnation of Seymour’s Gang is probably not one for younger kids, or some of the prudier adults.

The sequence where Mace manically massacred a defenceless teddy bear with household scissors genuinely, I kid you not, upset my partner – although my threat to do the same to her childhood toy panda (inspirationally called “Panda”) may have accelerated the tears.

Since May’s inaugural show, sketches have been replaced by character comedy. Now, Mace’s eponymous gang are invited on stage at relevant intervals.

This month, Gavin Webster appeared as the Viz-esque “Despicable Bastard”, with Rob Gilroy exhibiting an exasperated pub landlord running a quiz, and his stronger guitar-wielding Jerry Bucham character. John Scott’s contribution was a particular highlight, consistently winning laughs.

There are so many opportunities for audience interaction, and it is a nice touch that Mace is willing to surf the silence and wait until someone volunteers themselves rather than bullying an unwilling participant. For example, getting the audience to scribble their amusing responses to a question – and later to an answer – during the intervals still works very well.

So, do you want to be in Seymour’s Gang? Yes. Yes you do.

Date of live review: Sunday 7 July 2013

Seymour’s Gang is at the Newcastle Stand on the first Sunday of the month, except August.