John-Paul Stephenson

Review: Seymour’s Gang – Newcastle Stand

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Seymour’s Gang, the new monthly sketch/variety show at The Stand, got off to a good start on Sunday, with its first performance at The Stand in Newcastle.

Host Seymour Mace is joined by his ‘gang’ – Ben Crompton, Alfie Joey, and Gavin Webster – for a range of sketches. These are not exactly ground-breaking; nor are they meant to be. Daftness is the main ingredient of this trifle of sketches, games, and funny noises.

The pace of the show, which clocks in at over two hours, is helped by regularly involving the audience. A game similar to the classic Guess Who? was a particular highlight, with the audience standing and sitting as appropriate.

Also, in a Now Show­-esque style, the audience were encouraged to jot down responses to a given question (today, it was, “what kind of material would you like to be made from?”) during the first interval. The second interval’s similar task was a refashioning of Mock the Week’s “if this is the answer, what is the question?” round. Mace reads out all of the responses after each interval, allowing us to get our witty responses on stage without having to own up to being the embarrassed author of a line that attracted only the sound of tumbleweed.

All of this inclusivity gives Seymour’s Gang a communal feel. If Fuckwits – The Stand’s other regular Sunday afternoon show – feels like hanging out with mates in a pub, Seymour’s Gang feels like spending an afternoon with your Aunts and Uncles. Apart from the occasional superfluous swearing, this could easily be a show for all the family.

One particular thing was revealed -– Seymour Mace has a cracking singing voice. He may have been skitting Bryan Adams, but it actually sounded quite nice. Perhaps we’ll hear more of this in future shows.

Daft, friendly and funny, Seymour’s Gang will leave you with a smile on your face.

Date of live review: Sunday 5 May 2013