Review: Seymour Mace – Happypotamus – The Stand, Edinburgh
Three minutes into Seymour Mace’s show about the year he’s just spent suffering a mental breakdown and clinical depression, he’s dancing awkwardly on stage, thrusting himself at anyone and everyone. He manages to keep it funny, but it looks like we’re set for a potentially uncomfortable 60 minutes. Once the hour is up, though, it’s clear we’ve just seen a masterclass in how comedy should be done.
The show kicks off at 2.20pm at The Stand Two, an intimate setting that is usually plunged into darkness to try and make it a more suitable venue for comedy. Seymour throws this out of the window though – the curtains are opened and we watch him in broad daylight. On paper he’s just made the gig tougher for himself, but a packed room barely even notice, they’re so absorbed in his tale.
He lunges from funny anecdote to surreal ramblings then onto audience games at the drop of a hat. Nobody ever feels uncomfortable and the room totally buy into the message and the content of this show. It feels like we’re watching a master at work, as Mace plunges the deepest depths of his soul and comes up with something incredible to watch. It’s hard to believe that depression can be this funny, and a total testament to Mace’s abilities as a comedian.
Despite what it says on the tin, this is one of the funniest hours available at the Fringe this year; one man’s misery brings endless joy to those watching. Jam-packed with silliness and surreal fun, the show is hard-hitting but thoroughly uplifting and leaves you with an X-rated message that almost comes from nowhere but ends with you leaving the venue on a real high. Terrific fun.
Date of live review: Sunday 21st August 2011.