There are always shows at the Fringe that only serve to disappoint, but often, however bad it is, it will have some plus points. This show unfortunately had none. It wasn’t a good sign when I arrived to find that I was one of only three audience members, and after sitting through half an hour of material that switched between mind numbing tedium and humiliating audience participation, it didn’t surprise me much when the other two thirds of the audience decided to leave. Some people might think it admirable that the act carried on (this was a one man show), but they weren’t there and it was one of the most excruciating thirty minutes of my life. The actor continued to insist that I participate in the farce and, although it was embarrassing, it didn’t compare to the damage he was doing to his own reputation.
The premise of the show is this: audience members are invited to witness a series of therapy sessions of a young man as he tries to face his fears and emerge as a well balanced and happy individual. Fair enough, but the write-ups described this as a comedy show and it appeared to lack any kind of humour.
After an uncomfortable introduction, the actor began to put the audience (remember there were only three of us) through shameful and degrading participation exercises (I was made to look in a porn magazine for a printed page with the words to The Wheels on the Bus and sing it whilst the other two audience members were told to scratch the floor) which made one man walk out, much to the actor’s blatant rage. Sometimes, people don’t mind looking stupid, especially if it is done with some humour or intelligence, but this unfortunately, had neither.