Seymour Mace - Er...Work in Progress
Leicester Comedy Festival, February 2017
Now an established part of the annual Edinburgh Fringe, Seymour Mace is using the Leicester Comedy Festival to try out his new show before taking it to Adelaide for a final polish ahead of the summer. This was the very first outing for this brand new material, and nobody needed to read Mace's promotional blurb to know this was a Work in Progress. Using his familiar format of running together sketches, vignettes, music, spoofs, stories and idle chatter, he stomps determinedly through an hour that entertained this sparse early evening crowd just nudging double-figures all of whom left with a smile and the reassuring confidence that that lunatic Seymour Mace has done it again.
Building on the trademark themes of loneliness and depression with which he seems discouragingly familiar, he cuts through the bleakness of his subject matter with a winning combination of self-effacement, absurdity and crudeness. This is not comedy for the faint-hearted, we feel his honesty and buckle-up for a glimpse into his world, a world that he seems to presume doesn't extend much further than his own front door when in truth he is far more relateable to his audience than he gives himself credit for. The majority of his material is underscored with a great simplicity which in the hands of a less-able comedy talent would be rendered as thin and unsustainable. His raw and casual style of delivery which feigns a lack of interest or confidence in his own ability belies the quiet professionalism which has seen his popularity grow slowly but steadily over the past half dozen years or so. His home-made props are clearly designed to look a bit rubbish, but on closer inspection they are sturdier than they seem and in fact, the book of his own artwork he features looks to be of an incongruously high standard of finish.
If you have seen Seymour Mace before then his new show will delight you further, if you have not then although this very early work in progress was possibly nothing to shout about in itself there can be no doubt that with his experience of writing and performing he will quickly turn it into something hilarious, filthy, engaging and unforgettable. Future audiences should brace themselves for whatever new surprises he conjours up as there is always something – this time he managed to end the show with the entire audience on stage and him sitting in the auditorium applauding, before walking off to the bar and leaving them to it. He brilliantly made it look like a throwaway moment - but it was bloody hilarious.