Seymour Mace: Imaginary Friends Reuinted
Show type: Edinburgh Fringe 2005
Award-winning Seymour Mace brings his brand new debut solo show to The Edinburgh Festival Fringe this year and he won't be alone.or will he?
Now the mines have all closed, whimsical surrealism is now the North East’s seventh most important export.
Following in the footsteps of Vic Reeves and Ross Noble comes the lanky, bewildering form of Seymour Mace, a fast up-and-coming comic who has abandoned his usual stand-up in favour of character comedy for his debut Edinburgh show.
The imaginary friends angle is a neat way of introducing them; even though Mace’s imagination seems only to have thrown up a quartet of poor-quality entertainers – be it a failed rapper, failed children’s entertainer, failed impressionist or failed gameshow host. The imaginary friends aspect is covered only in a short interlinking film of talking heads, which is modesty quirky, touching and funny.
Instead, then, we are treated to the cabaret show from hell, but without the diabolical budget.
Mr Pineapple is a wannabe rapper, laying his phat – and utterly sick – rhymes over a Coronation Street-influenced backbeat while cracking poor-quality jokes. Then, to the Rolling Stone’s Get Offa My Cloud he offers alternative, misheard lyrics in the style of the Bob Dylan video. Or, more relevantly, in the style of musical comic Rainer Hersch, whose been doing this sort of thing for years - though, to be fair, Mace gives it an unexpected, and funny, twist.
He’s followed by Uncle Shitty a children’s clown who has moved on to adult entertainment (no, not that kind) with a selection of bungled magic and juggling tricks of the kind we’ve seen countless times before.
The bad impressionist confines himself mainly to the generic – drug dealer, carpenter, racist. There’s fun in the eclectic choice of subjects – and his Jackie Stallone is wonderful – but the extended joke becomes a bit and repetitive, as if testing the audience’s patience.
Finally, gameshow host Alan Alan Alan, who does a cheesy lounge version of I Don’t Like Mondays before recreating the conveyor belt finale from the Generation Game – played perfectly straight, save for the cheapness of the prizes, direct from Poundstretcher and Oxfam.
Perhaps Mace is a frustrated Brucie for this, like the rest of the show, is frivolous, undemanding fun. There are no great lines or memorable characters to savour, just a feeling of a bloke messing about, and letting the audience in on the act.
Most of the components have been done before, in one form or another – but you can’t deny Mace does it with spirit and style.