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Mackenzie Taylor: No Straightjacket Required
Maggie Service With A Smile
Man And Mouse
Manos The Greek: Everything You Wanted To Know About Greece But Were Afraid To Ask
Marc Hogan: Actions Speak Louder Than Birds
Marcel Lucont's Cabaret Fantastique
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Marcus Brigstocke: God Collar
Marga Gomez: All That Gomez
Mark Allen's Quite Good Britain 
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Mark Restuccia And Toby Brown Undiluted
Mark Trenwith: Be My Friend
Mark Walker: Scorpio
Mark Watson's Earth Summit
Mark Watson's Last Ever 24 Hour Show
Martha McBrier: The Anti-Comic
Martin White Presents... Accordions Of The Gods
Mason, Carroll & Graves
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Matt Green: Truth & Pleasure
Matt Harvey: Wondermentalist
Matt Kirshen: Shorter Than Napoleon
Matt Price: My Girlfriend Was Attacked By A Small-Time Wannabe Gangster And This Is What I Did About It
Max and Ivan: Televisionaries
Me & Jezebel
Mervyn Stutter's Pick Of The Fringe 2009
Michael Jackson At The Gates Of Heaven And Hell
Mick Ferry: The Comedy Final
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Micky Flanagan: Spiel
Mike Amato: Romeopathic: The Comedy of Sex Addiction or Trying To Fill One Hole With Another
Mike Bubbins: It's Not The End Of The World (But You Can See It From Here)
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Miles Jupp: Telling It Like It Might Be
Misery Eats Company
Monsieur Montpellier: Entertainer Extraordinaire!
Monsters From My Id
The Moonfish Rhumba Show
Moore & Metcalfe in Fun Dryer
The Most Important Show of the Day
The Most Spectacular Show At The Free Fringe
Mould & Arrowsmith's Inventions
Moz and the Meal
Muck-Gical Mystery Tour
The Muffia: Tight Women
Mackenzie Taylor: No Straightjacket Required
On May 26th 2008, comedian Mackenzie Taylor tried to kill himself. He failed.
And, as we know, whatever doesn't kill you makes you funnier.
So join Mackenzie as he - truly - laughs in the face of death (as well as illness, obsession and other things we know we shouldn't laugh at - but will).
Mackenzie Taylor: No Straightjacket Required – Fringe 2009
Mackenzie Taylor is the approachable face of mental illness. While Kim Noble puts his audience through the emotional mill in his disturbingly visceral hour on the topic, the affable Taylor chats through his first-hand experiences with warmth and good humour.
Not that his story is any the less worrying. Diagnosed with bipolar schizophrenic disorder at the age of 15, he’s largely managed to live with the illness – until the end of a relationship plunged him into depression and he calmly decided to take his life. Loading up with pills and booze, he went to the Komedia club in Brighton. He collapsed in the back of a gig, where he slipped into a coma that nearly killed him.
As you might expect, this is not laugh-a-minute hilarious, but Taylor tackles the taboo with honesty and charm. Perhaps a bit too much honesty, as the cathartic monologue allows him to vent his spleen at some of the people who ignored his cries for help, but the conclusion is broadly upbeat, and he doesn’t dwell too much on the misery.
Instead, there are a few amusing routines about his experiences: of the side-effect of asprin now in blister packs to help prevent overdoses, of the medical world’s own Catch 22, where you can be sectioned only if you admit you’re a danger to yourself and the public, but that admission proves you sane; and of the pointlessness of politically correct meddling such as banning the world ‘brainstorming’.
These fall under the category of wry observations rather than rip-roaring comedy, but the delivery is engaging and Taylor is good company for an hour. Such a show does great work in removing the stigma attached to mental illness, not through overly worthy intentions, but by the frankness of a sympathetic performer.
|Date of live review: Monday 31st Aug, '09|
Review by Steve Bennett
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