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Randy Is Sober
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Show type: Edinburgh Fringe 2011
Randy Is Sober
From the award-winning puppeteer and co-creator of Sammy J In The Forest of dreams” comes an all-new comedy show starring Randy, the felt-faced misanthrope. Heath McIvor’s last solo show, Randy’s Postcards From Purgatory was the cult hit of the 2009 Edinburgh Fringe, selling out its entire run and launching Randy unceremoniously onto the world stage.
Randy Is Sober
You might think it’s tough to do observational comedy everyone can relate to when you’re a small purple puppet with billiard balls for eyes, yet Randy is a solid stand-up with some cracking material.
It’s easy to review him as his own entity too, since puppeteer Heath McIvor brings him to such believable life. From leaning attentively forward to better engage with the audience, to coyly tilting his head, Randy is more animated than a lot of his human counterparts. And you don’t see many of them trampolining on stage. It’s difficult to believe McIvor has only the usual number of limbs, as it surely takes more to achieve the level of movement needed to transform foam into personality.
The fact he is a puppet is barely alluded to in the show; this is just the first-hand story of how an imperfect person gave up drinking and smoking on the same day his girlfriend moved out of state. But if you’re expecting an epiphany from that sudden, multiple abstinence, look elsewhere. As Randy says, the main result was just ‘more wanking’.
The over-enjoyment of alcohol – perhaps that’s how he got his purple face – is not the only strand, though it does provide a nicely cinematic opening sketch and a recurring theme. His vegetarianism is another strong strand, and while the offal-rich Scottish diet is an easy target, the level of Randy’s disgust drives it forward.
Also on food, he genuinely finds a new gag on that most clichéd of topics, airline food, and helps spread a beautiful euphemism for so-called veggies who eat fish: fish and chipocrites.
If you think that’s strident, wait till later in the show, where he has a smart example on how Catholic dogma is a block from people finding solace in God, not a channel. But it’s part of a slide into the polemic that he never quite gets out of, and a lot of this is strangely philosophical rather than funny.
But there’s great fun to be had, and as well as the strong material, Randy sparks lively banter with the audience, not being able to see them being only a minor handicap. In short, he’s certainly no muppet.
|Date of live review: Sunday 21st Aug, '11|
Review by Steve Bennett
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