Sean McLoughlin: I Will Prevail | Review by Julia Chamberlain
review star review star review star review star review blank star

Sean McLoughlin: I Will Prevail

Note: This review is from 2014

Review by Julia Chamberlain

Sean McLoughlin had a tough year, and this show lets you know all about it.  His  brutal honesty about depression, relationship anxiety and despair for his comedy career made for an entertaining hour.  

Pale as death, reed slim and fuelled with self-loathing, McLoughlin began the show by bagging the venue (which was, in fact perfectly nice) and others where he had previewed. Somebody should tell him that if he gets to preview in an arts centre, whatever the town, things can’t be going as far down the pan as he thinks. 

He berated the town where he lives, Brighton, an unfashionable standpoint as most of the city’s residents have a glow of smugness about it – but McLoughlin despises himself for not having left and sees it as all part of his lack of success.  His delivery was angry and exasperated, and turned on himself (which won’t help with the depression), but this year saw the start of counselling, where the self-examination is more constructive, if unaffordably expensive. 

His acidic remarks about the NHS and mental health were bang on the money, but it was his uncomfortable, confessional probing of his own life that was at once hilarious and painfully revelatory and no comforting, optimistic turnaround was offered.  It took courage to speculate to an audience about whether he loved his girlfriend enough to marry her, or if  he might at some point leave her, which would be no reflection on her but on his pathetic inadequacy as a life partner.

McLoughlin opened up beyond the personal disaster (academic weakness, Catholic school, failure to thrive in comedy, the only thing he’s ever wanted to do) to see his personal problems as part of a generational disaster where young people who will never do as well as their parents, and it being not their fault. Him and his peers are literally and figuratively impoverished and his rage was at once justified and childish.

His bleak world view was enlivened with brilliant and unexpected turns of phrase and the element of desperation as disaster piled on disaster had a cumulatively hilarious effect, as in farce, where the more dire the consequences for the protagonist, the harder we laugh at his discomfort. 

McLoughlin spoke more than once about quitting comedy, but on the strength of this show, I reckon he should hang in there. 

Review date: 14 Aug 2014
Reviewed by: Julia Chamberlain
Reviewed at: Pleasance Courtyard

What do you think?

Live comedy picks

We see you are using AdBlocker software. Chortle relies on advertisers to fund this website so it’s free for you, so we would ask that you disable it for this site. Our ads are non-intrusive and relevant. Help keep Chortle viable.