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Comedy With a Colour Blind Dyslexic Geordie Who Also Has an Underactive Thyroid

Note: This review is from 2016

Review by Steve Bennett

The North East of England has a strong tradition of charming surrealism from Bob Mortimer to Ross Noble, from Viz to Seymour Mace. But Sean Turner’s version of the same is soporifically slow, with too little energy or engagement to draw audiences into his mildly absurd meanderings.

He is, however, very dogged. First he has to battle valiantly against noise bleed without a mic, as the venue’s tech is on the fritz, so is already on the back foot. And he insistently sticks to his guns no matter whether the audience are with him or not… and it’s more normally not.

While it would be romantic to see that as a sign of a fine uncompromising artist, it doesn’t make for great entertainment for him not to make any concessions in an attempt to connect with an increasingly listless room. Nor does he have the material or originality to make that claim of particular artistry.

Although this is his third Fringe show – with a new mild medical condition added to his title each year – he still feels way too inexperienced to be doing an hour, rather dryly going through undercooked material, with scant punchlines to fill the duration.

While there is that tone of mild absurdity in most of what he does, his topics can also be generic, with talk of prostate examinations and references to Donald Trump. But the material falls way short of what a mainstream comedian would do with the same starting point, which might explain why he seeks refuge in the alternative.

Yet he’s also constantly undermining his own nonsense, making it even harder to get a handle on what he’s getting at. That adds a stilted feel to the already languid pace, building up no momentum. And he tries to make a joke of some of the convoluted trying-too-hard punchlines, but they fall between two stools: not working as gags in themselves, nor as ironically cheesy ones.

While there are the occasional ideas to make you chuckle – ‘beef pop’ was an amusingly strong image – the time spend unhurriedly noodling around between them makes for an unengaging watch, even despite those tech problems scuppering him further.

Review date: 10 Aug 2016
Reviewed by: Steve Bennett
Reviewed at: PBH Free Fringe @ Bar Bados

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