Garrett Millerick: Never Had It So Good | Edinburgh Fringe comedy review
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Garrett Millerick: Never Had It So Good

Edinburgh Fringe comedy review

‘Don’t trust a comedian who’s got their shit together,’ Garrett Millerick advises. But the wise counsel instantly creates a paradox, as one of Britain’s most consistently furious comedians has quit the drink and the drugs and lost five-a-and-half-stone after his doctors – and indeed his own body – scared him into making drastic changes.

Could he have lost his comedy superpower as he cleans up his lifestyle? As Sampson had his hair, did Millerick have his gout? Thankfully, the answer is no, and he’s as fiercely, savagely funny as ever, shouting till he’s puce in the face at the stupidity of humanity.

Facing up to his addictions has turned his mind to overconsumption, and his first rant is an eviscerating takedown of the Fringe itself and all the cultural gluttons who spend their Augusts in dank basements in this rain-lashed city.

He likes to savage the hand that feeds, does Millerick, and this is followed by another audience-baiting diatribe pouring scorn on Scottish nationalism, a high-risk move. Luckily, the passion of the argument and the brilliant way he expresses it means any adverse reaction is overwhelmed by the laughs. And you’ve got to admire the audacity of the man.

Oversupply is not confined to the Fringe, and Millerick despairs at the myriad sequels and spin-offs that swamp the media, what happens when late-stage capitalism hits the pandemic of infantilisation. His message: grow the fuck up, people, and while you’re at it stop virtue signalling, and stop using mental health issues as a badge of specialness.

Acknowledging that a posh, white bloke telling people how to live their lives is not exactly in harmony with the times, Millerick nonetheless comes up with a grand unified theory of all that’s wrong with the world. It’s quite some feat for a show written in a month – which is all the time he had left after sorting out his health problems.

Some of the momentum and the laser-focussed clarity of argument dissipate in the latter part of the hour. But as he introduces his friend Sam to the narrative and talks about the problem he’s suffered, it becomes a bit more of a story, albeit one peppered with gags. And Millerick ultimately loops it back into his earlier diatribes, creating a conclusion that’s not only satisfying but surprisingly upbeat, given just how much grinds his gears in this world.

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Review date: 15 Aug 2023
Reviewed by: Steve Bennett
Reviewed at: Monkey Barrel Comedy (The Tron)

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