Having trod the boards as a mainstream stand-up comedian for many years in every type of venue possible, from a smokey back street club to plush 1,000+ seater theatres, I am and always will be interested in any new style of comedy that comes along. (Although I do dislike the hypocrisy in what has been described as “alternative comedy”. Therefore I was interested to see Simon Slack The Fantasist’ performed by Robert Cawsey and directed by Vicky Jones.
Appearing onstage wearing just a pair of filthy white underpants and dirty white socks is an original way to perform (It would not be acceptable in any venue I have ever played).
Although I believe there is a market for any kind of comedy as there is for all types of music. So, has Cawsey found the market for his brand of humour? I sat in a spot where I could observe the audience as well as the act and for sure 50% of the audience laughed loudly throughout, the same 50% gave him a standing ovation so yes he has found his market.
There were some very clever, imaginative moments during the 60-minute one-man show that I was very impressed by. The knocking on the bedroom door by his grandmother and the putting his ears to the walls whilst listening to conversations had by his neighbours I found amusing, but I found the simulation of masturbation not at all funny and in bad taste. If this is “alternative comedy” then is the gag “How do you get a gay man to have sex with a woman? Shit in her C*nt” acceptable? It certainly isn’t on the mainstream circuit. The Fantasist idea is very clever but I feel that unless some of the content is changed, it will be performing to a very limited market.
Review by Johhny Tait
PBJ MANAGEMENT PRESENTS
SIMON SLACK: THE FANTASIST
Mon 7 & Tue 8 Nov 2016, 8.30pm
Imagination and reality collide in the world of Simon Slack. Fantastical absurd one-man sketch comedy from Robert Cawsey. Simon is confined to his room with his fantasies and his best friend… Puppet 5000. A wild journey of physical comedy, crazy dancing and puppetry. Late night comedy madness. Directed by Vicky Jones.