[Theatre and Physical Theatre/Comedy ~ International]
Mercury at Mercury @ West Village, Sun 6 Mar.
Gordon Southern’s life would seem to be ideal. Living an endless summer between two hemispheres plying his trade at festivals around the world. But things went wrong and Gordon realised he was in trouble. Good thing he did too – for a number of reasons. One of them is we get a show like this with plenty of amusing comic insight about the therapy process from both sides of the couch.
As Gordon himself notes he is listed under the ‘Theatre’ section for this year’s Fringe so he gets two chairs! But it’s also because this show has a definite narrative. It’s not just a string of jokes. And it’s an entertaining tale. How true is it? We’ll never know but if Gordon’s correct South London is crawling with therapists and that can be a problem if you’re bumping into them at the supermarket or you can see into their house from your kitchen window. And when your therapist asks to be to your friend outside of the sessions you know something’s ‘a bit weird’.
Gordon lets us know early on that he is a seasoned campaigner. “Don’t worry. You’re in safe hands.” He has a natural ability to see the funny side of situations but the running commentary about how well an audience has reacted to his gags is a bit annoying. It’s minor in the overall scheme of things however.
There are lots of laughs around Scots and their attitude to drinking (that’s their therapy!), the downsides of living an endless summer, the Australian version of news, flying under the influence of Valium, doing television commercials, and ruminations on the many versions of the colour blue!
Southern concludes on a serious note imploring people who have mental problems to TALK TO SOMEONE. It might save your life. It’s both alarming and reassuring to realise that it saved his. Hopefully there’ll be many more laughs from this fine comedian for years to come.