Reviewer: Helen Jones
Sam Simmons has won awards for his stand-up comedy, including the Fosters Edinburgh Comedy Award in 2015 and the Barry Award 2015 Melbourne International Comedy Festival, he’s also appeared on TV in Room 101 and 8 Out Of 10 Cats. On the basis of his show at The Lowry, it is difficult to understand why.
He is, undoubtedly, an intelligent man, but his puerile behaviour on stage hides it well. Starting with an overlong rant about verbal abuse he received outside the venue because of wearing shorts and having a moustache, the first 40 minutes is a series of nonsensical commentaries, aimed at subjects that are not necessarily funny. Making crude humour out of sensitive subjects is not a skill to be proud off. It takes skill to make humour around subjects like paedophilia, not simply being coarse about it.
Unfortuntely, the majority of Sam Simmons’ humour is crude. There is no clever wit, surreal thoughts are given a crass meaning and he delights in tacky behaviour. Occasional sparks of wit and humour are buried under the foul-mouthed ravings. He admits he tones down his act for TV, doing so on stage might allow him to create a more rounded performance.
After 40 minutes of this, he announces that he is going into his actual ‘show’ and, after a musical intro, comes on stage again, spending the first five minutes telling the audience what subjects are used for humour during his show. Finally his act starts, but it is simply more of the same frenzied thoughts. He regularly stumbles over his words, often mixing them up. At one point he blames a mix of medication, “Red Bull and beer”, but it could simply be his mouth is working faster than his brain, it is difficult to tell.
The entire show is based upon one juvenile physical or verbal attempt at humour after another. Sexual references are littered throughout, many being exceedingly inappropriate. When jokes fall flat he just moves on to another, which probably shouldn’t have seen the light of day either.
Admittedly comedy is a subjective thing, and many in the audience found his weird brand of humour funny but, for this reviewer, comedy needs to be more than a surreal, cheap, lewd monologue.
Reviewed on 20 October 2016 | Image: Contributed