Sean Morley, Hive, Edinburgh * * * *
Like, really, really well. But how could it not when it has Nebuchadnezzar, free Rennies, philosophical wrangling and the striking down of a manifestation of evil at round about the nine minute mark. As long as one of us agrees to be the Champion. Otherwise … hopefully we will never know.
Morley does not stint on the material. The “first joke” is fully ten minutes long. But it is not all silliness and laughter here. There is a consideration of the place of murder in the pantheon of havocs that can be wrought upon the earth and a lively debate on whether an adult can be friends with a baby. Morley is endearingly deadpan and intellectual, not fearing to take audience members to task for recursive definitions and diverting a few minutes to an impromptu evisceration of Jungian psychology.
Now the Malcolm Hardee Award for Comic Originality has been revived, there is once again a forum for recognition for performers like Morley, sui generis and untrammeled by thoughts of commercial success or even of audiences fully understanding what is going on. But these shows are – or should be – the heartbeat of a live comedy Fringe. Crazy/clever comedy that somehow reaches your funnybone without being processed by your frontal lobe. I cannot reveal the ending to Morley's hour, but it is something you will never forget. If I might just give you one word of advice: no, they are not penises.