Comedy review: Sean Patton: Number One

Sean Patton - bed-wetting, OCD-suffering son of New OrleansSean Patton - bed-wetting, OCD-suffering son of New Orleans
Sean Patton - bed-wetting, OCD-suffering son of New Orleans
Edinburgh Festival Fringe: As a bed-wetting, OCD-suffering, fart-valorising son of New Orleans, Sean ­Patton envisions himself as a superhero, the secrets of ­success visited upon him by an enigmatic stranger.

Pleasance Courtyard (Venue 33)


He has known true love but, to his disgust, it’s been between his unflappable father and ­disciplinarian mother. Rebutting a crucial myth about his native city, the American embraces the voodoo wisdom of Cajun caricature for a supernatural epilogue, the culmination of a magical realist aesthesis that’s gently wafted through his lyrical hour. Even when he’s been bouncing on the spot portraying a furiously ejaculating penis.

Indeed, from some of the basest ingredients, this supremely gifted anecdotalist stirs together a rich, satisfying gumbo that fills you up on laughter even while subtly readying you for a gut-groan of emotion.

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Patton not only admits his quirks but owns them, assuming superiority ­without ever appearing like he’s affecting a persona. You believe all the little tics he ascribes to his obsessive compulsive disorder, the ­origins of which he can trace back to a seemingly innocuous fart joke made by his dad. Winningly, he maintains he has no truck with superstition, dismissing it as “diet OCD”, before identifying the reporting error at Christ’s Last Supper that has caused all of the world’s evils.

You’re more than happy to imagine his nonsensical, ritualised oddness has a direct line to God and is all that’s keeping the storms of chaos at bay.

The formative moments in his tale – the drug-induced, hallucinatory figure that he and his teenage friends seemingly conjured into being to change their lives; the embarrassing aftermath of the loss of his virginity, the ­terrible accident that ­followed; and the desperation of his father as their world came crashing in – these are so finely sketched but with so little showiness that it’s only afterwards you truly appreciate Patton’s playfulness with cause and effect. A ­stunning debut from a deceptively mesmeric ­talent, I found myself watching rapt between fits of eruptive laughter.

Until 27 August. Today 8:15pm.