Richard Gadd @ Banshee Labyrinth, PBH Free Fringe

Review by James McColl | 15 Aug 2016

Monkey See Monkey Do may be as important as it is hilarious

Talking about issues surrounding mental health, masculinity, one’s own demons, sexuality and the idea of a man’s man, this is a show that Richard Gadd needed to make – for both himself and people who have had similar problems. Framed around a fictitious 'man’s man Olympics', Gadd delves into his insecurities with his own masculinity, his depression and anxiety, even going so far as to play recordings from his therapy sessions. 

As with his previous shows, Gadd flirts with film, music and voiceover to fully realise his ambitious premise. From the moment he's ejected from the screen of a preceding short film, into the room and onto a treadmill, he has the audience in the palm of his hand. At some point you realise that Gadd intends to spend the hour on this treadmill and naturally we wonder, 'How can this guy spend an hour on a treadmill? Why is this guy spending an hour on a treadmill?' All will be revealed. 

Gadd confronts a lot of the serious criticisms and issues that have plagued him in the past, all of which are addressed by the end of the hour. Not only does he dive face-first into the root causes of these issues (taking the audience to a place that most comics would be afraid to go), he does so in a unique, brilliant and hysterically funny way. This could be the show that sees him break away from his cult following and uncompromising anarchic style, and places him in the comedy spotlight.

Richard Gadd: Monkey See Monkey Do, Banshee Labyrinth, 6-28 Aug, 9.45 pm, PBH Free Fringe