As Seann Walsh moved towards the final few minutes of the gig he shared a review fear with the audience. “I star, racist”, he worried the reviewers would use to describe the show.
Let’s unpack how we got to such a state.
This was the last show of Seann’s time at the 2013 Fringe. Special guest stars/friends had come on at the end of the routine when they were not supposed to/swapped places.
Both of Seann’s friends, fellow comedians, sounded very English and one was tall and white and the other looked like an Indian Rolf Harris. Since they’d swapped characters in the final routine Seann started mucking around with accent swaps too.
There’s no danger of either a one star review or racism jibes. Walsh strikes me as one of the least likely candidates ever to crack a racist joke. My experience of watching him at the Fringe – starting from some of the smallest rooms in Pleasance – is that he’s one of the friendliest comedians. In fact, even in this show he took the time out to find a stool for a punter to sit on when one was needed.
Walsh brings clever observation to comedy. That’s not unique to Seann Walsh but Walsh adds in a charming, roguish and “one of us” vibes that personalise the observations wonderful. The woman next to me in the audience found time to interrupt her loud laughs with whispers of “Yes, it’s true!” and “Just like that!”. I don’t know who she was talking to but she was certainly finding a lot to agree with in Walsh’s hangover and motivation battles.
In geek terms there are some Easter eggs in “The Lie-in King” too. There are reference back to his 2012 show. You don’t need to spot them to enjoy the show. I was just pleased to see them there.
The Lie-in King is great. It’s the story of Walsh trying to grow up, mature and be more responsible and not doing very well. He presents himself as a hopeless case and seems unaware of just how socially responsible he actually is.
There’s a lot of love in The Lie-in King and therefore plenty of reasons to kick yourself if you missed it. What to do? Watch out for Walsh on the TV and pounce on tickets early next year.