FRINGE 2018: Why you need to see... Sean McLoughlin
Who: Sean McLoughlin
What: Hail Mary
Where: Laughing Horse @ Cabaret Voltaire - Main Room
“Beware the free show at the Edinburgh Fringe,” the veteran comedian Arthur Smith once told me. “It’s like taking your life into your own hands”. And he’s been right. On many, many occasions. So, it was with some trepidation that I lined up on the street for a Friday afternoon freebie……along with what seemed like half of Scotland. Does nobody work anymore? But we needn’t have worried. From the moment McLoughlin steps on stage he’s in complete control and he delivers an absolute gem.
One reviewer described McLoughlin’s performance as ‘subtle’ and it immediately made me wonder if they’d seen the right Sean McLoughlin. Which, if you’ve seen the show, is sort of the point, right? Regardless, subtle he is not. What he is, is very, very clever. He’s got a staccato style, crouching his not insignificant frame to hammer home laugh after laugh and it’s at the confluence of old and new where he makes the most hay.
His rapid-fire set seems on first view like a series of terrific jokes and neat story-telling without any particular narrative. But slowly, surely, minute after minute you realise that there’s a connection, a theme and all this madcap madness is building to something. When the denouement arrives, it doesn’t disappoint and if you don’t much like the modern world, Nazis, Mark Zuckerberg, and Lostprophets merchandise mailing lists, then quite frankly this might be your dream show.
McLoughlin has supported amongst others Ricky Gervais. I left wondering why Gervais wasn’t supporting him. And why he wasn’t charging.
You can buy tickets for Hail Mary here.