Sam Simmons and The Sex & Science of Boredom (FringeTIX)
Sam Simmons @ Bosco Theater
9:30pm, Tue 6 Mar 2007
Sam Simmons really surprised me with one of the comedic gems of last year’s Fringe, so I was really looking forward to having my brain warped by his surrealism again this year.
What I got, though, felt like a terribly unprepared show.
Sure, Simmons admitted as much at the beginning of the performance – stating that the DVD containing final edits from his interstate cohort had mysteriously been replaced by “two pirated copies of Batman Begins” and, thus, we’d be partaking in a less developed – or “technically problematic” – version of the show. This is especially problematic, given the crucial nature of the DVDs in Simmons’ performances, providing the audio and video spine of the show.
As a result, Simmons was far less sure of himself and his material – constantly laughing at himself, head in hands, apologising ahead of DVD-based segments. But, through all these problems, he proved himself an accomplished actor, a great singer, and the AV support for the show was, again, fantastic – it just didn’t gel into a whole. There were some wonderful bits of absurdity – feeding seagulls to bread, the running navel-lint jokes – but in the end, that wasn’t enough to revive the bliss I felt leaving Simmons in 2006.
I reckon that gorgeously surreal moments, like the best lovers and parties, appear at the most unexpected moments – they can never be planned. So I fear my enjoyment of this show may have been tainted with the expectation conjured up by the previous performance; and, whilst there was some genuinely stunning content to this show, it didn’t really feel cohesive enough – especially when compared to the sublime assuredness of last year’s performance.