Mike Sheer is Free (FringeTIX)
Mike Sheer @ Bull and Bear Bar & Restaurant (Dining Room)
10:00pm, Tue 11 Mar 2008
A tough one, this.
Mike Sheer is a genuinely lovely chap. Hailing from Canada, the 27-year-old is doing it tough down here, with venue “issues” (no need for slander slapsuits here) a-plenty. He’s great to chat with, and has a lovely demeanor.
The problem is, his show’s not really that good. But let’s attach a caveat to that.
The crowd of ten that wandered in to see Sheer this evening were, to be frank, awful. They gave the man nothing to work with; no energy whatsoever, and fewer laughs and claps. I tried, I really tried, but their stony responsiveness – or lack thereof – ground me down. Worst of all was the fact that there were other comedians in the crowd; you’d expect that they, at least, would try to help out a colleague in need. But no – Jess McKenzie was as stony-faced as the rest of them, even leaving the show halfway through the act to go on a bar run. To her credit, she at least bought Sheer a drink.
Sheer tries to base his show around the idea of Freedom (as in speech, not beer, for all you geeks out there – though I imagine that, of my three readers, geeks make up 0% of them) in the First World – and the four things that we typically use to obtain a semblance of Freedom: money, drugs, sex, and… christ, I’ve forgotten the last one. Was it travel? I honestly can’t remember. As a central thread for the show, it’s a reasonable idea, but the stories that spiral out from there are rather soft… that is, they’d be really enjoyable with a giggling crowd, but with the Easter Island statues?
It’s terribly heartbreaking for me, watching a likeable comedian plead for a response from a crowd. But then I try to take the emotion out of it, and ascertain that the material isn’t really that good. But it may still have been a good gig, with the right crowd, and Sheer is a tryer…
Ugh. Like I said, a tough one.