EDINBURGH FRINGE 2017: MANWATCHING ★★★
Sunday 27th August 2017
A comedian walks into the middle of the stage, the ‘Roundabout’ in this instance, which is very much like how it’s described with different entrances/exits in the space set in the round, and collects an Envelope from the Stage Manager, Bethany. Inside the envelope contends a script, written by an anonymous female writer, and you want to know what makes this production so unique? Well, every single time the comedian enters the stage, they haven’t read it beforehand,as this is a performance where there are no two of a kind. Today’s comedian was Andrew O’Neill, best known for his comedy performances at Download, as well as being the guitarist of the heavy metal band ‘The Men That Will Not Be Blamed For Nothing’.
The script handles erotic subject matters like masturbation, foreplay, and sexual fantasies,something that when you consider someone directly opposite may be watching you in a packed house, you may feel a little bit uncomfortable, and I must certainly was from times, but in a strangely relaxed way as vise versa I would be doing the same. No one as far as I’m aware, apart from Bethany, knew what the script was about, so in that sense everyone in the room was experiencing it for the first time, something that you put you at ease, and seemed reliable as at times the audience were in stitches at what was coming out from the page.
O’Neill did a almost perfect job at handling the script; as someone who has not seen any other comedian perform the material, I am unable to compare him to any other,and I would actually like to keep it that way due to the uniqueness of the performance. At times he would sit with the audience, or even react from the laughter in a sense that made you feel welcomed by him and for his benefit probably made him relax more,especially with the sort of matters that he was reading.
Overall, MANWATCHING is an experience which should be seen by all who love watching unique performances just like this one. It’ll be one that sticks in my head for a very long time,and also huge credit must go to Andrew O’Neill, the comedy for this performance and someone who was lovely enough to sign my copy of the script afterwards!