Sam Simmons: Meanwhile, Gilded Balloon, Edinburgh
Friday 26 August 2011
Before coming to Edinburgh, I caught up with Simmons's last Fringe show, Fail, in London. Unfortunately, that title and this show are interchangeable. Essentially, Meanwhile is Simmons's home-made Twitter feed with two devices at work. Simmons attempts to answer questions put to him through various mediums while a female voice interjects with an activity going on simultaneously somewhere else in the world. At this point, Simmons jumps around to act out someone in Germany getting annoyed with their flatmate – or some other scenario.
Outside of these guidelines, there's much neurotic activity as Simmons works up an existential angst, mapped by childhood memories of tacos and lonely pine cones. It's a conveyor belt and cacophony of doodles that miss more than they hit, so much so that it is the asides that prove the most amusing as they relieve the lulls: "Lots of work for not much there," the Australian says after a garbled sequence involving Toadfish from Neighbours.
There's some lovable nonsense, too – a Mexican-Eskimo, a Meskimo and a mash-up of Christmas carols, but these are all too rare high points in an erratic morass where apologies – "There's been a dip, I'll win you back" – form the lingering memories.
To 28 August (0131 622 6552)
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