Seymour Mace – 'It's OK to be bitter and resentful'
- Claire Sawers
- 27 July 2017
The Geordie comic returns to the Fringe with more madcap miserablism and gameshow antics
If Seymour Mace had his way, the Edinburgh Festival would last all year: that way he'd be able to do stand-up comedy all the bloody time. 'I could do like two weeks on, then two weeks off, like those lads that work on the rigs,' he suggests. There are worse ideas. The Geordie comedian remains a highlight of the Fringe every year with his mix of Vic 'n' Bob-style budget-absurd gameshow patter, charity shop miserablism and affectionate insults for his audience.
'People say to me, "I just don't know how you're brave enough to get up there onstage!" I'm like, that's the simple part! It's coming offstage when things gets difficult for me.' Diagnosed with depression in 2011, the subject of mental health has become more prominent in his set over the past few years, dropped in for dark laughs among wonky puppet shows and shoddy Casio singalongs. 'Don't worry, I never forget the basic rule: you still need to make it funny. I'm not one of those wankers that just airs his dirty laundry and discusses all his problems but forgets to make people laugh.'
This year's set is a secret, but Mace does mention a surreal sketch that he still needs to make cardboard seagulls for, a banana section that he cut for budget reasons ('Brexit, isn't it?') and an audience-participation game called 'Heaven Knows I'm Miserable Now'.
'Maybe it's just me, but I see more depression and loneliness than ever before. Happiness is a myth really, and that's fine. It's OK to be bitter and resentful. The world is ridiculous. The way people behave is ridiculous, we've gone too far down the path of ridiculousness to turn back now. That's why the only time I'm happy is being onstage, talking to the audience. So don't be a cunt and come along.'
Seymour Mace's Magical Shitcakes From Heaven, The Stand III, 4–27 Aug (not 14), 1.30pm, £12 (£10). Preview 3 Aug, £10 (£9).