George Sully (Fest, Skinny)

I’m confused. George Sully is a ‘director’ of Fest, whatever that means, and has also written extensively for the Skinny. He has written overarching trend pieces and the occasional movie review, but never before has he dirtied the rarefied flesh of his lilywhites with Fringe comedy. Until this year. For some reason George Sully felt an urgent need to start reviewing Fringe Comedy this year by seeing Stuart Bowden’s Our Molecules… and giving it three stars.

No, I don’t understand it either. It’s as if aliens have landed on the White House lawn to tell us that Orange is the New Black should have ended after series three and then left, with us staring up at the sky and saying “Really… is that all you wanted to say?” This is fitting because Bowden is pretending to be an alien who is making sense of humankind – something which Sully is also finding an otherworldly experience.

The only possible reason for Sully’s decision to make himself flesh is so that he can expound his knack for overview. One has to wonder if he really cares about Stuart Bowden at all. His review starts (and I’ll give you all of it) like so:

Fringe genres are funny things – especially in 2018, with more and more shows fussily kicking at the walls of their prescriptive boxes like infants unhappy in their cribs. Cabaret that’s also circus; standup using songs; theatre with magic. Why be one thing when you can be many?

Well, to start with, isn’t it the review publications that inflict genres upon us, along with the Funtabulous Fringe Sobriety of whom Fest and Skinny are official partners? Because the rest of us never asked for genres to be thrust upon us, did we? The rest of us have been confounding genre almost since the Fringe began; even the FFS lets comics tick several of a billion boxes while still requiring us to pick a section for listing. We thought we were just following our compunction to make art, but no – we were fussily kicking at the walls of our prescriptive boxes, actually. Like infants unhappy in our cribs, dontcha know.

And the impetus for this lyrical epiphany? Stuart Bowden has a storytelling comedy show with songs in it. I wish I could tell you that there was more to it than this, but there isn’t. “Do too many things and sometimes they’ll all suffer”, Sully concludes. See too little comedy and you probably won’t know how to review it very well, we might conclude. And we will.

Welcome to the terra firma of comedy reviewing, Sully. Are you going now?

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