The promo for Gary Lynch’s show goes along the lines of how would his life have been different if he had chosen the path of a gay man back in 80s Ireland? Call me shallow but when I saw ‘gay’ ’80s’ and ‘Ireland’ I thought interesting… And as the premise is ‘would that have been a better/more exciting lifestyle than ending up married (to a woman) and having kids?’ – that appealed to me in a schadenfreude-kind-of-way being kid-free and lovin’ it.
Actually though – there was no mention of this Earth-2 existence but there was a lot about mid-life crisis angst, looking back and trying to make the best of things. Angst on the Fringe!!? I hear you cry! Well, of course it’s not original but it all depends on the person delivering it. The Fringe is awash with angsty, shouty thirty-somethings ‘sharing’ with us – so nice and refreshing to get a 52-year-old looking like a slightly shambling Ricky Gervais with a gentle Dublin accent.
Gary starts with the usual audience introductions and focuses on a couple who did the archetypal mid-life crisis thing of buying motorbikes. There’s gentle banter with them and the rest of the audience apart from an impenetrable Canadian couple who Gary handles with consummate ease. There’s a few jokes about altar boys and Joseph Fritzl which surely must qualify for bus passes but provide good old school laughs all the same.
That out of the way it’s more philosophical mode with much talk of the celebrities who’ve died this year; childhood memories and ultimately getting to the point where you think: ‘if I don’t do it now…’ Which is exactly what Gary has done with his stand-up.
Middle Age Came Quick is a bit shambley, rambley and maybe needs a bit of tightening up, but then again super-slick probably isn’t Gary Lynch’s style. And if you want to explore a mid-life crisis (from whatever direction) in the mid-afternoon Gary is a suitably engaging guide. Even if he forgot about the Earth-2 gay lifestyle!
(Review for 6 Aug)