Fast And Furious. And Surprisingly Tender ★★★★★
Sunflower, Soho Theatre
Millerick wanted, he announces, to do a jokes-only show for 2018’s Edinburgh Festival. No big themes, no politics. No sad stories.
A couple of devastating curveballs in his life later, and Sunflower’s far from the all-lolz hour he set out to write.
The half of the show written pre-apocalyptic life events is one of big punchlines and tight-af pacing. Misanthropy is Millerick’s schtick, portraying himself as a living jumble of JOMO, reclusiveness and schadenfreude. And the brutal takedowns of modern life and minor celebrities (celebrities so minor the takedowns come with a Wiki-esque career synopsis, for context: Paul Cattermole of S Club 7 and Chesney Hawkes), might have you buying into that for a while.
But doubt starts to creep in. The ebullience, his constantly-leaking-into-the-show adoration for his wife, his joy-terror at the thought of being a father, and his desperately seeking for the absolute smallest fragment of light and comedy in some tragic circumstances — it starts to look like Millerick might not be ‘not-that-nice’ a person after all.
Sunflower’s an hour of tight comedy tempered by sorrow and loss into something human, warm, and (we suspect Millerick would die inside at this descriptor) often uplifting.
You’ll laugh*, you’ll cry. Literally and probably a fair bit of both, if our table’s anything to go by.
*Jesus, we hope Paul Cattermole’s not in the audience.