Garrett Millerick: Smile ★★★★
Another simmering gag-filled opinionated delight
Just prior to the 2018 Fringe, Garrett Millerick had a show locked and pretty much loaded. Full of jokes, it was designed purely to keep us grinning through the gritted teeth we all had a mouthful of due to Brexit, Trump et al. Then a family medical emergency forced him to swiftly rewrite that hour to balance out the jollity with a slice of trauma: the result, Sunflower, was his finest show to date, and he’s back in the same room at more or less the same time of day trying, as he notes, to somehow follow up that success. Happily, the victim of that emergency (his wife) pulled through, and he’s back to delivering the kind of quality, sharply opinionated stand-up that he’s made his Fringe name with.
Thing is, well … this isn’t quite the sort-of show that flies with TV execs who saw Millerick thrive professionally last August while dealing with personal calamity. One particularly craven media troll is mercilessly taken apart by the comic who can only humbly apologise for not being so messed-up in the head this year.
Anyone who’s seen Millerick in full flow will revel in his glee at a dual celebration and mockery of everything from fighting the eco-emergency (he fully realises recycling is the right thing to do, but, really, what’s the point?) to Gordon Ramsay (a man who somehow can’t properly pronounce a word that’s vital in his industry) and Remainers (he might have voted to stay in the EU, but he’s sick and tired of liberal-fuelled sanctimony).
And don’t get Millerick started on social media. He doesn’t want you following or liking him, because he cares not a jot about your opinions (outside of The Tron’s snug basement that is). You might never want to be stuck in a lift with the Garrett Millerick stage persona, but watching him let rip for one hour at an arts festival is a unique joy.