Garrett Millerick: Sunflower ★★★★
Garrett Millerick aims for a happy hour and misses brilliantly
There’s a fair amount of false advertising on the flyers that litter the Royal Mile every year at the Fringe, but it’s rare for a comedian to call out his own promotional material midway through his show for its lack of verisimilitude. Garrett Millerick had set out to write a happy show to counteract all the unhappiness that seems to be permeating the world at the moment. A noble goal but not one Millerick is able to meet. Not only because of his inability to create good memories (he only seems to be able to remember the bad) and because of a tragedy that happened after the flyers had gone to print when he was two-thirds of the way through writing his show.
That third act shift in tone and storytelling does not derail Millerick however, and he excels when quietening his usually bombastic style for a more meditative response to torturous and unfamiliar terrain. Millerick’s skill in word play and joking about the unjokeable comes to life in the poignant moments. What started out as a solid standup hour about the difficulty of matching real life joy with the elation comics feel when on the stage becomes something so much more. In wanting to do a show that’s just about the craft and with no ulterior motives or ‘right on’ messages, Millerick is to be applauded. For continuing with the jokes when life gets in the way, he may well get awarded too.