REVIEW: Felix and The Scootermen: Self-Help Yourself Famous – 1½*

REVIEW: Felix and The Scootermen: Self-Help Yourself Famous – 1½*

Radio Ha-Ha! talks Ha-Ha!

Written by Sarah Exton

Review date: 23rd August 2019

Despite arriving 5 minutes late, it was incredibly easy to get myself up to speed with the gist of the show and the kind of comedy I was to expect.

Essentially, this performance is supposed to be a course of how to achieve stardom; led by superstar Felix Scoot with the support of his overly doting drummer Lee Delamere, played by ‘The Hoosier’ members, Irwin Sparks and Alan Sharland respectively. 

Even though the course had a structure of 5-steps on how to become famous, the whole thing appeared to be rather chaotic and muddled. The concept of an individual having a type of breakdown in the public eye is a reoccurring theme in some of the performance at this year’s Fringe, especially within the comedy genre. However, ‘Felix and The Scootermen’ fall short on creating characters with any real depth or redeeming qualities; which is essential if the story is going to be led by an egocentric superstar. The moments where Felix began to show signs of sincerity, moments which allow the audience to empathise with an otherwise overly arrogant character, were quickly taken away with another self-indulgent comment or berating of band member Lee. Surprisingly, the saving grace of the performance was Lee Delamere, the unappreciated drummer, as a majority of the punchlines lay with this character; and although not the strongest actor, Sharland was able to get most of the laughs from the audience today. 

This was definitely a difficult hour to watch. Of course the musical elements of the song were strong, considering the performer’s background, however, the comical values within those musical numbers were consistently lacking.

Although farce and absurd comedy appear easy on stage, there is a delicate craft that goes behind creating an effortlessly silly performance; a skill that these two performers have yet to hone. There were too many repetitive conversations between Felix and Lee, none of which served any comedic purpose. The pacing and beats of the story were poorly put together;  and random skits, such as flashbacks and the Computer song, were thrown into the story like GCSE Students creating their end of year Performance Art piece – wanting to get all the things they find funny in, without taking into account that actual narrative being told. 

The beauty of the Fringe is that it’s the perfect environment for performers, of all backgrounds, to try something new. However, taking on an art form without any real preparation, is not acceptable. Although their musical abilities may be great, their scriptwriting, acting, and comedy capabilities are in need of a lot of work.

Once they’ve worked on structure, beats, dialogue, character development and performance style – then, and only then, will this duo have a chance of bringing something remotely funny to Edinburgh Fringe 2020.

Catch Felix and The Scootermen at Underbelly, Bristo Square (Friesian), on every day until the 26th at 4:40PM. Book your tickets here:

Radio Ha-Ha

August 25th, 2019

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