Bakehouse Theatre
Until 06 Mar 2021

Review by Lance Jones

There seems to be a healthy collection of six o’clock hour-long shows this Fringe that fit right into a well-planned evening schedule of “dinner and a show”. Most of them are strictly of the usual “stand-up” formula, you know the drill. Grab a bevvy and enjoy a very quick hour of light entertainment to set you up for the main event later, perhaps with a quick bite in between.

In this regard, Stephen Sheely’s “Fundamental Human Stupidity” may fit the bill but be advised it’s probably not for everyone.

Stephen isn’t a “comedian” as such. He is a “philosopher” who has been lecturing for years. In this short Fringe offering, he provides us with an amusing yet cerebral look at the fundamental stupidity of humans through a series of short anecdotes. The content of the evening is predicated on the theoretical writings of “stupidity”, leaving the audience rather ironically well-educated on the origins, and the wages of ignorance.

The choice of topic is decided randomly by a computer-generated spinning wheel, which was a great idea in theory, until the wheel kept randomly repeating its choice of anecdote. No matter, at least that show’s it’s fair dinkum. Stephen pressed on.

The subject matter and the anecdotes are indeed interesting, and Stephen puts an obviously experienced lecturer’s delivery to them. They are quite amusing, but one wouldn’t say “funny”. This is an interesting lecture, not a stand-up routine, let’s make that clear. Not that there is anything wrong or negative about that, but for the sake of caveat emptor, it must be said that it is what it is.

As with any “different” Fringe offering, there are the yay-sayers and there are the nay-sayers. Comments heard in the foyer on the way out included “well, that was interesting”, “I didn’t expect that”, or the one that sticks to mind the most, “that wasn’t awful”.

From the opening scene where he emerges from “sleeping” under his hat, to the closing scene where he sits back down and goes back “to sleep”, the show will entertain, enlighten and amuse.

It’s definitely not awful…

Rating: 3 stars (out of 5)