I think, well I hope, anyway, that this is one of those ‘work in progress’ shows. As you might guess, it is an extended piss-take of ‘mindfulness’ and all other self-help pseudo-spiritual fads for ‘coping with modern life’. Arthur’s viewpoint is very much not ‘seize the day’, but more ‘don’t bother about the day; life’s meant to be boring, don’t worry’. Which I have to say is a valid viewpoint, and occasionally applies to aspects of this very performance. For instance, the endlessly repeated endorsement of the spiritual value of stroking a sock; the extended ‘dance’ sequences – well, waving his arms and legs about anyway; and some deeply unmusical singing. But in and among the shambolic presentation, there are some explosively funny left-field jokes; some wickedly pointed digs at the wilder end of the meditation industry; and some very engaging bits of utter nonsense. A duo of toy penguins with echolalia, anyone? And there is a sort of denouement where the meaning of all the singing and dancing comes together as he retails a story of an incident from his past as a compere in the raucous Comedy Store. This, at the moment, is about three-quarters of the way to a very fine show. I wish it well.
John Christopher Wood