Edinburgh Festival review – Chris Mayo

Mayo doesn’t need to tell us he suffers from nerves, as they are all to see and they hamper his set

Chris_Mayo2Poor old Chris Mayo. In his debut solo show, Chris Mayo’s Panic Attack, he tells us that he is an anxious hypochondriac, who constantly finds something to worry about.

In an attempt to explore both his personal anxiety issues and how stress affects us all, he recounts a number of anecdotes from his worry-filled past, from embarrassing failures on the schools sports ground to the stress he encounters whenever he has to decide how many times to pierce a microwave lid.

While some comedians will invent a persona and stories to help them build an hour of material for the Fringe, Mayo, it seems, is providing no kind of artifice. Onstage he is as nervous and edgy as he claims to be – this hampers his set and rubs off on his audience.

He delivers his material at such breakneck speed that engaging fully is something of a struggle and some promising set-ups, including one about his trip to a restaurant to eat alone, come and go in a flash.

His insistence on trying to involve the audience at different points throughout, and referring to the paucity of numbers in the crowd, is also a problem. Without the confidence to quite pull off the interaction, it leads to some awkward moments (and possibly rising stress levels) both for Mayo and his audience.

2 stars

Chris Mayo’s Panic Attack is on at 6pm at Just the Tonic
Review written by Will Gore

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