Better run, run as fast as you can to catch Sam Simmons’ Death of a Sails-man before it leaves Brisbane’s waterways. Or if you find yourself pondering the question, “What should I see next at The Powerhouse’s Brisbane Comedy Festival?” then do as Simmons suggests and ask yourself W.W.V.D.D. What Would Vin Diesel Do? Once you’ve figured that out you’ll be armed with the knowledge to the meaning of life itself and perhaps (if you’re lucky) the purpose behind Simmons’ latest comedic creation. If you are more like me, then you won’t care what the deeper meaning is behind his comedy but you’ll love it and laugh at it anyway.
Sam Simmons is best known for his often very random, somehow post-modern, out there, pastiche, existential, stick his subconscious and conscious thoughts into a blender and see how they play out in front of a live audience style of comedy. If this is bestowing some kind of deliberately accidental intellectual motivation upon his work then perhaps he really is just a very funny ocker, cheeky monkey who has through his nonchalant audaciousness managed to remain endearing and charming much to his fan’s awe, delight and amusement. The man is funny, there is no denying it and if you like your comedy randomly witty and in your face with an absurd twist and Freudian edge to it so that it doesn’t really make sense like all the best episodes of The Mighty Boosh (yes, I’m likening Sam Simmons’ comedy to a one-man, on a budget version of The Mighty Boosh), then you’ll not just like Sam Simmons’ Death of a Sails-man, you’ll love it.
To cohesively summarise this performance would not do it justice. The main character is Simmons as the ‘Muesli Bar Man’. It is a tale of how he becomes lost at sea after a peaceful sail on his wind surfer. Wearing nothing but black lycra and a bum bag strategically positioned for best visual comedic effect, Simmons tries to survive the arduous conditions at sea armed only with the contents of his bum bag and an oyster he befriends on the journey. Before long Simmons is talking to himself (or more precisely an audio recording of himself) and the battle between the ego and the subconscious begins as we witness his tale of woe. Simmons woos the audience with song, prose, his knowledge of sausages, his ‘Space Nanna’, talking underwater coconuts, the frustrations that go hand in hand with mobile phone companies and the customer call centre experience, the true nature of dolphins, his admiration for horses, and much, much more.
No, you may not understand it but for me that’s the whole point. So to be clear, in case there is an unsuspecting comedy theatre goer out there who is thinking of taking a punt on Sam Simmons’ Death of a Sails-man, I will warn you now, this is not a spoof of Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman. This is Simmons at his best, even if it was a little unpolished, but let’s face it, he could get away with just about anything on stage and we’d have no idea if it was truly a part of the show or a bonus improvised addition out of necessity. His comedic timing and non-timing is brilliant and his uncouth ways are gross, compelling and hilarious all at the same time. As Sam said himself at the end of the performance, you’ll leave and tell your friends that the show was great.
Brisbane Powerhouse and Token Events present
Death of a Sails-man
Venue: Visy Theatre | Brisbane Powerhouse
Dates: 18 – 23 March, 2014
Tickets: $35 – $25
Part of the 2014 Brisbane Comedy Festival