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Monty Leigh

REVIEW: Séayoncé at The Arches - Wandsworth Fringe

Séayoncé Hot Air Baboon productions presents the ‘baddest babe in the spirit world’ - Séayoncé a twisted and sassy show following the journeys of a confused and severely intoxicated mystic whose gender is entirely up for discussion. Séayoncé is a one-person comedy show performed by Daniel Wye, a charismatic and quick-witted performer with a real impeccable sense of comedic timing.

It begins with the entrance of ‘dragtastic’ Séayoncé, a mystic who can cross the border between life and death and connect us to spirits. The only problem is, we aren’t sure she is legitimate. In fact, I’m not sure that she knows if she is legitimate - maybe she's just mad.

What follows is a whirlwind of hilarious good and evil spirits, shoddy magic, audience interaction, all punctuated with a delicious soundtrack and moments of quiet.

Séayoncé isn’t a traditional seance in any way; there is no crystal ball (well there is, but its more fleshy..and hairy) there is no palm reading, there is no tarot cards. What there is, however, is a plethora of far more exciting ways to connect with the dead - contemporary dance, vodka, cabaret, and downright forcing it. The spirits - including an old man called Reginald who writes awful poetry - are each here to teach the audience ‘a lesson.’ Wye uses these moments to interact and joke with the audience, but beneath these hysterical characters are quite sincere messages, for example “You are worried you are getting too old and too boring.”

This makes for an extremely clever comparison between raucous cabaret-drag-comedy (the opposite of boring) and our fear of being mundane or not living life to the full. There are droplets of truth that come from Séayoncé throughout, who herself feels unfulfilled by life, and despite the desperate attempts to connect with the dead - she completely connects with us instead. This character - who embodies all that is queer, overboard and full of vice - is attempting to help us ‘normal lonely souls.’

I must say, I’ve not laughed that much in a long time. I was fully committed to Séayoncé, far more than I would be with a ‘real’ medium, and the wit and brashness of Wye’s performance was impressive. This show is off to Edinburgh Fringe this year, along with a few more productions from Hot Air Baboon. Go and see Séayoncé, but take a very strong drink. You’ll need it.