Sam Simmons is a dad now. This is a sentence which will fill any fan of Simmons’ onstage persona with terror as the abrasive, manic clown who has terrorised the Fringe repeatedly over the past few years doesn’t seem like the kind of person you’d want raising a child.
With his 2015 show Spaghetti For Breakfast Simmons finally broke into the mainstream and now with A – K he is beginning to be pleasingly comfortable in his own performing style.
However, it does seem as though parenting has changed him. It is either that or winning the big award two years ago but something seems to have slightly placated the Australian madman. Performing his show this year inside a barely converted lecture theatre, Sam Simmons seems by his standards practically docile. This means that there are only a couple of tangents about paedophilia and only once does Simmons make an audience member spank him with a badminton racket, so it’s safe to say he is settling down into middle age.
A – K is, supposedly, a reading of the first half of the phone book. All but the most gullible of audience members will expect something different entirely very quickly and sure enough there is barely any attention given to the conceit offered by the show’s publicity. Instead, Sam Simmons talks about what it’s like to be a parent. This long licked clean trough of stand-up comedy material is turned on its head by Simmons’ unique perspective and tendency to go off on wild tangents when given the slightest opportunity.
Sam Simmons is a performer who has always looked to give off the impression that he doesn’t care what his audience think of him. However, that has been at odds with his status as a cult underdog who is overdue the critical acclaim he deserves. With his 2015 show Spaghetti For Breakfast Simmons finally broke into the mainstream and now with A – K he is beginning to be pleasingly comfortable in his own performing style.
While he has never seemed to care all that much, there is something hugely relaxing and enjoyable in watching a performer who genuinely doesn’t mind what the audience think of him. Sam Simmons is doing A – K for himself so he’s going to do whatever he wants and that is evident from the moment he steps out onstage. This next chapter in the career of Sam Simmons will be an interesting one and will hopefully result in Simmons reaching ever greater heights of notoriety, made all the more hilarious by the fact that in addition to joyfully unsettling his audience, he’ll also be doing the same to his newborn child.