David McIver: Small Boy Trapped in a Wellness Retreat

It is genuinely difficult to keep track of all the wellness tips that you’re supposed to follow to have a healthy body and mind. Luckily for us, David McIver has brought his new show Small Boy Trapped in a Wellness Retreat to the Edinburgh Fringe that catalogues and summarises everything that he feels we need to know on this subject.

Critiques this tenet of capitalistic culture of connecting self-worth to your profession and success

Small Boy Trapped in a Wellness Retreat pokes fun at some of the unsolicited wellness tips that people like to share, covering everything from physical to mental health within the hour as part of McIver’s self-reflection on his life and career. The structure of the show follows a similar progression to Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, except that McIver treats us to a humorous hour of light mockery and jokes at the expense of the wellness industry that becomes a larger commentary on the social and cultural pressures that contribute to a decline in mental health.

This year, many comedians have opted to add a multimedia aspect to their show, and McIver is no different, but he structures the show as a presentation rather than a stand-up hour featuring some form of tech. His use of powerpoint is incredibly creative, as McIver makes the show equally about the jokes that he himself is delivering and the odd sarcastic or tongue-in-cheek phrase on the screen. The tone of the show is balanced between a serious approach and handling of the subject, but doing do in a comedic way as McIver makes quip after quip whilst himself remaining incredibly straight-faced. When he refers to jokes made earlier in the show, it’s not a one-off callback, but rather an established running gag of which he juggles multiple to the very end. They are not always relevant but which become increasingly funnier as the hour progresses.

McIver reflects on his own experiences over the course of Small Boy Trapped in a Wellness Centre, and in doing so critiques this tenet of capitalistic culture of connecting self-worth to your profession and success. This show is an enjoyable hour of low stakes comedy full of wellness tips and tricks that shouldn’t be tried at home.

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Reviews by Katerina Partolina Schwartz

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The Blurb

A multimedia stand-up comedy show from David McIver that is guaranteed to make you feel well. Put on your nicest dressing gown, throw your phone into the nearest lake, sit in a comfortable position and gently rest your attention on this joke-themed relaxation experience. 'Had his audience in fits of laughter' ***** (LondonTheatre1.com). 'Uniquely inventive in its approach to comedy' ****½ (ShortCom.co.uk). 'An outstanding, theatrical piece of one-man comedy' **** (Chortle.co.uk). 'Weirdly heartwarming' (Guardian). As seen on BBC Three and iPlayer.

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