Lee Griffiths: Post-Traumatic Sketch Disorder lays out the comic’s psyche by following Freud (just about) through funny family hang-ups by way of kid's books, cock lengths and cream-spattered cowgirls. In a show that works like a lighthearted DIY psychotherapy session, Griffiths' warmth and personability really come into play.
An engagingly structured show that manages to straddle subjects both sweet and subversive, yet with occasional issues of energy and pace
Griffiths' delivery is easygoing with an undercurrent of awkwardness; his gentle pace and sincere tone make him endearingly gawky. It is by cultivating such a character that Griffiths' show is able to broach conventionally edgy topics of comedy without ever seeming try-hard or tiresome: ten a penny at the Fringe are those eager to have a crack at foreign accents or ostensibly ironic gay jokes, yet Griffiths' approach to these issues through a framing family narrative give his show an accessible, good-natured tone. Bits on incest, sex workers and Nigerian accents are all handled to hilarious effect.
This intimacy is exacerbated through good use of multimedia. Griffiths' show is intercut with recorded phone calls with his mum, videos of his step-dad and powerpoints that roll out readings of self-help books. Not only is such variety engaging in itself, but being able to see the family reality behind the comedy augments the sense of intimacy excellently.
Griffiths' soft style of delivery does come with issues of its own: pace isn't played up anywhere near to best effect in some areas of the set, and a lot of laughs are simply let go. A bit about post-coital spooning sessions between brothers, set out like the last link in a fast, furious, Freudian chain of thought could come thicker and faster for full effect. Likewise, a punch feels pulled with a bit of prop comedy at the end of the act, as Griffiths simply sidles side-stage for the big reveal.
Overall, this is an engagingly structured show that manages to straddle subjects both sweet and subversive, yet with occasional issues of energy and pace. Post-traumatic sketch disorder will leave you feeling as upbeat as any good group therapy session.