Mitch (Eric Sigmundsson) loves movies. And he really, really wants to make one. Over 55 crafted minutes, he pitches several to us: a homophobic Santa Claus terrorises a gay couple; a couple find love being burned alive watching a short film; a blind man attempts a tightrope walk. All of this is performed with intermittent and increasingly complex live vocal looping that encapsulates the feeling of being inside a creative yet failed mind.
Sigmundsson is clearly a talented and naturally funny performer and his next show will be one to watch with interest.
Sigmundsson, who also takes writing credit, is an intriguing presence – slightly awkward and occasionally stuttering over his ideal castings for his films, it’s hard to know where he ends and Mitch begins. This isn’t meant as a criticism – his persona is both likeable and natural and, as a result, we feel his frustration with his lack of success. His speech is low-key but amusing and the plot descriptions of his increasingly outlandish film ideas are crammed full of references and knowing winks for Hollywood buffs. This, however, is by no means a requirement for enjoying the show: Sigmundsson’s Mitch is a charming and enthusiastic enough host for it never to come across as smug.
Sadly, whilst his company is charming, if a little intense, Sigmundsson isn’t often very funny. This is a problem in a show comprised mainly of long monologues of ridiculous film pitches that are clearly meant to raise laughter. They do – up to a point – but the smiles dry up towards the middle of the show as yet another pitch begins with no real variation in tone or purpose. The ending provides a much-needed deviation from proceedings but the physical and sonic chaos that ensues is all too brief to make any lasting emotional impact, especially viewed relative to the preceding 45 minutes of largely similar material. The use of live sound, whilst executed well, is brought in and out of the narrative seemingly at random in a manner that quickly turns from curious to distracting.
Sigmundsson is clearly a talented and naturally funny performer and his next show will be one to watch with interest. This time around though, he seems to be slightly stuck in post-production.