/ Tandanya

Fruitcake – Ten Commandments from the Psych Ward

He’s a little eccentric and quirky, but then to work as a psychiatric nurse for over ten years you have to be slightly unhinged. This spoken word performance is electric and Rob Gee jumps successfully from imitating the manic to the schizophrenic in a moment. While drawing laughter with his stories based on real cases, he is also respectful of his subject matter and even manages to educate the audience about mental illness with real alacrity.

The show is cleverly constructed, with a mix of poetry, prose, and even a sing-along song to end. Playing with the language in poetry slam-style, he whips through words quickly and leaves your head spinning as your brain tries to keep up.

Each small skit is punctuated by a commandment for the psych ward; for example, "Thou shalt not kill (thyself), at least not while I’m on duty". It can be difficult to create jokes around topics as serious as suicide, but somehow, he manages it.

Hospitals can be depressing, but from Gee’s portrayal of this world, the place of the psych ward seems a little less scary. Go into this show with an expectation for madness, and revel in every moment of it.

★★★★

Alyse Jansons

Alyse Jansons

Entertained by the sparkly, charmed by the witty, Alyse's favourite time of the year is Fringe. When not ensconced in a seat in a tiny theatre, she surrounds herself with her family of succulents.

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