Edinburgh Fringe Review – Michael Brunström: The Human Loire

The Human Loire, part man, part river, one hundred per cent viable for being sectioned, Michael Brunström, has just climbed the summit of Mount Olympus for providing the battiest show I have managed to see this Fringe. Before officially starting the show, Michael issues out a programme of the forthcoming hour’s breakdown and a list of credits and credentials. It’s hard to assume whether this is a desperate man’s attempt to convince the audience of his credibility or a taste of how off the wall this show will be. With the show broken down into six segments. Njal’s Saga, Tuerculosis, Jew’s Harp, Tea Party, The Human Loire and finally St Thomas a Becket. It all sounds very bourgeoise enlightened post-modern thinking. Pausing for somewhat awkward effect before taking the stage,  Brunström very much looks and sounds like Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall but this time picked the wrong organic mushrooms.

It’s a rather curious start as Michael rambles into his first act. It becomes a bit messy, with him forgetting his lines and place in the show. Which makes you question whether he is in control, although post show there are levels of control that are clearly not. It’s a curious thing because it’s not quite tellable if Michael is maybe a confident or capable performer or if he really wants to make the audience laugh. But as the show builds, the level of insanity begins to escalate, eventually having me bursting into laughter, as I questioned my own sanity.

Potentially out of every Fringe show I’ve seen, the Human Loire has me the most confused. The build up and interplay between the moments that have you in hysterics are too long, its confusing whether Michael doesn’t know whether he wants these build ups too be funny or clearly doesn’t, because either or it’s very testing for the audience by trying their patience  whether it’s worthwhile staying, and predictably people do leave. However, if you do stay, there are some of the most wonderful absurd moments of humour I’ve witnessed, which makes me think that Michael Brunström is capable of producing an outstanding comedy show, but needs to work on the glue in-between of those moments that are batshit brilliant.


Chris Aitken


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