I called Sean McLoughlin’s last show, Kamikaze, “like watching him explode on-stage.” You Can’t Ignore Me Forever isn’t an explosion. It’s actually kind of nice. More of a gentle fire than a conflagration, although it does occasionally spit at the anyone daft enough to get too close.
Self-aware as ever, McLoughlin puts this down to writing a set without a major crisis in his life, and it definitely shows. In Kamikaze, McLoughlin could barely keep up with himself, all anxiety, anger and acid. 2017’s Sean McLoughin is calmer, if not exactly calm, but no less funny for it, whatever he might say to the contrary.
You Can’t Ignore Me Forever is still concerned with neuroses, body issues and panic, but intensity is replaced with something dangerously like introspection. While noticeably less acerbic than before, he doesn’t shy away from a darker joke or brutally honest observation, and he’s still more than happy to share his deepest fears if it’ll get a laugh out of you.
McLoughlin retains his mastery over the unexpected, always taking a gag the last place you’d think. Also reoccurring are his trademark reoccurring jokes, with McLoughlin once again getting incredible mileage out of seemingly every throwaway thought racing through his mind.
You Can’t Ignore Me Forever is a far mellower experience than its predecessor, but just as good at drawing laughs out of the deep well of anxiety that all of us have to stare down from time to time. McLoughlin remains one of the most unique observational comics you can see at the Fringe, and this year’s show is a testament to that, so don’t ignore him this time round.