Created by: Semi Cho
Bedlam & Squalor, 9th Mar 2023
Reviewed by: Tanya Piejus
Get Stuffed promises so much: “a creepy uncle’s man cave showcasing a curated taxidermy collection” and a line-up of comedians who “ask the hard-hitting questions around the double standards of stuffing a bird”. And, indeed, there are some choice examples of weird stuffing on display – an inflated blowfish with stuck-on googly eyes, a sexily reclining fox, and a toucan being embraced by a Barbie doll. These are the “4am delusions and drunken purchases” of comedian Semi Cho whose debut Fringe Festival Show this is.
The delivery of this promise, however, comes up a little short. Cho’s introduction is amusingly quirky, starting with a confession about how much she loves funerals because most people are just there for the catering, and her obsession with “glamorous roadkill”.
She then introduces the first of her guests, Australian Darryl Wilson. His short set is fine in and of itself with a bit of politics and a diatribe about bringing one’s whole self to work. It’s hard to see how it fits with the theme of stuffed animals, though, as it seems like a routine he would perform anywhere rather than one tailored to this show.
Michael Macaulay, Cho’s second guest, does try to get with the programme and relates three surprisingly funny jokes he asked ChatGPT to create on the theme of animals. He also recreates what Sir David Attenborough sounded like before he lost his Middlesborough accent (the TV legend actually grew up in Leicester but hey, don’t let the truth stand in the way of a good story!) and tells a titter-inducing tale of accidentally peeing on a hedgehog.
Both guests are also invited by Cho to perform a touch test on a stuffed animal hidden under a blanket. Wilson’s turns out to be a rooster, spawning the inevitable cock joke, and Macaulay’s is a surprised-looking cat, clearly once someone’s much-loved pet.
Get Stuffed is a brave effort at an original comedy show but needs stronger attention to unity of theme.