Fringe 2011 Review – The Scotsman

Comedy review: Raymond Mearns: Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Stress But Were Afraid to Ask     ●●●○○
By Jay Richardson – Published25/8/2011

Still waters run deep with Mearns, the roistering compere of The Stand, who’s rarely seen so vulnerable and being so frank about his sensitive disposition. Sharing a title with an NHS film he made in 2008, Everything … boasts solid routines from his club set structured around more personal anecdotes.

With characteristic bluntness, he reveals how he shot this self-help DVD, then had a breakdown. After some shallow analysis of the fight or flight response (an excuse to introduce medical terminology such as “getting bumped”), he’s exceptionally funny on the anxiety of a hypothetical lottery win or the costly, counterintuitive advice of his accountant, all while keeping his financial woes from his wife.

Elsewhere, a Caribbean cruise booking turns to nightmare, a trip on the Caledonian Sleeper to violence and an altercation in a nightclub to emasculation.

Mearns’ stress advice might be generalised and wishy-washy, but it’s unquestionably cathartic to hear the big man relating the disasters of his former sales job.

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