Unhappy Birthday-Assembly 6.40pm


Walking into any room which is blaring out ‘The Queen is Dead’ by the Smiths I am immediately disarmed into a good mood. This is the second show I have seen this Fringe which hinges on a Morrissey obsessive but whilst the other- Half a Person my Life as Told by the Smiths– was an emotionally resonant work this is quite the opposite; all party poppers , birthday snacks and an abrasive, hyper American- Amy Lame- at its epicentre. It is a distinctly lively work adopting the format of a birthday party to which Morrissey has been invited but whether he will appear is open to debate.

The action begins with a game of pass the parcel-actually this is the bulk of the show- and the audience are invited- forced really- to join in and each wrapping reveals some Morrissey related paraphernalia. Generally the relationship lies in Amy’s head but that is what makes this show entertaining.

The pace very rarely lets up throughout the one hour duration and it really is an hour of pass the parcel, party poppers, and Amy dancing, stomping about and running around like some nutty professor’s hybrid of Ruby Wax and Kathy Bates in Misery. An extended segment where Amy rips off her wig and re-creates her own demented version of  the Mozziah’s quiff is vaguely funny and awkward in turns. There is also an amusing segment giving thirty valid reasons to hate Morrissey towards the end.

The music is of course wonderful. From a singalong –Mozzioke- version of ‘Sheila Take a Bow’ to an everyone in the audience stand up and wave your arms around-proving again how little natural rhythm so many people possess- ‘This Charming Man’.

This show thinks it is a lot wackier than it actually is. It didn’t really do it for me but the atmosphere was great and the music consistently brilliant but as far as parties go I have been at many parties much more deranged than this one. Some of those even in the last week.


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