Bizarre show delivers bold perception

By Jihee Junn

Andrew Gunn acts out a manic episode when he hung groceries from the ceiling and urinated in crockery.
Andrew Gunn acts out a manic episode when he hung groceries from the ceiling and urinated in crockery.

As the show begins, a shadowy presence lurks behind closed doors. Musician Tom Dennison ramps up his surprisingly hi-tech potato sound board, twisting and turning his starch-based contraption to heighten anticipation and suspense.

When the doors open and light floods in, tension turns to laughter as a half-naked figure emerges, kitted out in cardboard armour and beer crate stilts like some crazed shaman from The Mighty Boosh.

In a brazen one-man performance, Potato Stamp Megalomaniac depicts a real life roller coaster breakdown. Andrew Gunn acts out a manic episode when he hung groceries from the ceiling, urinated in crockery and exorcised friends' houses. He also developed an uncanny fascination with the humble potato.

For the most part of the show, Gunn is smothering himself in a box of dirt as he alternates between roles with frenetic and impressive pace. The show mimics the highs and lows of Gunn's mania; a mash-up of philosophical questioning, episodic rants and humorous entertainment.

In the finale, events veer into truly unexpected territory as it exits the confines of the stage. Potato Stamp Megalomaniac is a fascinating theatrical take on mental health and what it means to be "normal". It has important things to say without begging the audience for sympathy, even if it does turn into a bit of a joke.

Potato Stamp Megalomaniac is showing at Basement Theatre until June 18.

- NZ Herald

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