GET HAPPY – REVIEW – PLEASANCE LONDON

Tens, tens, tens across the board! Get Happy, the debut one-person show by writer and performer Joseph Aldous, explores queer relationships and their individual take on happiness. It had the audience engaged from minute one and off their feet at the finale. What a show.

But let’s start at the beginning. Adam’s life as a single, gay person in London is great. He goes from ‘Daddy’ to rugby player ‘Tom’ to…well, you know the drill. It could not be better. Or could it? When one day his best friend and housemate gets engaged and moves out, Adam hears the well-meant words “You will find it too. You will be happy!” But isn’t he happy already? He is living alone in London, starting a new job, and his birthday present to himself will be a boyfriend. Just because. That surely must mean he is – or will get – happy. Luckily, he is armed with an Alexa that analyses him and comes up with a bulletproof plan to happiness. In a week’s time, he will have what all of his settled friends have. He can’t fail!

Of course, it is not that easy. And that is where Get Happy does such a great job. Aldous starts the show off with his protagonist at a perceived ultimate high. The energy he brings to the stage has the audience immediately engaged. The introductory scene on the tube had us roaring with laughter as probably half of us could relate to it, and the other half knew someone who could. Like a bouncing ball, he commands the minimalistic stage and leaves no room unused. The connection he made with the audience was great, and I think most of us were in love with Adam within the first ten minutes of the show. He is simply a fantastic stage presence. I love clear distinction between characters, and Aldous has the body language down for each and every one we meet throughout the show. (Harry was my favourite.) I absolutely loved how easily a couple of queer cliches have been baked in, and I do admit that I kind of felt exposed by the portrayal of the all-female co-worker crew (Queer Eye and Drag Race, yay!). The transition from that ultimate high towards self-doubt and the first couple of setbacks was ever so gradient, and I enjoyed the ride on the downward spiral as Aldous carried that so well. (Or not so well, because by the end of it he was a hot mess. And I was here for it.)

As high the high is, the low is lower. I literally felt it and was a bit anxious I had to go home with that uneasy and sad feeling that took hold of me during the second half of the show. I felt so much with Adam and I had to resist the urge to hug him in between acts. The script does such a great job in exploring all the trouble, the cliches, and the society expectations (you need a house, a job, and a relationship in order to be happy) that I went down that rabbit hole with Adam. So naturally, I utterly enjoyed the turn events took shortly before the show came to an end that lightened the mood again and happily joined the standing ovations. Get Happy really got me happy for the night.

By the end of the show, we have learned that happiness is a very complex concept and that there is no ‘one size fits all’ solution to it. But we are all doing well, darlings. And I am proud of us!

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Read all of Anne’s reviews here

{🎟 AD – PR invite – Tickets were gifted in exchange for an honest review}

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