One man show Sabian Wilde entered the room in song, bearing a ukulele, and weaved through the audience before taking his position at the front.
We were sitting in Kaleido Bookshop, a quirky and inviting independent bookstore which smelt nostalgically of freshly printed pages. The energy was set high, and Wilde had a full audience.
Unfortunately, that energy didn’t last long. Wilde’s comedy show, called #AdventuresInRetail: Returns Policy, was supposedly a show about the trial and tribulations of working in retail, of which retail workers and customer service workers alike would be able to relate to.
The stage was indeed set for some hilarious content, I mean, a comedy about some of the ridiculous things customers do and say? As a retail worker myself, count me in!
I knew this wouldn’t be the path Wilde was going down when he admitted at the beginning that most of his customer interactions throughout his retail career had been fairly good, therefore he didn’t actually have any stories to share with us all.
Disappointment set in, and there was a sense of the audience wondering which direction the show would head next.
There were some teething issues with lines, with Wilde forgetting his a couple of times. There was also quite a reliance on notes, which for me personally is a big no-no.
The show was lacking in a sense of flow, and Wilde jumped from topic to topic without relating any back to the overarching theme of the show supposedly being about working in retail.
The genre seemed muddled between comedy and theatre, but no aspect was explored well enough to give Wilde a definitive style.
To his credit, the setting was lovely, and I can appreciate the personal relevance of Wilde hosting his show in his own workplace. His use of lighting, props and music for theatrical effect were clever and enhanced the performance.
#AdventuresInRetail: Returns Policy represents Wilde’s endeavour into comedy, after previously working as a sales person, journalist, musician and even a phlebotomist.
The concept is fantastic which set expectations high, however its questionable whether Wilde delivered what he promised.