FRINGEWORLD: Guilt Ridden Sociopath (5 stars)

Review by Kieran Eaton.

Guilt Ridden Sociopath is storytelling at its finest. Byron Bertram has an epiphany -he is not a Sociopath (as he first thought) just more of an anxious man. With – as it turns out – clinical Obsessive Compulsion Disorder! This ironic tale, delves deep into this comedian’s psyche.

Bertram opens with slide show pictures of himself as an innocent looking child. He explains that in theory he should be well adjusted because he grew up with open-minded artistic parents. The problem is that his mother was a Manic Depressive who still appears to have low expectations of her son. This feeling is compounded in Bertram when experiencing racism in high school for being white!

In parts, Bertram’s performance seemingly channels his mum and her occasionally manic energy. He portrays his inner dialogue as tagline to many of his punchlines. Bertram flawlessly displays hyper-awareness of the small but tightly packed crowd, using self-depreciation with expertise and flare. He often calls back to previous references, which shows how keen his mind and memory are.  The main theme of self-loathing is in his love/sex life. To this Australian audience it shows relatability in our love for the battler and underdog.

The show was so amazing, it is hard to put into words. You can tell that Bertram has spent many years polishing his craft and now has the confidence to completely own a crowd. The irony is that Bertram appears to have strong beliefs about being naturally funny, yet harbours total anxiety about every other aspect of his life! If you need a laugh from the master of his craft, Guilt Ridden Sociopath is the show for you.

When: 28th January – 3rd February  (8:30pm)

Where: Deluxe, Perth Cultural Centre

Tickets: $15 to $25

Info: Duration 60 minutes, 15+ recommendation.