Andrew Sim presents as a very run of the mill, boy next door type, so it’s quite a surprise when he announces he’s bisexual. Much of his set concentrates on his sexual identity, coming out to his Mum, (who pipped him to the post on that revelation) and struggling for acceptance in a provincial Scottish town where he was beaten up for being different.
Sim, who is drama trained, has no problem in establishing a good rapport with his audience and the show starts with a ‘good person/bad person’ game, before dealing with weightier issues such as successful flirting techniques with men. He doesn’t want to meet David, a sandal-wearing, quinoa-munching, philosopher type, but is instead looking for a ‘bear’ – like anti-immigration Terry from Bradford. Happy to challenge our perceptions and looking to shock, Sim removes his top halfway through the show after asking the audience some fairly personal and mildly outrageous questions. Beneath the comedy, its clear there are deeper questions that he wants to pose, and the narrative takes on a genuinely more serious tone : reports of his travels through the US touch on race relations and city gentrification, but he lightens this with some amusing quips. The laughs are plentiful throughout and Sim reads his audience well, luring them with a poignant story, before delivering a killer punchline. The finale of the set involves Sim miming to a techno soundtrack whilst creating a home-grown flashing light show. This bears absolutely no connection to what goes before, but is quite mad and ends the show with great energy and on an upbeat note.
With a likeable persona, Sim seems very at ease in stand up. Some elements flow in You Gotta Find Joy more easily than others and it would be interesting to see how he handles less personal issues from a comedy perspective, but for a first solo run, this is a noteworthy arrival.