Review: Grace the Former Child – The Bi-Polar Express

★★★
comedy review (edinburgh) | Read in About 2 minutes
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Grace the Former Child
Published 11 Aug 2018

Grace the Former Child—formerly Grace the Child—is at a difficult age to be performing stand-up. Now 15, he's a little too old to trade on the novelty of his youth, but could come off as irritatingly precocious should he attempt to speak to adults on their level. All that can be done is to acknowledge the purgatory he finds himself in. The phrase "you guys are adults", is heard throughout the set in a tone of alienated desperation. The star is an outsider on so many levels.

It's a privilege watching Grace grow up in public, though all his routines suffer from the impermanence of his world view. While the performer seems to have found a voice, his general outlook is very much in development. For instance, he's still coming to terms with being diagnosed as bipolar, and is looking ahead to potential gender alignment procedures. Grace has so many life changing events to experience.

So, this show is a valuable insight into a prodigious comic's present frame of mind. It's comedy as a diary entry in which the protagonist finds something to laugh at in his mental health and the various other torments to which he's subjected. It's a compelling, hugely auspicious set, but the performer struggles to tie his ongoing experiences together or arrive at any sort of satisfying conclusions.