James Veitch: Genius Bar

★★★
comedy review | Read in About 2 minutes
Published 16 Aug 2015

The Genius Bar is the name given to the tech support areas found in certain Apple Stores, where customers can have a team of experts return their ailing gadgets to full health. James Veitch felt it an honour to work behind one and continues to spout hyperbolic nonsense about Steve Jobs several years later. Dedicated to “anyone who's ever had a broken heart or iPhone,” if this show makes anything plain, it's that moving on professionally was very much in the performer's best interests.

When faced with the dissolution of a promising relationship, Veitch's instinctive response was to treat his problem as he would a piece of malfunctioning hardware. Recalling his Genius training, he troubleshot his emotions, found he had no control over such things and wrote a Fringe show about the experience.

What's interesting here is the extent to which the audience's perception of the performer changes over the hour. With his suppressed neurosis and lucrative skillset, he first comes across like a confident, high status Woody Allen, attempting to tug on our heart strings but unable to quite grasp emotions. This is until he exposes a more playful side in his second act, reading us email exchanges with NASA and a New Mexico-based building contractor. It becomes more than apparent there's a silly, impulsively funny side to Veitch, at least in writing.

Stirring as its musical conclusion may be, it's these logic-defying dialogues that justify Genius Bar's ticket price.