More or Less Better

More or Less Better is a warmhearted but peculiar comedy, performed by David Maney as 'Potbelly the Incurable Romantic'. The show follows Maney through a family argument, questionable Christmas presents and his New Years plans.

Setting the tone, Maney enthusiastically greets everyone as they walk through the door. He begins the show by informing us that he is a romantic looking for love, and that we, the audience, are his shortlisted partner candidates. The crowd jitters a bit – we can almost feel the forced audience participation already. Sure enough, Maney gets right up in our personal bubbles, reciting poems, singing with intense eye contact, and "testing our nooks".

The audience takes a hands-on journey through the show, joining Maney in a family photo, practicing sighing, and burning paper penis cut outs – symbolic of the dicks in our lives. While audience participation can be quite daunting for some, Maney’s inclusion of the crowd into his skit didn’t seem out of place, and his friendly persona and encouragement is reassuring for those who are hesitant.

There are some strange moments – Maney at one point takes a bite out of a raw onion while trying to convince a prickly audience member to play along with the jokes. And at the end, when he tells that we, as his potential partners, must choose him and not the other way around, there is a long stretch of time where no one moves, wondering who will take one for the team.

We end by inexplicably singing happy birthday to Maney, and re-ringing in the New Year with sparklers just to throw the idea of fire safety completely out the window. Maney drops his persona then and shares some personal insight, revealing his actual new years resolutions – captured in his unique 'more, less, better' philosophy. Afterwards, the audience hung around in the hallway to chat, perhaps feeling a little bit confused and a little bit warmed, and hesitant to leave this strange experience behind.

★★★