Yay! Robert Garnham takes his search for happiness to Edinburgh

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Comedy performance poet Robert Garnham is taking his show about happiness to the Edinburgh Fringe. He will be performing Yay: The Search for Happiness from 14-20 August at the PBH Free Fringe, at the Banshee Labyrinth Banquet Hall at 8.15pm.

Robert said the show was a project he started back in 2018. “It seemed to me that there was a lot of negativity around at the time,” he said. “And let’s be honest, the news was always really depressing. It’s hard to be upbeat at times but I thought it would be nice to at least try. Of course, then things started getting even worse.”

“The show tells a story of the main character’s search for happiness. He’s happy enough, but when his aunt dies he realises that he needs to get to the root of happiness. He asks himself, can we ever be truly happy if we’re only going to snuff it? He becomes a poet in residence on a ship and interacts with the crew, all the time looking for those moments of happiness. Of course, things don’t go to plan, but he learns what works for other people. Relationships? Humour? Alcohol? Being kind? A sense of belonging? The show touches on matters of mental health, identity, kindness, and learning to listen. But not in a preachy kind of way. It’s a comedy, but there are serious undertones.”

“Naturally, the show does not solve any of the problems of modern society. I just hope audiences will enjoy it as an hour of amiable poetry and storytelling, a bit of silliness and wordplay, and perhaps think about what it is that makes them truly happy.”

Robert, a regular at Write Out Loud Woking on Zoom, has been performing LGBT comedy poetry around the UK for 10 years at fringes and festivals, and has had three collections published by Burning Eye. A joke from one of his shows was listed as one of the funniest of the 2017 Edinburgh Fringe, and in 2022 he appeared, albeit briefly, on the TV show Britain’s Got Talent.


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