Community gives 'Steve' uplifting experience

Comedian Cameron McLeod as his alter-ego Steve is lifted outside Dunedin Fringe Festival headquarters yesterday. Photo by Peter McIntosh.
Comedian Cameron McLeod as his alter-ego Steve is lifted outside Dunedin Fringe Festival headquarters yesterday. Photo by Peter McIntosh.

Steve, the mute alter-ego of a comedian on the rise, had an uplifting experience in Dunedin yesterday.

When comedian Cameron McLeod wears his bright orange beanie he is Steve.

At Dunedin Fringe Festival, Steve will present an hour of physical comedy in the show This is Steve by using mime and clowning and without speaking.

The words mime and clown as a form of comedy often made people ''roll their eyes'' but the show was ''high-energy and engaging fun''.

He chose Dunedin to debut the show because he had performed traditional stand-up at the festival twice and loved it.

''It's so inviting and there is a community - it's the best fringe festival.''

Yesterday, as he passed the Dunedin Fringe Festival headquarters Steve was lifted into the air by some of the community.

At the Fringe's opening showcase last week, Steve pulled a woman from the audience and without words the pair played out the climactic dance scene in Dirty Dancing where Baby is lifted over the head of Johnny.

So it seemed appropriate yesterday when Steve was lifted high from a George St footpath.

Fellow Christchurch comedian Justin ''Rusty'' White, who was in Dunedin for his festival show I Learnt Something Once helped elevate Steve yesterday.

''I violated doctor's orders to lift Steve. I broke my back some years ago and had five spinal surgeries and I'm not allowed to lift anything over 5kg,'' he said, straight-faced.

Scottish comedian Bruce Fummey, who starts his shows A History of Scotland: The Rise of the Ginger at Fortune Theatre tomorrow, helped support Steve in the lift.

The Scottish were ''the foundation of Dunedin'' so his supporting role seemed appropriate, he joked.

shawn.mcavinue@odt.co.nz

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