Comedy and a Balcony Scene
Tim Key knows how to make an entrance. He taps his baton (shades of Harry Potter and a maestro conductor) against the gallery railing and a plan of the auditorium pops up on a large screen.
His route to the stage appears in felt-tip, (tap) annotated with high fives and other, more ambiguous gestures. Genius. And it only gets better.
Billed as ‘bath-obsessed’ (‘I thought he meant the town!’ I say to my companion on seeing the set; not my brightest remark of the evening), Key pitches his bizarre fascination just right. Take it from someone who likes a shower.
‘How many baths do you have a week?’ he barks at an audience member.
‘Two – three.’
‘You do like a bath. Every other day… Me: 20!’
See the show and you’ll come to realise how he arrived at that figure.
It’s appropriate subject matter for a comedian who manages to be both very funny, and relatively clean. Key is known for his short poems (‘some are autobiographical, some are biographical, some miscellaneous; this one’s all three’). For the show, he has backed them onto provocative postcards, a process which he describes in hilarious detail. My favourite joke of the night relates to one of a half-naked body builder, but then I do work for the Erotic Review.
Key lends an imaginative, artistic dimension to his stand-up, incorporating short film, music, and physical theatre (a term I’ve no doubt he would find eminently mockable). It’s a brave fusion of genre, and it works a treat. The Arts Theatre is currently showing Beckett’s ‘All That Fall’ alongside Key’s ‘Masterslut’, a name which I’m not convinced does the show justice. OK, so I’ve always chosen comedy over theatre, but Key offers a good balance of the two. You won’t be disappointed.
Tim Key – Masterslut at The Arts Theatre until Saturday 24th November, tickets from £14. For booking and more information, click here.