Writer: Thaddeus Bent
Reviewer: Daryl Holden
Imagine a world filled with tales of haunted sheds and breweries with the entrance to Hell itself beneath them. A world where madness and sanity go hand in hand. What you’re imagining, is a world of Thaddeus Bent’s design.
From the moment Bent walks into the blackened room, holding the torch of a mobile phone up to his face, highlighting his mad eyes and even madder hairstyle, you are given the first taste of what is to come.
The show consists of a mix of four completely different, yet somehow still vaguely connected stories, with a few minutes of stand-up separating each. While, on the surface, this may appear to be a useful format to fade out the previous tale while also lining up the next, the stand-up element of the show is never truly fleshed out. Instead, Bent seems to employ a certain level of improvisation, which can sometimes resonate well with the audience, while at other times, fall flat. The stand-up never relates to any of the stories, nor to any other pieces of stand-up that come before or after and as such, never truly seems cohesive or long enough to garner the same laughter and admiration that the stories themselves produce.
It is however, the stories that make up the backbone of the show, and it’s a well-crafted backbone at that.
Bent has a natural penchant for storytelling. His tales are expertly crafted pieces of wordplay, filled with descriptive phrases and references that help the audience both envision just what it is he is trying to make them believe, and draw real-life comparisons to it. The narratives fuse just the right amount of detail and humour to keep the audience hanging on every word coming from the mouth of Bent. It is here, when he has them right where he wants them that he employs the use of well-timed comedic sound effects and a stunning live electric guitar ambience provided by “associates” Asternon Pericles Barkley and Daniel Bradley respectively.
A combination of all of the above, coupled with Bent’s own physical mannerisms and style, make for one of the most entertaining and expressive pieces of storytelling that can be offered.
Reviewed on 17 September 2017 | Image: Contributed