FestivalsReviewSouth East

BRIGHTON FRINGE: Accident Avoidance Training for Cutlery Users: Level 2 – Caxton Arms

Writer: Ian Crawford Presents

Reviewer: Simon Topping

Ian Crawford works for the steel industry. His mission is for everyone in the room to be a cautious but confident cutlery user by the end of his power point presentation. His slogan is “Think once, think twice. Think fork, spoon and knife.”

With a glorious presentation, which feels right out of a 1990s training video, Crawford has created the perfect safety officer persona; steeped in jargon and with a boat load of catchphrases, a particular favourite of the crowd, among the many, being: “Don’t be a nutter, use a knife to spread butter”.

The show is funny from start to finish. As we are guided through safety pointers, accident stats and deadly case studies the room continually fills with rolling laughter. Examining the risk of China’s use of the chopstick compared to the UK’s use of steel cutlery is a fabulous piece of comedy nonsense. Whereas gasps and groans can be heard as gruesome slides appear of what can happen when cutlery is misused.

While Crawford’s delivery and style are reminiscent of Peter Kay as fire safety officer, Keith Lard, in the hit comedy Phoenix Nights, the subject matter is his own unique brand of bonkers.

A vast majority of the material hits the spot and is comedy gold. Only the introduction of a sinister backstory concerning the death of his cousin, and the guilt leading from it, feels unnecessary and distracts a little from the general silliness of the piece.

Among the statistics, there is a hilarious break down of Shakespeare’s use of spoon, knife and fork in his plays. This leads to a tenuous hypothesis of what these mentions actually mean, to the delight of the crowd. To top it all off there is also a rap and a member of the audience dancing dressed as a fork.

Crawford is a funny, warm and engaging performer who connects well with his audience. It is a well-honed performance that is, above all, good, silly fun.

Reviewed on 25 May 2019 | Image: Contributed

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