Writer: Joe Bone
Reviewer: Niall Harman
Joe Bone has achieved massive success across the globe with his Bane trilogy, to the extent that his run at this year’s Brighton Fringe features a new, fourth, show. With the original Bane, it is easy to see why, as Bone’s performance is simply phenomenal.
Bone plays not only the titular character, but dozens of others. In this parody of film noir and Raymond Chandler-style detectives, we follow Bane, an assassin out to seek revenge after a man he saw as a father is struck down by a poison dart. Bone effortlessly switches between fully formed characters at the drop of a hat. It is an impressive feat, and a joy to watch.
Bone’s performance goes hand in hand with his cracking script. It is utterly absorbing, and the audience laps up Bane’s adventures, which include a brutal but hilariously dark scene involving taking cyanide pills. Bone is ably supported musically by Ben Roe on the guitar, who provides a perfect score for the piece, ramping up the dramatic tension and providing essential atmosphere to a show that does not have any set or props.
The only quibble with Bane was that it fails to establish when it was set, purely to fit in some more jokes. There is a reference to Johnny Cash beginning his music career, which would place it in the 1950s, and then a mention of electric windows in a flashback scene. While this allows Bone to squeeze in a couple more jokes, the lack of clear period setting somewhat irks.
Nevertheless, Bane is masterfully funny and one cannot fault the sheer energy of Bone’s performance, which takes in different characters, genders and dozens of accents. The hour-long show flies by, and makes you want to see more of Bane’s adventures in parts two, three and four.
Parts Three and Four of Bane are at The Warren on 21 and 22 May2016 respectively