Brighton FringeComedyFeaturedReviewSouth East

BRIGHTON FRINGE: Him Indoors – Sweet Old Steine: The Comedy Basement 

Reviewer: Simon Topping

By:Cheekish Productions

Funny things are going on in Tittitutar; reports have come of a strange case, centering around a strange lady in the strange northern town.  This is the cue for an intrepid American journalist, based in London, to head off on the long train journey, up north, to try and get to the bottom of things and bring back the scoop of his life. .  

Tiberious Chris plays the film noir styled reporter sent to route out the story.  He is the straight man of the piece and has a wide eyed innocent approach to the role.  The residents of the odd, Royston Vasey-esque town are performed by Sonya Doubleday and Nina Atesh, to varying degrees of comedic effect.  

Walking around Tittitutar the journalist encounters a series of “wacky” characters in search of the story that a local woman is possessed by the tiny man that lives inside her. Neighbours Debs and Debra, are best friends hailing from Liverpool, they are two of the funniest characters in the show; they bicker and cajole each other in hilarious ways.  One of the Debbie’s tries to lure the reporter into her home for her own nefarious sexual needs, which is performed in a gloriously silly way by Atesh. 

Other people the reporter encounters include two Southern American hicks, who briefly kidnap him, one of the hicks constantly asking “Where is my mother?  Why am I colour blind?” which leaves the audience in fits of laughter. 

Eventually the American is directed to Craddock Hill, where he interviews the possessed “Psycho Sally” and attempts an exorcism, which goes terribly wrong. 

Doubleday plays Sally well and has a good comedy presence, Atesh too is a strong comically grotesque actor, but the trouble is all the characters of Tittitutar are, as Spinal Tap would say, turned up to eleven. This leaves no room for nuance or a rest bite from the chaos; any performance performed primarily at one note gets wearing. 

It doesn’t seem that all the characters are from the same comedy universe, which leads to a lack of cohesion in the piece as a whole. The writing needs to be sharpened and the structure adapted to allow the performers to shine more. There are nuggets of comedy potential here, but no gold rush. 

That’s not to say that this performance doesn’t have very funny moments, because it does.  Both of the female comedy actors have sections where they have the room in stitches and they prove to be good clowns as the night goes on.  The on stage chemistry between Doubleday and Atesh is also a good one and amusing to watch. 

Described as The Mighty Boosh meets The Wicker Man, Him Indoors is a hit and miss horror comedy which lacks focus, but does provide a good deal of laughter in the room

 

Reviewed on 19th June  

The Reviews Hub Score

Grotesque Comedy 

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