Writer: Neil Davidson
Reviewer: Ruby Isla Cera Marle
For many a thermos flask is just a forgotten picnic item or something that is only remembered on those extra chilly days when you fancy taking hot soup or tea with you. That is of course unless you’re Neil Davidson, and you want to share your avid collection of flasks with the masses by forming TheThermos Museum. Part comedic, part informative, Davidson (who is dressed more like a traditional bus conductor than a tour guide) takes you on a site-specific walking tour telling you everything you did and didn’t need to know about thermos flasks.
Softly spoken and deadpan in his delivery, Davidson is committed to playing the part of the unnamed lacklustre museum curator. Never once breaking character, we’re lead into a variety of bizarre locations such as the bins round the back of Komedia, into a working laundry room and finally a storage cupboard, and at each and everyone we’re encountered with an array of thermos flasks. Some are brightly coloured, others are vintage and some are just down right strange, but every exhibit in The Thermos Museum has a story to tell. Never altering his intonation it’s tricky to distinguish facts from the downright fictitious quips.
In many ways,Davidson’s character is like a mild-mannered trainspotter crossed with avid collector, who is beaming with pride to show off his wide-ranging collection. At just thirty minutes long, Davidson has put together a quirky and odd piece of character comedy that takes the audience by comedic surprise. After all, who knew there was so much to learn about thermos flasks and that they could provide the springboard for humour.
You’ll leave The Thermos Museum with a new found appreciation for the sheer variation of thermos flasks, a free badge and slightly bemused feeling that you’ve spent the past half an hour drinking in the image of flasks in odd places. If you want to add a wildcard to your Brighton Fringe experience then in my book, The Thermos Museum is worth the punt. Without wanting to ruin any of the thermotastic exhibits, I will say it is worth the ticket price alone to see the Glasgow Picnic installation.
Runs until 2 June 2016 | Image: Contributed