Adam Hills: Mess Around

Tired of the exhausting work of writing shows, Adam Hills has resolved to be rid of routine and base a show entirely around chatting to the audience. At least, this is what he claims. The truth is that, while being an audience based show, the banter is interspersed with more traditional comic anecdotes.

Hills is utterly professional in his execution. It is difficult to decipher how many of his stories are pre-planned and if they came at carefully chosen moments to propel the routine. The publicity states that he has ‘no idea’ where it might go, but either way portrays him in a good light. Faking it would show him to be a superb actor, while complete improvisation would showcase his lightning fast wit. Although it seems more likely that the latter is the truth.

Despite audience roasting having the possibility to be cheap and cruel, Hills’ manner is so disarming and his personality so likeable that nobody ever seemed to be distinctly offended, nor did he ever seem to encourage malice or schadenfreude. Nor even was the interaction limited to chatting: Hills’ mind works in such a way that he can pluck a vast range of scenarios out of nowhere suitable to people who he has only just met. From 15 year olds sitting on Santa’s knee, to blondes with electric fans, the show bounces along vivaciously without ever becoming tiresome.

Making a prominent feature in the performance is Twitter. Acting as a parallel to the audience present, photos and tweets posted by Hills live during the show act as a third comic entity, with the inhabitants of the internet encouraged to comment on the events of the show. As is always the case with the internet, these comments are rather hit-and-miss, but do absolutely nothing to detract from Hill’s all-round magnificent performance.

Since you’re here…

… we have a small favour to ask. We don't want your money to support a hack's bar bill at Abattoir, but if you have a pound or two spare, we really encourage you to support a good cause. If this review has either helped you discover a gem or avoid a turkey, consider doing some good that will really make a difference.

You can donate to the charity of your choice, but if you're looking for inspiration, there are three charities we really like.

Mama Biashara
Kate Copstick’s charity, Mama Biashara, works with the poorest and most marginalised people in Kenya. They give grants to set up small, sustainable businesses that bring financial independence and security. That five quid you spend on a large glass of House White? They can save someone’s life with that. And the money for a pair of Air Jordans? Will take four women and their fifteen children away from a man who is raping them and into a new life with a moneymaking business for Mum and happiness for the kids.
Donate to Mama Biashara now

Theatre MAD
The Make A Difference Trust fights HIV & AIDS one stage at a time. Their UK and International grant-making strategy is based on five criteria that raise awareness, educate, and provide care and support for the most vulnerable in society. A host of fundraising events, including Bucket Collections, Late Night Cabarets, West End Eurovision, West End Bares and A West End Christmas continue to raise funds for projects both in the UK and Sub-Saharan Africa.
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Acting For Others
Acting for Others provides financial and emotional support to all theatre workers in times of need through the 14 member charities. During the COVID-19 crisis Acting for Others have raised over £1.7m to support theatre workers affected by the pandemic.
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The Blurb

In 2010 Adam based his show around the audience, made a stuffed toy a hero, raised cash for Sick Kids. He's back again. 'Hills is astonishingly good at what he does' (Chortle.co.uk). Sundays BSL interpreter. www.offthekerb.co.uk.

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