Looking like an ethereally pale, and bearded, pre-Raphaelite muse, Alasdair Beckett-King cuts a striking onstage figure. It’s a naturally unique look and fortunately Nevermore proves to be more than a match for the comedian’s singular style. The show is a rich slice of comedy from a very talented performer.
There are ideas aplenty to be found throughout, consistently entertaining and often hilariously realised
Nobody could accuse Beckett-King of a simple approach to comedy. During a consistently high-quality hour of material, the audience is treated to a heady blend of stand up, storytelling, VT clips, audio gags, and a cast of characters which ranges from an overbearing PE teacher (is that a tautology?) to an aging horophile. There are ideas aplenty to be found throughout, consistently entertaining and often hilariously realised.
Although many of the comedian’s musings are tied to his experiences in the North East of England, and in particular the cold sea that laps that coastline, Beckett-King is a fleet-footed comic. There are non-sequiturs thrown in regarding his Scottish roots, air accident conspiracies, and stone age interior design and as the show goes on it’s not just the multiplicity of subject which impresses as gags begin to loop back in an accumulation of well timed callbacks. It’s as intelligent as it is innovative.
On the night of this review, technical issues meant the Beckett-King had to ditch the microphone, making for perhaps a shoutier performance than audiences are usually treated to. Although the switch in delivery undoubtedly robbed the show of the subtlety available to such a linguistically agile performer, the comedian showed his flair for projection, and managed to manufacture a few very funny moments from the technological mishap.
With packed out shows, it’s clear that the Fringe crowd is showing the appreciation that Beckett-King deserves. Nevermore is well worth the success it is now enjoying, and if there are still tickets available to any of the shows in the run, or the extra performances which are being put on, then they would make for a fine investment of money and time.