Chris Cross is horrible, but it’s not a bad thing. Chris Cross is abjectly offensive, but he pulls it off. Watching Chris Cross is like watching a snake – grotesque and potentially damaging, but hypnotically fascinating. As contortionists go, the grungy figure loping around on stage is not exactly what you’d expect. A previous performer in the same space in the Voodoo Rooms described him as ‘Jesus on smack’, and in appearance (Jesus) and manner (smack) he certainly doesn’t disappoint. He isn’t a slight, lanky figure, but a tall Russell Brand look-a-like with stature and substance. Most likely illegal substance. This boundless, seemingly drug-induced energy carries his show for a full hour of laughs, horrified gasps and outraged squirms. When it comes down to it, all the contortioning Chris Cross does is dislocate his shoulder three times in an hour. While I won’t pretend to suggest that this is something I could do, just the simple act of out-in-out-in-out-in is hardly enough to fill an hour. What he does instead is draw out his performance with rude and witty anecdotes, teasing and downright abusing of the audience (ladies of a larger chest, I would strongly advise not sitting near the front if you don’t want to be molested as I was), and self-operated musical interludes. When he’s not twisting his quite frankly lovely body into the most horrific shapes, he is dragging willing and unwilling volunteers up to the stage to perform dubious acts that would make even a normal cabaret-goer blush.This performance is certainly not for the squeamish or the easily offended. As a free show it should come with a health warning. You are going to get plenty more than your money’s worth, and probably leave mentally scarred. But if you are going to see a contortionist this Fringe, go and see Chris Cross, and not only because he is the only one. He is outrageous and offensive, and bloody good fun.

Reviews by Leila Battison

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.
Donate to Theatre MAD now

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.
Donate to Acting For Others now

The Blurb

Chris Cross is a contortionist and escapologist who travels worldwide with his one-man, critically acclaimed show. He is cheeky, funny, energetic and positively different to anything else you will see at the Fringe. www.chris-cross.co.uk

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