Discover Ben Target

It’s hard to describe Discover Ben Target without spoiling its crazy, meandering plot: at the core of this show’s magic is the element of surprise. This is an hour of stupefying, hyperactive, pythonesque madness straight from the hallowed lands of nonsense and whimsy.

Upon entry each person is handed a sweet by boiler-suited, goggled Oompa-Loompas and then guided to their seat. These stylised lackeys are barely worth mentioning in comparison to the inscrutable persona of Target himself.

It’s virtually impossible to tell what Target is like offstage: in front of the crowd he becomes a well-spoken, idiosyncratic, overconfident creep who sits on audience members, changes clothes onstage and shakes our hands ‘to spread disease’. Target’s surreal, elastic comedy constantly pushes what his audience will take; in return, we are able to witness how far he can go. For those who dislike audience interaction this will be hell on earth, especially if they sit in the front row. After all, this isn’t audience interaction: it’s audience abuse.

Target plays with the audience like a cat with a ball of string: his unpredictable and unending changes of direction undermine our expectations without fail. The only thing we can be certain of is a complete lack of certainty. Taking full advantage of its intimate setting, this show gets up close and personal, wearing its heart of questionable intentions proudly on its fluorescent sleeve. The experience is unimaginably weird and equally unforgettable.

His clothes seem to be stitched from a Poppins bag, while his props, which are many and extremely varied, always surprise and amuse. There’s barely a scrap of this show that doesn’t earn its keep in laughs and befuddlement: his constant exchanges with the audience are sometimes shocking, frequently bizarre and always funny.

By the end of the show, Target has bared his creation’s soul to the audience. When it’s finished, we’re all in quite a different place from where we started, making this not just a hilarious addition to the canon of WTF but something much greater. Sitting comfortably? Not for long.

Reviews by Larry Bartleet

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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 £600,000 to support theatre workers affected by the pandemic.
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The Blurb

The words ‘genius’, ‘unique’ and ‘the best’ are often misused. Ben Target is a comedian. He will be with you for 53 minutes. 'Hugely gifted... delightful and unsettling' (Guardian). ‘Impressively funny’ (Scotsman).

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