Festival of Oddity
  • By Jay Kidd
  • |
  • 19th May 2014
  • |
  • ★★★

Laughing Horse’s Festival of Oddity is a platform for new work heading to the Edinburgh Fringe by clowns in the ascendant, Cheekykita and Jody Kamali. Open minded spectators and connoisseurs of odd will find this an enjoyable foray into the ridiculous.

Open minded spectators and connoisseurs of odd will find this an enjoyable foray into the ridiculous.

Cheekykita, loud and bonkers, is an anarchic delight. Dressed in a ‘forensic’ white boiler suit, silver outsized rubber gloves and sporting an orange bowl hat, she wastes no time breaking into song with Walking on the (bloody) Moony. As she takes the register, the audience are incorporated into her surreal world by answering to their (not always intelligible) abstract name of choice. Cheekykita then guides us through her eccentric story of space via an array of props and wonderful home-made costumes, my favourite being her representation of a black hole (her head poking out of a large sheet of black cloth adorned with haphazard silver stars). There is also some brilliant audience participation during her tri-lingual alien interviews, mic’d up space-dust, a lizard ballet and a dead ghost star. With her “moon madness” and inimitable delivery, Cheekykita is a funny and endearing character - like Les Dawson and tinfoil put through a new millennium blender. Forget Brian Cox, Cheekytika takes ‘spa-say’ and makes it shiny, a bit foldy and a lot funny.

Jody Kamali has set himself quite a task for our amusement: a one man variety show starring a host of characters from the worlds of entertainment, magic, opera and horror. Frank Valentine our amiable and rather nasal host is dashing and cheesy in equal measure. Victor the Vampire struggles with a mouthful of teeth and Jody’s Iranian father is a thwarted dancer. It is with the Incredible Man of Mystery and Mario Maricini however, that Kamali excels. Swapping silk scarves for plastic bags, our Man of Mystery dances with Sainsbury’s carriers: kicking, rubbing and prancing about the stage accompanied by dramatic facial expressions. With moments of peril and tragedy, the audience loved this parody of a flamboyant magician. Mario Maricini, the tenor who never quite gets going, is a ingeniously realised character and Kamali’s voice is good enough to carry off the effect of the tentative tenor who leaves the audience wanting more. The other characters, perhaps, show more evidence of a work in progress and the father in particular does not seem very developed; however, Kamali has an impressive range and, on the whole, keeps the audience well entertained.

As an experiment with new work, Festival of Oddity is a glass beaker brimming with camp hilarity, fizzing with the bizarre, with the occasional big bang (theory) and a stench of the absurd.

Reviews by Jay Kidd

The Old Courtroom

What if Women Ruled the World...

★★★★
Brighton Spiegeltent

Ida Barr Bingo

★★★
Komedia - Main Space

Comedy Club 4 Kids

★★★★
The English Language Centre

Writers Allowed Too

★★★
Laughing Horse @ The Hobgoblin

Festival of Oddity

★★★
Upstairs at Three and Ten

Robin Ince's Dirty Book Club

★★★★

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

Performances

Location

The Blurb

Join Jody Kamali and Cheekykita, two of London’s highly original, up-and-coming alternative comedy performers. Expect vibrant clowning, character comedy and gloriously silly sketches. “Part physical clowning, part Alan Partridge meets CBBC” (Three Weeks). “Very Funny” (Time Out). “Cheekykita is bold, brave and totally ridiculous and that’s why I love it” (Dr Brown).

Most Popular See More

Frozen the Musical

From £36.00

More Info

Find Tickets

The Play That Goes Wrong

From £27.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Matilda the Musical

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Tina - The Tina Turner Musical

From £12.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Moulin Rouge! The Musical

From £30.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Mamma Mia!

From £15.00

More Info

Find Tickets