Jack Heal: Frankenstein's Love Monster

This show has a bad title. Normally, this wouldn't warrant a mention – after all, what's in a name? – but for a show as wonderfully, wittily and whimsically wordy as this, phrasing matters. So what's in a name? 

The attraction here isn't the storytelling so much as the joyous circus of puns and wordplay, each verbal pirouette or off-kilter simile arriving unexpected, exactly as a sunset doesn't.

Well, Jack Heal's show does contain some trace elements of the Frankenstein story, mention of a monster and a little about love, so it isn't entirely inaccurate, but this isn't another stand-up show about resurrecting and dissecting old relationships.

Channelling disarming good manners and slight nerviness into a geekily charming persona, Jack Heal strings together an absurd tale which runs from working day monotony to comic gothic horror. While the plot does serve to lend some useful forward momentum to proceedings, the attraction here isn't the storytelling so much as the joyous circus of puns and wordplay, each verbal pirouette or off-kilter simile arriving unexpected, exactly as a sunset doesn't.

There are some slight snags to this approach: initially there are signs the crowd aren't quite on his wavelength, a seemingly aimless ramble of exposition, necessitating an introduction, a prologue and a pre-prologue. The first few minutes are a scattered mix of titters and amused groans, the performance likeable but often underselling key lines as if he’s slightly ashamed. Yet it swiftly becomes clear Heal knows exactly what he's doing, the delivery calculated for maximum surprise, and the audience growing in its confidence to laugh at the dexterity of the wordplay.

If you have poor patience for puns, expect to find Frankenstein's Love Monster wearisome, and though Heal remains an engaging stage presence throughout, the actual story he tells does little except provide connective tissue. But there's no denying the entertainment value; Heal's show is pacy, polished and packed full of jokes – erudite, imaginative and juvenile – which will leave you grinning and giggling at its smartly crafted silliness. 

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Performances

Location

The Blurb

There is a dead body in the garage. It won’t be dead for long. Chortle award-winning comedian Jack Heal falls in love and is Frankenstein’s bff.