What are you doing here? Although he says it’s a show which may answer some of the big questions of being, I expect James Christopher doesn’t really mean this in an existential way but in a northern way i.e. ‘Ooh, hello. What are you doing here?’ For this is a genial man with an almost constant smile who recounts the bizarre in recognisable situations you can really believe happened to him.
He cites Daniel Kitson as an influence and you certainly can see touches of this in both his persona and storytelling ability, which seems gentle but subtly nudges to the quite dark.
Christopher has interesting takes on familiar ideas which I feel could be developed more cohesively to raise more than the ripples of titters.
He’s a likeable character who engages with the crowd and gets bigger laughs when he goes off-script, especially when he tries to chat up two blonde ladies who arrive part-way through.
I do feel his tale about infusing one of the isle’s favourite meals with drugs goes on a little too long and is lost on some of the crowd, but his hashtag joke is great for fans of visual puns and the picture of the scary family cat is a joy to behold.
It’s a decent show, worth an hour of your time and the freeing up of a lapel – for in a bid to create his own catchphrase he hands out badges at the end bearing one of the sentences he mentioned earlier. I promise you, the Vic and Bob-esque catchphrase will keep popping into your head for days afterwards, but if you’re attending the show in the hope of finding the answers to the metaphysical questions of life, which was Christopher’s ostensible purpose, you might end up wondering what you are doing here.