Entering a room full of trays of sandwiches, scones, cakes and ‘tea’ which turned out to be minty cocktails in tea-cups (it is sponsored by Hendricks after all) held a whole lot of potential. So far, so good, right? Some of the sandwiches were yummy and the scones were nice, but the chicken sandwiches weren’t the best and the cheesecake had a horrible tang to it. The cocktail-tea was undeniably good though, and the alcohol supply throughout the performance was plentiful – I can’t complain there.
The show itself is kind of bizzare. Major Jack Union spends around forty-five minutes talking quite seriously about the various skills, tactics and techniques of ‘monster-hunting’. No joke, he talks about various fictional beasts and monsters and how they can be slain or escaped. But just when you thought it was progressing towards an exciting or interesting story, he’d move on the next. The majority of the talk was therefore, pretty un-engaging.
The moments of redemption are the more improvised sections. In fact, Major Jack is a really funny guy when his material is unplanned. Major Jack’s responses to a heckler were sharp and witty. When an audience member was called on stage for a demonstration the ‘Major’ had the whole audience chuckling about what direction it would go in and how far he would go with his human dummy. He did a question and answer show towards the end of the session where the audience could ask about monsters in their life. He’d then give advice about hunting them which was very amusing. For example, for a baby who wouldn’t sleep through the night he went down the risqué root of asking the parents if they were attached to the child, followed by the suggestion of ‘drowning’.
The show sat uncomfortably between a dry lecture and a niche comic interest which made for a pretty un-exhilarating watch. The intermittent comic asides from Major Jack were like the alcoholic tea, which gave the show a kick. The talk itself, like the chicken sandwiches and cheesecake, were much more difficult to swallow.