normally hate audience participation,” says the man sitting next to me. Twenty
minutes later he is on his feet shaking his bum furiously in a spontaneous outburst
of competitive sexy disco dancing. By the end of
It’s a style of performance that is perilous and unpredictable and it takes a lot of skill and planning but when it works it can be the greatest fun.
Fuelled by hearty swigs of Tequila, resplendent in vertiginous sparkly heels, a turban and a tailored glitter suit, Miss Behave has the air of an old fashioned trouper but is in fact a skilled exponent of the art of controlled theatrical anarchy.
She is aided on stage by Harriet, a skinny bespectacled make up-wearing male, who alternates between a schoolboy outfit and a pair of shiny underpants and who excels at the neglected art of ironic disco dancing. In a curious way, Harriet provides the yin to Miss Behave’s yang.
The quiz, such as it is, is written on scraps of corrugated card scattered around the stage and pinned to the drapes. Miss Behave randomly fires out questions, which sometimes relate to a burst of music, sometimes require an action and occasionally call for the audience to come up with a punchline.
Our stern but playful hostess gaily changes the rules, awards points where she feels like it and takes them away just for fun. There are no right answers, nothing makes sense, and the only thing you need to know is Miss Behave is definitely in charge.
While other shows urge you to switch off your mobile devices, the Gameshow invites you to bring yours along and switch it on. Smart phones are used for selfie races, Twitter contests and alternative stage lighting. But you don’t want to look at your phone. You want to look at the bossy funny lady and the silly dancing man. It is part of the magic of the show that it invites you to bring your mobile but then makes you completely lose all interest in it.
Like The Boy With Tape on his Face and Dr Brown, Miss Behave is a proponent of a new style of audience participation – where the audience is persuaded to help create the show. It’s a style of performance that is perilous and unpredictable and it takes a lot of skill and planning but when it works it can be the greatest fun.
By the end of Miss Behave’s Gameshow, a room of sober theatre-going adults has been transformed into a group of uninhibited joyful silly naughty children. I won’t reveal the nature of my own on-stage triumph. But it was a transformative experience. Better than therapy. And I skipped off happy into the Brighton night.