Tim Vine returns to the Fringe this year with an hour’s worth of puns, silly songs and audience participation. At the beginning of the show, the audience are asked to write down their name, occupation and an interesting story. Vine then studies the papers backstage and chooses four interesting candidates to interview for his all new chat show. As Vine stepped out on stage sporting a silly pair of glasses you could feel the adrenaline in the room. Everyone secretly wished they would be pulled up on stage. It was almost like we were all stood eagerly at school waiting to be picked by the team captain in a P.E. lesson.
If an interview was at all boring Vine would shout, ‘what’s been killed?’ and the audience would bellow ‘the atmosphere’. This feature is similar to Graham Norton’s red chair where Norton presses a button to tip the chair over if a story is dull. As audience members weren’t professionals, Vine had a similar problem. In fact he pulled a child up on stage who clearly didn’t want to be there. It was clear that nerves were getting to this tiny audience member and this made it difficult to recite his rather lengthy story.
Vine is amazingly quick witted. His mind is like a Rolodex of one-liners, using this rare skill to pull out gags from each of the audience members’ stories. If you give Vine any word at random it is likely that he knows a pun on it. It is quite incredible. The final guest had a talent: a squeaky eye, and he grotesquely performed his “talent” into the microphone. The audience were supremely disgusted yet this moment was also utterly hilarious.
If you detest being pulled up on stage and happen to have an interesting job such as a taxidermist, I would deter you from seeing this show. Tim Vine: Chat Show relies almost solely on audience participation. Maybe the show would be better as just a plain stand-up set of one liners, but if you enjoy the buzz of audience participation then Tim Vine: Chat Show is probably the show for you.