Tim Key - Masterslut

Chekhov said that if you put a gun in your scene it has to go off. Well, Tim Key stands next to a bath tub filled with warm soapy water throughout the entirety of Masterslut. What do you think is gonna happen? That's right, he’s gonna take a bath. But first, some poetry and a few stories, and a very odd hour of comedy in Key's first Edinburgh show since 2009's award winning and much acclaimed Slutcracker.The set-up looks like the love-den of a cartoon Lothario. Key wears a sharply cut suit, brandishes both a flower and a conductor's baton and reads his, shall we say, delicate verse from the back of pornographic playing cards. And then there's the bath, bubbly with generous helpings of Radox, a punnet of strawberries by the taps and absolutely no apparent purpose whatsoever. If Key is trying to seduce us – by no means a big if – he is sure to succeed. I've been to a lot of poetry gigs and a lot of comedy gigs. It is an understatement to say I’ve never found either to be quite like this. Key is how I imagine Oscar Wilde might have been if he was a little more interested in women and carried a slight sense of doing a Sunday job at the Co-op. Like Wilde, Key often demonstrates a good turn for the gothic and macabre, as well as being a master of expectations and sharp, sudden surprises. His language worms its way across non-sequitur, through shaggy dog stories, sometimes to flat dead ends, but usually to hilarious conclusions.When Key finally plummets into the bath, the show reaches its height, but in doing so he plays his hand before all the pornographic playing cards have been dealt. The result is something of an anti-climax as Key has worked himself into a warm soapy corner, with nowhere to go and a good ten minutes of the set left. But comedy this experimental can’t get it right all the time. Key remains one of today's vital comics and Masterslut is an absolute must see for the comedy connoisseur. If that sounds like you, it's more than worth taking the plunge.

Reviews by Tom Moyser

Laughing Horse @ The Free Sisters

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★★★
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★★
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★★★★
theSpace @ Jury's Inn

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★★★★
Summerhall

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★★★
Summerhall

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★★★★★

The Blurb

Key (Edinburgh Comedy Award winner) is back. Still gorgeous. Still spunking poetry everywhere. 'In any other sphere, we’d probably class this way of looking at the world as certifiable. Here it feels like genius' (Telegraph).