Tim Key: Single White Slut

For a while, it seemed like Tim Key might have lost his majestic touch. The new material seemed to be drying up, his performances were lacklustre. I even half-met him on a street corner a year or two ago and made a remark about his recycling of jokes, to which he just looked slightly helpless and apologised. Maybe I missed the glint in his eye, but I felt guilty for weeks. After all, it can’t be easy to reinvent his unique style.

Just surrender to his brilliance and enjoy an excellent return to form.

So I was only quietly optimistic walking into Pleasance Grand. In the hands of a less talented performer his playing card poems and bizarre stories would quickly turn stale, but any fears of a slump were dispelled within seconds of sitting down. Key strutted maniacally across stage in his denim boiler suit, at once menacing and gleeful. A spark that had been missing was quite emphatically there. When he caught my eye and gave a twitch of the eyebrow, I was sent into hysterics that would last most of the show.

Single White Slut is low on his trademark poetry, though what remains is Key at his jarring, surreal best. In its place come longer chats with the audience and more rambling anecdotes, where his darkly intelligent mind and enormous stage presence turn apparently commonplace material into comic genius. The audience is held in constant tension - is he a cuddly man with a beard or a fierce cynic taking us for a ride? Are we laughing with him, or is he laughing at us? Key leaves a lot of questions unanswered, and it’s best they remain so. Just surrender to his brilliance and enjoy an excellent return to form. 

Reviews by Douglas Grant

Pleasance Dome

Light

★★★
Pleasance Courtyard

Tim Key: Single White Slut

★★★★★
C venues - C nova

The Capone Trilogy: Vindici

★★★★
C venues - C nova

The Capone Trilogy: Lucifer

★★★★
Pleasance Courtyard

Pete Johansson: Several Jokes

★★★★
C venues - C nova

The Capone Trilogy: Loki

★★★

Performances

Location

The Blurb

Key (37 now) wades back to Edinburgh, climbs into his poetry clothes and leans against his mic stand for another hour. Now charming, he will recollect simple tales of love, gaze dead-eyed at the ladies, recite verse and do basic talking. A lot of fairly grubby water's sloshed under Key's bridge of late so he'll be churning that up. He's also fairly interested to lift the lid on Hollywood. There'll be some Indian poetry, Indian beer and, if he can get his act together, a spotlight. Other potential themes will be owls and maybe fairies.