Tues Night @ Social Club is one of those 'Marmite' shows that some people would consider their worst nightmare, while others could consider it tailor-made for them. Sadly for the performers, they’re unlikely to find many of their target demographic at this festival, and would struggle to earn their fandom with this iteration of the format if they did.
Cheri-Anne makes this naff format a somewhat enjoyable experience
This is essentially a holiday park-style variety format, staged as an interactive theatrical piece, laced with self-aware lashings of lowest common denominator media (think ‘As the Whistle Blows’ from Extras). It is hosted by Kevin Dewsbury's Pat Bashford, with an effective take on all the cheesiest of 90s radio and kids TV hosts. He ably anchors the event, but is heavily overshadowed by his sidekick, Cheri-Anne, played by one-to-watch, Bexie Archer. Cheri-Anne makes this naff format a somewhat enjoyable experience, with her enchantingly delightful energy and remarkably refined characterisation, in a role that more than salvages a show which would really struggle to have earned that third star in the hands of another actor.
There are a few fun segments in the hour, the highlight being an entertaining game to deduce the poshest audience member, as well as a quiz to test your knowledge of genitalia. There's room for more fun audience involvement at the expense of cheap filler material, as a lot of the writing clearly hasn't had much thought go into it. The show features a tirade of gags that often don’t land, but some do get an excellent response. It’s not always clear if the show aspires to be 'good' funny, or 'so-bad-it’s-funny' funny, but it generally misses the mark in both. It also swerves towards an LGBTQ+ storyline at the end that doesn’t lead anywhere, or make any statement of value, and feels crowbarred in for no real purpose.
This is an intentionally lowbrow show that wants to parody its genre but merely joins it; it just doesn’t seem to know what audience it is targeting itself to, and while the performance was well polished, it’s unclear if this is a work in progress or finished product. Either way, there’s plenty to enjoy here, especially from the exceptional comedic talents of Bexie Archer, who we can hopefully see delivering material more befitting of her in the future.