Unusual Subtext

If you thought Brighton Fringe had been a little short in supply of freaks this year, then these five guys from London are set to prove you wrong. Their dark comedy of bizarre feats, poses the question: who are the real freaks? The performers? Or the audience watching them?

For a show that professed to present its Brighton audiences with a healthy helping of freaks, it didn’t hit the mark

In an era when Marvel continues to prevail, playing at superheroes or villains, feels a bit too familiar and these performers certainly look as though they’ve attended a Comic Con or two. Although not entirely original, it was a good premise for a show and their characters were amusing and well prepared.

Joseph Murphy, aka Mr. Spooky, who tells scary stories and sings sinister songs, delivered his role with an impeccable sense of physical comedy and provided a good old jester act. His funniest numbers included challenging death to a game of Street Fighter II and the song about a spider who lives up his ass; in fact there were so many gems, it’s hard to decide.

Adam B. as in Bownass, was a close-up magician who has grown up with a Rubik’s cube in each hand. Did you know that at any point, the Rubik’s cube is just 20 moves away from the solution? This speedy superhero wasn’t too bad with card tricks either.

Then we have Robbie Fox as Neurosis, the masked anarchist with a disturbingly posh accent. His hallucinatory tale about a house party in Southampton was hilarious, as was his take on the religion of Rock ’n’ Roll, with our Lord Ozzy -pre-Sharon era- giving a holy beer communion to a congregation of metal heads who had gathered in the holy mosh pit. Can I get an Amen?

The final act was Harry, a conspiracy theorist and self-styled resident freak. His nail to the head with a hammer went down well, except for with the poor woman who had to pull it out from his nose. His conspiracy theories were also pretty amusing; did you know that a great number of celebrity murders are committed by people with three names, such as Harry Scott-Moncrieff?

For a show that professed to present its Brighton audiences with a healthy helping of freaks, it didn’t hit the mark. More amusing than freakish, it was an inoffensive evening of fun but didn’t quite achieve what it set out to. 

Reviews by Johanna Makelainen

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The Blurb

Five normal performers will spend an hour trying to convince an audience that they're the freaks. Dark comedy and bizarre feats from people who should know better.