It seems Will Franken has set himself an impossible task. The one-man sketch-show is an underpopulated genre for a reason- it is very hard to pull off. Franken sets out to bring us an hour of inter-connected absurdist scenes which draw on a range of characters, but the result is more akin to watching a strange series of dreams with no real purpose or direction.
Well-meaning and a very talented character actor, Franken breathes life into countless creations who briefly interact in dry, contrived scenes, misunderstanding and bouncing off one another before being abandoned completely in favour of the next sketch. Often a word is picked up on, morphed, repeated in a different accent, and used to start off the next bizarre trip into Franken's mind- a sophisticated technique which means that we are repeatedly left with a sense that a story has been left untold and unfinished. A love of smooth transitions translates here into a number of very fragmented sketches which fail to really cohere in a thematic sense.
The show is perhaps too conceptual for its own good and it is telling that tonight the biggest laugh came during a final ten redeeming minutes when Franken left his script behind and started to rant about the Festival. A very funny man when he allows himself to be, this show, unfortunately, benefits no-one.