‘If you have long been befuddled by humon behaviour’ the publicity states, then alien anthropologist, Xaablargh, can clear the air. Well, supposedly.
Staged in The Phoenix’s Laughing Horse downstairs tiny bar by Cambridge comedy group No Fixed Abode, Xaablargh the Conqueror’s Guide to Humons is a sketch show that aims to answer our everyday questions on humanity from the perspective of the eponymous extraterrestrial, Xaablargh. The professor of ‘humonity’ is played by Bryan Ghosh complete with tentacles and an uncanny ability to actually speak like he has come from outer space. Of course ‘Coco-pop’ would be an alien’s response to ‘Cheerio’.
The ‘humons’, of which there were many varieties ranging from fuming pub buddies cursing the ‘not-fucking pandas’, to a 50’s Raymond Chandler-esque detective investigating the murder of a physicist partial to innuendoes, were played by Eleanor Joy Overvoorde, Chris Page, Michael Alexander and Ghosh again. Dealing with many contemporary stories such as Edinburgh’s pandas, the £80 billion Manchester railway project and whether Twiglets should be allowed on the ‘crisp spectrum’, the actors were all very slick in their role changing. Also at consuming an alarming amount of beer and whisky onstage. Brave move.
Stuffed full of puns and a very British partiality for innuendoes, the show is a laugh, Ghosh and Alexander in particular drawing peels of laughter from the minimal audience. Page seemed slightly awkward on stage as his nihilistic weatherman, the idiosyncratic cigarette looking out of place in his hands. Overvoorde was confident throughout but did not have a substantial amount to get her teeth into which would have perhaps been nice.
Though not really gaining any new knowledge from Xaablargh, the sketch show shows how mundane some ‘humon’ habits are and how many puns we can get from them!