As the audience enters the venue, one can hear the typical, non-descript venue music, but after a song or two, it becomes apparent that the lyrics are rather peculiar: “chops or ham,” the songs go on, “chops or ham.” So the scene is set for the absurdity to follow.
The lights go out, and the venue manager gives a last-minute announcement: Terry Alderton is stuck in a loop with himself. To replace him, two musicians appear on stage – one of which is Alderton – and the act commences with a series of silly songs. The sheer randomness of the show is probably what causes most of the laughs, with Alderton jumping between emotions, accents and voices seamlessly. His characters, both funny and terrifying, go from happy and loopy to aggressive and vulnerable. Friendly to some members of the audience, not so friendly to others, Alderton’s chameleon-like skills are beyond any doubt.
Unfortunately, the same cannot be said about the writing of the show itself. While the sketches are very random and unexpected, there is a repetition of punchlines, and an over-reliance on shock factor as opposed to particularly intelligent comedy. Elements of the show also feel a little derivative, like Alderton’s discussion with his other self while they examine the audience’s reactions to some of the jokes. This gag is perhaps meant as a tribute to Eddie Izzard, but it’s hard to ignore that Alderton is not being original.
In spite of some of its difficulties, the audience were entertained throughout, and as long as you’re not after depth or meaning, this show will surely get you laughing.
Words: Mariana Mercado
Terry Alderton: All Crazy Now, Pleasance Courtyard, Aug 21-27, 10.40pm