- Kenza Marland
- 2 August 2018
A post-mortem reflection on former TV funny-man
This engaging one-man show offers an insightful reflection into the life of British comedian Benny Hill. Slapstick and double entendre maestro Hill, renowned for living frugally despite immense wealth, died alone, to be discovered in his flat two days later. Liam Tobin's performance is confident and affable as a post-death Hill delivering an aural autobiography, and the show's success lies in the strength of the script and delivery. The rhythmic, natural writing takes the audience through the highs and lows in Hill's quest to succeed.
At times, the play does lacks pace: Hill's treatment of women feels slightly rushed for the sake of comedic impressions. The set is quaint, with nice nostalgic touches such as a vintage Tesco carrier bag. However, much of the show is dependent on Tobin's impressive vocal delivery alone.
The most genuine moments come from the character's discussion of his loneliness. The common dichotomy of fame runs through the script: what's the point of sharing a stage or screen with millions of people, if you don't have people to share your life with? Benny entertainingly explores what it's like to crave the limelight, and to be rejected by it.
Gilded Balloon Teviot, until 27 Aug (not 13), 3.45pm, £10–£11 (£9–£10).