Michael Clarke: Felt
- Brian Donaldson
- 25 August 2018
Energetic multimedia explosion about family and felt
We've seen comedy shows before where a 'sponsor' has virtually taken over proceedings with the act contractually obliged to crowbar mentions of a product every so often. Most recently, it was an element of Joseph Morpurgo's Hammerhead but Michael Clarke takes it to unparalleled levels of mania in his debut, Felt. Promising a show that will travel at '100 smiles an hour', the affable if comedically unhinged Clarke bolts around a room smaller than an average living room, with a multimedia volcano of sights and sounds that are, quite literally, in your face.
While the narrative requires Clarke to have effectively sold his soul to the marketing devil (in the form of 'the UK's largest felt emporium'), it doesn't stop him from poking fun at the brands who use emotional blackmail to get their messages across rather than just telling it straight. Meanwhile, the backstory going on throughout is of his reasonably happy childhood with parents who met each other in a toilet queue. With films, animation, masks, fake blood and a whole heap of energy, Michael Clarke's show is a breathless display of ambition and verve that's almost too packed to be contained within such a minimal space.
Black Medicine Basement & Heroes, until 26 Aug, 10.45pm, £5 in advance or donations at the venue.