- Lauren McKay
- 14 August 2019
A riot of colour, sound and sass in a talk-show format
Set up like a late-night TV talk show, Mr Thing invites you to join its wacky world as a member of the studio audience. The fun starts immediately as we find ourselves seven minutes before 'airtime', with affable host Tom Clarkson explaining the set-up and introducing the rest of the gang. There's co-host and tech guy, Owen Visser, who's responsible for the myriad sound effects throughout, and the house band, ably led by Andy Chisholm. But the real star of the night (and he knows it) is Puppet Steve, full of sassy one-liners and interruptions.
Once the programme goes on air, we're treated to a number of Festival guests who are invited up for a chat and to plug their own work. Without this talk-show element, Mr Thing would be a very different beast, but it's arguably the weakest part of all. Tom, Owen, Steve and the band are much stronger when they're riffing off one another, with an easy rapport that's a joy to watch.
Mr Thing is peppered with spontaneous songs, silly wordplay and interactive elements – from tech-enabled audience participation to live reactions on the show's Facebook engagement – and it's this riot of colour, sound and creativity which is its selling point. And fear not, the crowd work is all done in good spirits and with gentle humour.
Pleasance Dome, until 25 Aug (not 20), 10.20pm, £10.