Tim Key (4 stars)

This article is from 2009

Tim Key

Poetry corner gets kind of busy

Look behind you John Hegley, there’s a new comedy poet kid in town. With the limited Pleasance space Tim Key has at his disposal this year, he doesn’t get audience members up to do a Morris dance after having swapped their spectacles or some such capers, but there’s a similarity to the legendary Luton lyricist in the highly genial yet faintly menacing stage presence. During The Slutcracker, Key has surreal misadventures projected behind him while he stands on weighing scales, amid a floor strewn with everyday objects, their reason for being becoming (sort of) apparent at the freewheeling finale.

Key’s poems themselves are uniformly inventive if not hilarious across the board but he will always have a deft aside to chuck out that draws the laughter back in whenever it subsides. Somewhat intriguingly, Key has a master-servant banter going on with his two-baths-a-day sound guy Fletch, which isn’t a million miles away from the subservient sidekick role he once played to Alex Horne. History has repeated itself once and it’s likely to be replicated with a career in comedy as long as Mr Hegley’s.

Pleasance Courtyard, 556 6550, until 31 Aug, 9.50pm, £9.50–£10.50 (£8–£9).

Tim Key - The Slutcracker

  • 4 stars

Key (chubby, Perrier nominee, poet) - 'Cowards', 'We Need Answers', 'Newswipe' (BBC4) - with a divvy hour (sophisticated). 'One of the funniest, most off-the-wall and imaginative shows in Edinburgh' (Stage). 'Comedy genius' (Guardian).