This article is from 2006.
Clearly the reputation of comedian, actor, composer and all-round musical genius Tim Minchin goes before him. Streams of primed punters are eschewing the bars and the sultry evening to pack into a stifling Teviot Debating Hall, eager to discover whether last year’s Perrier Best Newcomer is worth all the bubble and shriek. And the good news? From the moment the frock-coated Catweazle-haired Minchin struts barefooted on stage, he has the audience nibbling from his dainty paws.
The opening musical number: ‘I am so fucking rock,’ in which he convincingly mimes and mugs his way through every instrument in the rock arsenal, before diving behind his huge, white, grand piano for a funky, crazy-haired wig-out, showcases his musical as well as his incredible clowning talents. With his eccentric dress and wild tangle of hair, Minchin has the appearance of a vegan, circus skills expert recently deemed fit for limited day release from the lunatic asylum. His onstage persona is that of intense, potty-mouthed teenager, fascinated with bodily functions and the secret corners of the opposite sex.
At one point he launches into an angular ‘performance poem’ about the humble perineum (AKA that oft-overlooked gap between your arse and genitals) while further ramblings about child obesity and marital love take their subject matter to their most scatological end (titter). Elsewhere, he pours scorn on all spiritual and religious wishy washy nonsense with a ditty entitled ‘If You Open Your Mind Too Much Your Brain Will Fall Out (Take My Wife).’
Of course ‘musical comedy’ is a term that tends to send shivers up discerning Festival spines. But if Minchin wasn’t so technically proficient the impact of his rude, rambling stand-up and lyrics would be lost. His show is a thing of beautiful contrasts. Catch him while you can. (Allan Radcliffe)
Gilded Balloon Teviot, 668 1633, until 28 Aug (not 15, 24), 9.30pm, £11.50-£12.50 (£10.50-£11.50).