A sublime and spirited Slut sequel
This article is from 2011.
Following up an award-winning success is never the easiest of operations. Perhaps this is why Tim Key has taken two years out to get his sequel into shape, having used this same Pleasance Dome space last year as a testing ground with a short run of the Edinburgh Comedy Award-nabbing The Slutcracker. The wait has been gloriously well worth it. If anything, Masterslut trumps his 2009 show for ambition, daring and downright silliness while the whole effect is actually deeply moving.
While The Slutcracker was a delightful mish-mash of poetry, film, comic interludes and audience-handling, crow-barred into a Pleasance Courtyard cabin, Key’s new hour is given a dramatic focus in the shape of a fully-run and extremely bubbly bath. But this is not just stuck in the middle of the room as a novelty factor, instead it acts as the foil for almost everything that happens thereafter. The tub creates an umbilical bond to some of the gorgeous filmed sequences and is utilised as a trigger to his audience interaction (don’t worry you won’t be chucked in) and the potentially true childhood memories.
Key has at times expressed occasional disappointment that he isn’t treated seriously as a poet; here, his splendid verse is effectively a sideshow to the real deal. He even points out the toils which he has to undertake for his seemingly tossed-off poems with a screened display of the many drafts (some no doubt wildly exaggerated) that he can go through before reaching a satisfactory conclusion.
As much as he loves his daily baths (up to two a day he claims), you wonder whether he will be able to stomach one after August, given the lengths he goes to in producing one of the most memorable finales in Fringe comedy history. This is sublime, busy and evocative work from a man who keeps getting better and better, roughly every two years.
Pleasance Dome, 556 6550, until 29 Aug, 9.45pm, £12–£14 (£11–£13).