Hooray for Ben Target (3 stars)

This article is from 2014

Hooray for Ben Target

Oddity and uniqueness lift a curious hour and make for a breath of fresh, daft air at Edinburgh Fringe

The gentle, kind demeanour of Ben Target masks the vicious reality that he is a cold-hearted cynical comedian seeking to destroy both entertainment as we know it and his audience’s fragile confidence. Well, probably not, but it’s difficult to know exactly where you stand in a show by Target (pronounced as though it were a French surname).

He preaches a community spirit in which we are all helping him to make an (invisible) cake, but leaves his gathering high and dry by departing the stage for longer than seems decent. The awkward, intermittent laughter almost acts as an appeal for him to release us from all this weird uncertainty. Moments of oddball hilarity do eke out, such as when Target uses his tech-guy as a human autocue to sing along to a spot of late-90s indie Americana.

His Q&A analysing the audience’s childhood ambitions might not always work, but that’s the risk of inviting a crowd to try and be funnier than the act. But in a festival where unique events are apparently celebrated but actually too few and far between amid a sea of utter predictability, Ben Target is a breath of fresh, daft air.

Banshee Labyrinth, 226 0000, until 24 Aug (not 18), 2pm, free.

Hooray for Ben Target

  • 3 stars

Ben Target / PBH's Free Fringe This is the show where we all get to bake a cake. 'One of very few comics who manage to do something new with the art form while keeping an audience thoroughly entertained' (The Guardian). Under 18s cannot attend this show due to licensing restrictions at the venue.