Imagine There's no Ben Target (It's Easy if you Try)
A bizarre team-building exercise meets oddly liberating live show
This article is from 2015.
Even before Ben Target glides onto the stage in a white suit wearing a bicycle helmet and lights under his ears, you know it's going to be an usual performance. There's a big suitcase up front labelled 'This is Not Ben Target' while the programme requested that audiences wear sensible shoes.
For the show to work he needs us to trust each other. Trust isn't a trait usually associated with comedy audiences but he's patient. Beginning with closing our eyes so he can swap the suit for an 80s gym instructor get-up, soon we're in an open space high-tenning people and doing star jumps. We become the willing puppets in Target’s surreal world, patiently awaiting instructions to the extent that when he opens the suitcase to reveal a cluster of coloured sponges he only has to murmur 'sponge fight' and everyone is pelting them at strangers.
The show plays out like a bizarre team-building exercise. We've captains, we've tasks, we play Chinese whispers, all to a backing track of what sounds like retro computer game music. At the world’s largest arts festival, Ben Target's show is truly unique, memorable and oddly liberating. If you've only ever sat and watched comedy, here is the place to try participating.
Heroes @ The Hive, 226 0000, until 30 Aug (not 18), 3pm, £5 (or Pay What You Want).