Chris Turner: XXV
An expert at rapping and wordplay whose prolific flow is captivating
This article is from 2015.
It's extraordinary that XXV is only Chris Turner's second solo show. At the grand age of 25, he has a preternatural gift with words and it's a genuine thrill spending an hour in his company. Turner tells the story of how, at the age of 15, he was told that he had a terminal condition which gave him ten years to live. Rather than understandably settle into a period of despondency and introspection, Turner figured that another decade wasn't such a bad innings and he set out to become an expert at rapping.
Although the thought of a white, middle-class Mancunian performing freestyle rap might sound like an exercise in naffness, Turner's execution is masterful. The speed and dexterity with which he conjures lyrics is breathtaking and he's so seamless in his craft that the audience are initially dumbfounded, wary of interrupting the prolific flow of words cascading from his mouth.
When he's not rapping, Turner displays an exquisite ear for wordplay through a series of wonderful stories. And just when you think you've got the jump on an impending pun, he'll pull the rug from under you with a flourish. At the top of the show, Turner mockingly laments that no one knows who he is. With material like this under his command, that won't be the case for much longer.
Pleasance Courtyard, 556 6550, until 31 Aug, 9.45pm, £8–£10 (£7–£9).