The Story Beast (4 stars)

This article is from 2015

The Story Beast

credit: Steve Ullathorne

The Beta Male unleashes a weird and wonderful narrative with bits of gibberish thrown in

Most of the Beta Males sketch troupe are performing solo or side projects this year but it’s unlikely that any of them will be as odd as John Henry Falle's. Bounding on stage with vibrant thespian posturing, he proceeds to tell part of the story of Beowulf in either the original Old English or gibberish: it's hard to tell which. For a moment you wonder if he's going to do this for the full hour. But no, it gets much weirder, and joyful, than this.

All spittle, sweat and arm gesticulating, Falle is The Story Beast who, he claims, has been around for thousands of years and with some material that's just as old. He moves through his set-pieces such as a musical deconstruction of the Teddy Bears’ picnic, some deceptively tricky riddles and a song about the dangers of pointing. Eventually he turns to address the intriguing miniature village set out on the floor which is populated by various tiny toy figurines.

Surprisingly, given the anarchic quality of the show, a narrative emerges leading up to a wonderfully ludicrous finale. A great slobbering beastie of a show, which is as innovative as it is entertaining. Some knowledge of Harry Potter would also be beneficial but not essential.

Pleasance Courtyard, 556 6550, until 31 Aug, 10.30pm, £7.50–£9.50 (£7–£8.50).

The Story Beast

  • 4 stars

Ditto Productions John Henry Falle (of Radio 4, Chortle-nominated sketch idiots, The Beta Males) hath now become The Story Beast. Behold his rattle-bag of demented tales, terrifying ritual and unrelenting Anglo-Saxon lolz… 'A bearded force of nature' (Guardian). 'Wonderfully grotesque and hilarious … Brought the house…