Jonas Müller Regrets Writing This F*cking Masterpiece
Endearingly ramshackle show about struggling to engage
The guy on stage shouldn't even be here. It's not his story. He's simply reading the script that Jonas left, showing us the photos that Jonas prepared, and looking up from his paper to ask us the odd question, presumably to make sure we're still involved. And that script, slowly and obliquely, tells us the story of his (or Jonas'?) years-long affection for childhood friend Lise, and his inability to do much about it, or indeed about anything very much in his life. Until he takes four years out to write the f*cking masterpiece of the show's title, that is.
Dutch-born writer / performer Tim Honnef's endearingly ramshackle show works, as they say, on many levels – as a sweet, touching story of unrequited love; as a dark confessional on obsession and an inability to deal with contemporary life; and as an elusive reflection on authorship and identity.
And by constantly shifting between his themes, testing our patience with (presumably intentionally) long, repetitive explanations and sticking doggedly to his homespun delivery, Honnef sets us the quite tough challenge of not giving in to exactly the kind of disinterest he's describing. They give his show its distinctive character, but ultimately undermine much that it's trying to say. Nevertheless, it's a warm-hearted, poetic hour, fragile and poignant.
Underbelly Cowgate, until 28 Aug (not 15, 22), noon, £9.50–£10.50 (£8.50–£9.50).