Adrian Gray's The 007 Conspiracy: James Bond's Terrifying Truth, Exposed!
A comic take on alienation and conspiracy theory doesn't quite fly
There's a strong conceit at the heart of Adrian Gray's ambitious show about the ridiculousness of conspiracy theories, but though it's often very funny, somehow it doesn't quite gel. His introduction is fine, with a lot of quickfire visual and verbal gags mixed into a monologue, but when he begins to describe a ridiculous 'lost' James Bond film, our interest wanes.
Outlining Mission: Cheese, he drops into the manner of a foul-mouthed teenage lad inarticulately relating something utterly terrible for what seems like an age. It's either an attempt at ironic alienation or just something his student mates thought was hilarious. Either way, it simply grates, as it does again in the wrap-up. The structure is quite clever, with a few well-timed callbacks. The running time isn't as advertised and it wouldn't be fair to reveal why, but there are enough glimpses of a promising comic actor and the finale is also superbly daft.
What's missing throughout is the unbreakable self-assurance that real conspiracists have: Gray's character is too full of doubt from the off to be at all convincing as one. Perhaps a bit of revision and work on the character could lift the whole project.
Just the Tonic at the Community Project, until 28 Aug, 10.55pm, £5 or Pay What You Want.