Ben Target's Orangeade (3 stars)

This article is from 2017

Ben Target's Orangeade

credit: Ed Moore

An hour of unruly daftness conquers all as choreographed silliness remains in charge

Ahead of the fringe, Ben Target insisted that Orangeade featured more of a personal story than he's attempted on stage before. For fans of his low-level anarchy and prop-heavy lunacy, this might have come as a disappointing revelation. Maybe he changed direction once August got up and running, for the evidence of this show is that daftness remains king. Never one to worry about making himself look silly, his half-attempted shave leaves foam on his face and head throughout while he asks the entire crowd to be a makeshift band producing a cacophony under his wayward conducting.

There is a vague hint at something not quite right between Ben and his brother Hugo, but any avenue that this might have threatened to go down is blocked off in favour of balloon fights, choreographed audience intimacy and an impossible clapping game. One unlikely moment arrives when even he ups the socially-aware stakes to deliver a subtle Brexit line, but it's not long before we're passing oranges between us using only our necks.

The most impressive thing about a Ben Target gig is the willingness of his crowd to partake in whatever unruly mayhem he has in store for the assembled throng: maybe it's the hug he offers us all on entering his room. Whatever his methods, the Ben Target spell is a difficult one to break.

Heroes @ Dragonfly, until 27 Aug, 5pm, £5 or Pay What You Want.

Ben Target's Orangeade

  • 3 stars

Plosive Productions / Heroes of Fringe (PWYW) Gentle comedy. Mellow drama. Balmy ballgames. Peeling back the years with a softer show, the sunset on an endless summer from ‘maverick physical comedian (and Edinburgh Best Newcomer nominee) Ben Target’ (Guardian). ‘Impressively funny’ (Scotsman). ‘Imagine there was no Ben…