Reboot for Will Adamsdale's PC play

Click to follow
The Independent Culture

There's something special about Will Adamsdale's shows. Sum them up in a phrase – a lecture from a motivational speaker with a taste for the surreal (the Perrier Award-winning Jackson's Way); the tale of harried office drone who retreats to live with his possessions in a 5ft-square storage container (The Receipt); an exploration of computers by someone who knows nothing about them (The Human Computer) – and they sound appealingly quirky. But it doesn't really do justice to their Gogol-style blend of absurdist theatre and character-comedy belly laughs that leaves audiences both elated and exhausted.

"You want that sensation of being a child in bed, listening to an adult telling a story", says Adamsdale of his narratives, which swoop from hilarious satire on business-speak to existential angst via an investigation into whether the light in the fridge goes off after you close the door, all in the course of 60 minutes. "There's any number of tangents you could go down. It's like going to a great party where there are all these rooms you don't even go into."

As well as filming Campus, a new Channel 4 comedy from the team behind Green Wing, Adamsdale is about to take his third play, The Human Computer, on tour, starting at the Battersea Arts Centre – the experimental hothouse where he has developed all of his plays. It's a lengthy process. "I procrastinate madly but the tangents become useful. It takes a really long time. It's a bit like a good dish – you can taste that time and effort has gone into it."

The Human Computer grew out of Adamsdale's realisation that he was a bit of technophobe. "I try and dress it up as a moral standpoint but it's fairly threadbare. It's really about my enmity towards my PC and my idiotic relationship with computers." As usual, though, it will be about a lot more than that.

BAC, London SW11, 12-15 May (020 7223 2223), then touring to 3 June (