Tim Key: Masterslut, Pleasance Dome
Bard of the bath is making a big splash
Monday 15 August 2011
After this show you may never look at having a bath in the same way again.
Certainly, I now look at Tim Key with fresh eyes. He's a comic whose career has already been showered with accolades, including the 2009 Edinburgh Comedy Award, and invitations to work on projects like Steve Coogan's recent online series Alan Partridge's Mid-Morning Matters.
The Queen Dome provides Key with an in-the-round venue that suits his louche, insouciant wanderings down to the ground. And on that ground lies a bath. It's a place for Key to find real respite beyond that which his bottle of bath foam can supply.
"There are only four places I feel truly safe – a bed, a cinema, a bath and a barrel," he says before before picking out an audience member to be his towel monitor, and dry him after periods of immersion. "They don't leave it dangling over Federer, do they?" he says later, rebuking his new towel boy for forgetfulness.
The towelling down comes between bouts of Key's minimal and literally throwaway poems that teeter between glibness and near tenderness: "I wrote to my brother to ask if I could borrow his fleece..." begins one. Another runs: "An ox... an ox... an ox... Why had she bought me an ox?"
In what is probably his most accessible show yet, Key balances his poetry with some lovely languid musings and activities, recruiting, for example, another audience member to pour a can of ale into a champagne flute and hand it to him. This moment is perhaps the key to Key, a paradoxical figure who mixes a penchant for basic pleasures with the air of a present-day, lo-fi Noël Coward.
Key's discipline and skill with timing is beautifully employed, his "pull back and reveal" undertaken as if it were a stretch-out in the bath. "Drive-Thru McDonald's was more expensive than I thought... Once you hired the car..."
Short films show us the other side of Key's bathing adventures, an aqua netherworld reminiscent of that toilet scene from Trainspotting. The poems, films and chat provide a definite rhythm to the show. Unfortunately, it's a rhythm that is derailed somewhat by the protracted ending. A soothing and satisfying soak nonetheless.
To 29 August (0131 556 6550)
Grace Dent on TVtv
Maisie Williams single-handedly rises to the challengeTV
Academy criticised after no non-white actors nominated
tvAn expose of hooliganism masquerading as an ideological battle
artLee Hadwin can't draw when he's awake, but by night he's an artist
‘Remember the attackers are a cold-blooded, crazy minority’, says Blek le Rat
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Man who held up 'hire me' sign at Waterloo station returns a year later with 'I'm hiring' sign
- 2 Mother of newborn Baby No 59 trapped in sewer pipe told Chinese police she 'heard crying' when she raised alarm
- 3 Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
- 4 Tennis fan suing Australian Open organisers for 'failing to shade spectators' during Murray match
- 5 This crazy skiing video will leave you feeling queasy
Heavy metal producer's corpse to be mutilated by models as per his dying wish
Alfred Hitchcock's unseen Holocaust documentary to be screened
Diana Krall: The jazz singer on being friends with Elton John, outer space and skiing in Dubai
Photographer Matt Lankes' portraits of the cast of Boyhood influenced the film's storyline
Sia apologises for 'Elastic Heart' music video that sees Shia LaBeouf wrestle 12-year-old Maddie Ziegler
British Muslim leaders outraged after Eric Pickles says followers of Islam should 'prove their identity'
UK terror fears: My jihadist son returned from Syria mentally scarred – now he is being ignored
Nigel Farage: NHS might have to be replaced by private health insurance
Billy Crystal: 'Stop shoving gay sex scenes in my face'
French court convicts three over homophobic tweets, in case hailed as a 'significant victory' by LGBT rights campaigners
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens