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Latitude 2018


Tim Key

Genre: Comedy, One Person Show, Theatre

Venue: Latitude Festival Theatre Tent


Low Down

A brand new 70 minutes, blending poeticals, talking, standing, spotlights, cables, Kronenburg, foot-stamping and old school wistfulness.


I don’t know whether Tim Key is a stand up comedian, storyteller, or actor, but whatever he is, he is very very funny. In his new show, Megadate, he takes the potentially hackneyed comedian’s topic of failed first dates and instead creates something fresh, new and hilarious that relies far more on his rich and adjective-laden prose than on any actual story.


Returning to stand up after three years, and having found further fame on stage and screen (which he never ceases to mention), Megadate utilises Key’s expert comic timing and extreme silliness to make this one of the most enjoyable shows I’ve seen in ages.


I have seen Tim Key before, and he has definitely developed a formula for his performances, but it’s one that really works. The central story is merely a vehicle for him to spin off into rants or anecdotes about his mum eating cheese (for example). His writing is exaggerated, highly visual and utterly ridiculous, so as I imagine his mother ‘snouting’ a kilo of cheddar around the kitchen floor before clawing off a chunk, which she feeds into her mouth via the ‘travelator’ of a Carr’s water biscuit, the imagery he conjures, combined with his delivery is so hilarious I find it hard to breathe.


Two other features mark Key’s style. At seemingly random points and for random lengths of time he shouts what he’s saying off mic. It’s a weird thing to do, and I’m not sure why it works, but it really does up the hilarity stakes. Perhaps because it makes him seem weird and like a man on the edge, but also at all times fully in control. He also peppers his story with little poems that he reads from playing cards he pulls from his pocket. Some are funny non sequiturs, some slightly longer, but you find yourself looking forward to the next time he’s pulls a card from his pocket, anticipating the new heights of bonkers that might be reached.


Key’s onstage persona is all contradiction – on the one hand swagger and boasting about his Perrier award and expectation of getting onto desert island discs, juxtaposed with the sad story of middle aged loneliness and being forced to go to the cinema and bowling alone. Jug of Grolsch at 9.45am anyone?


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