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Tim Key - Masterslut
Published on Friday, 24 August 2012
4

4 stars

Pleasance Courtyard (venue website)
Comedy
23-25 Aug, 11:15pm-12:15am
Reviewed by Jane Bristow

 Recommended for age 14+ only.
 Free and unticketed. No pre-booking required.

Calling your show Masterslut – ‘as in a mixture of mastermind and er…slut’ – doesn’t exactly scream shy and retiring, which of course 2009’s Edinburgh Comedy winner isn’t. Still, tongue in cheek though the title is, it does hint at the surreal and thoroughly irreverent content of the show. Tim Key, the thinking man’s bit of rough, is back with the famed bad poetry and a bath full of Radox bubbles on the stage to help.

As it turned out, this watery feature really was at the centre of the show – whether Key was comparing bathing habits with members of the audience, or just doing his best to splash people. And It’s not giving away much to say that of course he gets in it…and demonstrates an impressive lung capacity on the way. All of this is broken up with poems which he reads off laminated pornographic playing cards, often projected onto a screen (just in case it was getting too highbrow).

It’s not surprising that a show about baths is, well, intimate, and this allows for some wonderfully playful interaction with the audience. There’s the lucky lady who gets to towel off Key each time he’s had a run in with the bath, and the man who has to hold his beer ready for when he wants to drink it – out of a wine glass of course.

There’s really not much to complain about, though it is worth noting that his original humour may not be to everyone’s taste; this is of course part of the charm. You may also not necessarily want to pay good money to hear someone get lyrical about baths, although personally I was intrigued at every turn about what Key would do next with the idea.

By the end I was slightly bemused, but thoroughly impressed by this bizarre mixture of humour – one that defies category. It was slickly put together, particularly in the use of the screen, and yet enjoyably childish. As an exploration of how to entertain an audience with a bath, perhaps Masterlungs would be a more apt name? Anyway I digress; do go and see it, especially if you’re worried that comedy is getting dull.

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