Max Fletcher-Delicious

Sat 4th – Sat 25th August 2012

reviews

Ellen Smyth

at 09:51 on 13th Aug 2012

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Let’s give credit where it’s due: Max Fletcher performed half of his of his slot wearing only one sock and a dressing gown. And why? Who knows. But if that doesn’t intrigue you then I don’t know what will.

'Delicious' is haphazard and random; but Max Fletcher will win you over with his enthusiasm in his endearing (if awkward) show. The truth is that ‘Delicious’ probably deserves a bigger fan base than it has. From Dracula, to Dwain, to Yogi Bear, the performance benefits from the intimacy of a small audience.

The main weakness is that 'Delicious' lacks structure. The show is split into different “Bits” which are difficult to link together. This means the performance doesn’t flow as well as it could. There are some shorter sections which come across as more forced than others. In fact 'The Sheep Bit' prompted audible groans from the audience. Likewise I wasn’t initially won over by 'The Melon Bit' or 'The Christian Bit' which appear underdeveloped. The shorter 'Dracula Bit' still missed the mark even though it was performed twice to accommodate late-comers. On the flip side - I really enjoyed the Yogi Bear song during 'The Joey from Friends Bit'. In short, it doesn’t all work but it’s always upbeat and light hearted.

The one thing that 'Delicious' certainly doesn’t lack is energy. However I think the show could benefit from focusing on fewer sections and maybe further developing these. The Bit about the Beatles probably got the most laughs – proving that shrill interpretations of these famous musicians can still be a winner in the comedy world if sung with enough gusto. The highlight for me was 'The Clint Eastwood Bit': a Good Cop vs. Bad Cop one-man shoot-off that ends as bizarrely as it begins.

I’d recommend you stick with Fletcher and his merry madness until the very end even if you’re not entirely convinced at the start. 'Delicious' guarantees an hour of enjoyable, easy viewing...and all for free!

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Helena Blackstone

at 09:53 on 13th Aug 2012

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If you’re familiar with the illustrator David Shrigley, then you can gauge something of Max Fletcher’s act. His short skits seem at first to be almost tableau versions of Shrigley’s badly drawn cartoons; Max uses no facial expressions whatsoever - in his case this is not such a positive - and the point of it all is intriguingly missing. Come to think of it the handwriting for Max’s ‘bit’ menu, from which you can request which ‘bit’ you would like him to perform, is written in handwriting that is weirdly close to the artist Shrigley’s own outrageously childish scrawl.

At first I wasn’t sure if this was theatre at all, not having seen any semblance of a character portrayal, with Max ducking in and out of skits without any pause to delineate the start and end of each one. However, as Max gains confidence the humour loses some of its strangeness. For the first half I was a little uncomfortable, mainly because of his own negativity about the show, and was sad at the thought that I would have to give Max two stars, him being so likeable. However, both he and the audience warmed up and the overall feeling I gained from the mish-mash of all the different sketches was one of strangely enjoyable offbeat humour, although it is possibly not for everyone.

So that you can know what to ask for (it’s a show personalised to each audience), I would advise going for the longer skits. Highlights included: ‘THE CLINT EASTWOOD BIT’, ‘THE JOEY FROM FRIENDS BIT’ and ‘THE BIT ABOUT FAILURE’, although we did not exhaust the ‘bit’ list in the slightest. I would be intrigued to know whether ‘THE FLAMINGO BIT’ ever materialises, as it was not at that time available to us due to insufficient props. The main thing I would say is that he could do with less self-criticism and a few facial expressions, if only every once in a while.

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