John Hegley comes across as a busy man with an agenda to get through: in this case a slide presentation on the alphabet; a linking of disparate ideas and stories which you never really question because Hegley's authoritative assurance makes it all seem ok to leap from DH Lawrence and tortoises, to guillemots, to his French grandmother and her nomenclature of the family goldfish in Luton.
Whilst child-friendly, the show never patronises and is enjoyable for all in the room – he has the manner of a school principal who we've somehow caught on his way from one function to another.
Hegley uses his overhead projector slides to leap nimbly from story to poem to song – often involving the audience in the logical and lexical silliness. For some of the more complicated choral singing he divides the group into three parts: the spectacle wearers (“the blessed people”), the contact lens people or people who have had laser surgery (“the laser-gazers”), and everybody else.
He happily revels in the absurd without crossing into wacky, and when he reaches the end of the alphabet one can't help wishing there were more letters in it. And with Hegley, it wouldn't come across at all as a surprise if he knew some.