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Alex Horne: Seven Years in the Bathroom

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
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Alex Horne is rather an ingratiating man, judging by this performance. He's taken some statistics that divide up how much time in our lives we spend on individual tasks such as being online (five years), sleeping (24 years), queuing (two years) and being in the bathroom (see above), and developed a show to explore how it would be if we did each one uninterrupted for its allotted length of time before moving on to the next.

However, instead of standing in front of a microphone telling jokes to make us laugh in the usual way, he's surrounded himself with a barrage of props, including an hour glass, a Mac laptop, a cardboard box, a microwave oven and, bizarrely, a cash register which isn’t used in the show. As any actor will tell you, a prop is a useful thing to have about you on a stage when you’re not sure what else to do. Alex has an awful lot of props.

He’s good at interacting with the audience, who clearly enjoy being interacted with, and manages to involve at least 15 people. This seems to be a recognised path to an audience’s affections in Edinburgh. A lot of the shows are at it, not just comedy. The having-a-picture-painted-and-then-auctioning-it-off moment works best, the phonecall home to mother, probably least well.

However, the most engaging and unexpected episode comes not (only) from Horne himself but from a talking toy panda with impeccable timing.

There was a full house for this bland and undemanding show. If bland and undemanding is how you like your comedy, this one is probably for you.

- Craig Singer


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