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Tim Key: Masterslut

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
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When you enter the room to find the act already prowling the stage, greeting the audience with welcoming nods and wielding a gerbera, you know you're not in for a regular stand-up show. Key's 'Masterslut' is, in fact, anything but a regular stand-up show.

His proper entrance to the stage, after the lights dim, is unorthodox to say the least. His mix of music-backed poetry, storytelling, short film clips and audience interaction is eclectic, but Key has the charismatic stage presence needed to blend it all into an extremely enjoyable and oddly coherent hour of comedy. One particular 'elephant in the room' helps to glue the elements together by providing a recurring theme (and also a logistical challenge for the stagehands for the tight turnaround between Festival shows).

Key is probably best known for his poetry, a fact which he has declared in interviews is somewhat embarrassing as he doesn't actually consider himself to be a poet. He has suggested this may be his final show featuring his own particular style of left-turn-at-the-lights verse; this may be a shame for his growing and loyal following, but they should be in no doubt that his mind would turn up something equally inventive to replace it.

His exit at the end of the show is equally spectacular to his entrance. And if you want to know what the 'elephant in the room' is, catch the show at London's Soho Theatre from 8 December to 7 January.

- Emma Watkins


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