Rather fittingly the theme music from the much loved seventies and eighties tv series Tales of the Unexpected played as the audience entered King’s Cross basement theatre Bread and Roses on a surprisingly pleasant November Sunday afternoon, though Roald Dahl was never quite as absurd as this, which is saying something given the madness that he came up with over the years.
A kind of strange mixture of The League Of Gentlemen and The Mighty Boosh, Him Indoors is a three hander from strange comedy weirdo Cheekykita (aka Sonya Doubleday), and I mean that description as quite the compliment. She stars in the play alongside Nina Atesh (with both of them taking on multiple roles) and Tiberious Chris, who plays a clean cut American journalist straight out of a forties film noir pic, though he’s a bit more clean cut and likeable than that would suggest, and who receives a phone call from a woman called Sally wishing to tell her story.
That means a trip up to Tittitutar Town (it’s near Manchester, apparently) which is right up there with Royston Vasey when it comes to the strange events which take place and the oddballs who reside there. So not only is there the main story with Chris investigating Sally’s tale of how she’s swallowed a man who is only two and a half inches tall, and who’s taken up living in her stomach, but there’s also a news reporter who turns up on the scene the second anything strange happens, two shockingly rubbish (yet also violent) buskers, and other locals who aren’t anywhere close to being normal.
What follows is a stunning piece of absurdity, Chris has the least showy role but is an admirable straight man, while Doubleday and Atesh take on a number of characters with aplomb, the majority of whom are weirdly compelling and capable of making the initially slightly confused audience laugh harder and harder as the play went on. It’s the kind of play where you’ll get to see two women dance along with a tiny robotic cat, a man viciously teabagged (though not in the sexual manner that might make you think of), an exorcism party, desperate flirtation, ribbons of blood splattering all over the place and sudden bursts of darkness where anything might take place, but which normally involves Doubleday freaking the audience out.
The only downside, and the reason this is not a four star review, is the production’s length, at (only just) forty minutes long it’s over with way too quickly. An extra twenty minutes would have seen it praised to the high heavens and if it had been double the length I might have proposed marriage as it’s such a delight. As it is it’s still inventive, imaginative, insane and probably many other fantastic words that begin with i, and definitely worth seeking out despite it being such a brief affair.
Cheekykita’s Official Site.