Review: Kenneth Watton’s Bedtime Chat Show

Don’t mention the bears

| UPDATED bedtime chat show Cambridge Comedy Corpus Playroom

When I first heard about Kenneth Watton’s Bedtime Chat Show, I believed Kenneth was real and his show genuine. After seeing the 90 minutes of absurdity that unfolded on the Corpus Playroom stage, I was left wishing that it was.

The whole show was a masterclass in character comedy. Although not every character was perfectly conceived, and a few spent slightly too long on stage, everyone kept perfect composure throughout the antics. It felt natural throughout, as if there had been no actual preparation and just spontaneous interviews.

Kyle Turakhia as the eponymous host was perfectly judged throughout, especially when matched up against his mentor Hawthorne Nathansfield (the superb Luke Sumner, who managed preposterous but hilarious improvisation).

Special mention should go to Jamie Armitage for his mute Florian du Pip, who managed to actually convey a surprising amount of emotion and humour through only his body – although when pushed over the edge, his spoken rant went on a bit. Raphael Wakefield’s Shylock Barnes was perhaps my favourite bit: the ridiculous but seemingly logical tongue-twisters he delivered were on point every time, interspersed with daft and nonsensical quips.

The whole production was indeed fantastic. From the opening choreography to the subtle light design, a lot of effort had clearly gone into this one night show. Lorelai’s presence on stage was entertaining and comforting, especially when they couldn’t help but laugh along with the audience. Their musical interlude was wonderful, a pleasant distraction from Kenneth that was itself thoroughly enjoyable.

It wasn’t a perfect show, though. A few of the characters seemed to try and squeeze a bit too much from a basic premise. Despite their probably perfect accents (What does an Alaskan accent sound like?) Dwayne Hershenberger  (Henry Wilkinson) and April-May Summers (Lily Lindon) seemed to run out of interesting things to say quite quickly. Perhaps this was a deliberate mirror of real chat shows, though?

Overall, it was a thoroughly enjoyable show. I left feeling slightly sad that the show was only on for a single night. I genuinely hope that Kenneth and his Bedtime Chat Show return to the stage sometime soon.

64 – a good 2:1.