REVIEW: Monobrow

A one-off night of funny-bone nibbling monologuery for all the family.

ADC Comedy Drama monobrow Stand Up Theatre

Now that we’re all tired of these so-called experts, it time to embrace the wisdom of the idiots, eccentrics, and the plain absurd. Monobrow is a timely crash-course covering all that is important from feminism and to the intricacies of waxwork.

Alas, this was a one-off performance and any attempt to persuade attendance is simply redundant. However, I can give you a little snippet of what the audience enjoyed and hopefully directors Sarah Creedy-Smith and Eve Delaney will be persuaded to perhaps organise more of the same.

The monologue is a versatile comic medium — it straddles the gap between straight-up stand-up and sketch comedy — arguably taking the strengths of both and discarding their weaknesses. With each monologue came a different, generally bizarre character that breathed life into both serious and mundane matters

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We are welcomed by Leo Reich’s beautifully executed Generation Tinder Hugh Grant who, over the course of a skin-crawlingly awkward five minutes, gives us perfect instruction on how to behave on a date shrouded in all of the creepiness of having been organised with a stalk and a swipe.

Ania Magliano-Wright — with one of the standout pieces of the night — illuminates feminist discourse through the oh-so-underused medium of the Zumba class, followed by Adam Mirsky’s hysterical update on the classic Sex Ed routine and James Coward’s pertinent and important address to the National Conference of Wax Workers.  Christian Hines’ Best Man speech was also fanatastic, both in content and delivery.

We are also treated two a couple of monologues which subvert the genre by excluding the all-important “louge” — two pithy mime pieces, the first documenting the peculiar morning routine of an old lady, the second a Mr Beanish encounter with some ducks. In fact, we were inundated with waterfowl-centric monologuery with Dillon Mapletoft putting Jurgen Haabermaster to shame with his thoroughly amusing address to a Stevenage-based avant-garde film festival — the concept of his latest piece he claims was plucked straight out of his psyche: geese.

John Tothill delivered a fine piece  — a mayoral candidate’s acceptance speech for his hypothetical election to the highest office of the little-known community of Twatstown. Tothill takes us into the mind of the Little Englander and exposes all of his neuroses and concerns whilst also delivering some beautifully crafted jokes — “Voting Brexit does not make me a racist… but my views on the Polish do” prompted one of the biggest laughs of the night.

The night was capped off with an excellent piece by a real-life-professional-off-the-telly comedian Cam Spence with her character Slapper Laughs’ appropriate imagination of a matriarchy.

In short, the night was a real accomplishment. It would be a real shame if Monobrow did not become a series of shows. One or two a term would be nice.

4/5 stars