Following his award-winning show All Crazy Now at the 2017 Fringe, English comedian Terry Alderton has returned with his new show Terry Alderton – The Musical, featuring music by Grammy nominee Owen Parker and a talking mannequin that may lead you to call the show “what would have happened if Craig Ferguson totally lost his mind on an episode of The Late Late Show“.
I read nothing about the show leading into it, which I tend to do – and I’m glad I did. Because this eccentric, hilarious performer is like no one I’ve ever seen before. Indeed, I said to myself, “I don’t know what I just saw”, as I left the Assembly George Square Studios on Friday night, but I had such a wonderful time not knowing what was going on (“Was it about time travel? Was is about being Bipolar? Was it a magic show? Was it all of these things?”) that it ended up being one of my most enjoyable Fringe experiences. Because it’s exactly what I had hoped to see when I came to Edinburgh; shows that were indeed on the Fringe: bizarre, hilarious and on another planet entirely.
The show weaves through different experiences in Alderton’s life, with stellar lighting and sound design, as he’s accompanied on stage by a mannequin in a white doctor’s outfit, with a wolf’s mask. We learn about the loss of his imaginary friend Bogey when he kissed a girl. That time he was beaten up by kids last year and had to tell his son, only 4 years younger than the perpetrators. The voices in his head (as implemented in the form of the talking mannequin), being a “bipolar guy” (in one of the best musical moments of the show), and a brief interlude that sees him use his shoes as puppets to sing Radiohead’s “Creep”; a show-stopper if there ever was one.
Alderton is an adept comedian, a great writer and a very physical performer. His bit with the singing shoes was nothing short of impressive, and when he breaks down into a middle-aged dance routine, he moves harder and faster than I ever could. He even chased an audience member out of the room when he had to go to the bathroom (which he acknowledged was an “ad-lib”).
It’s a show I could delver deeper into and analyse, but it wouldn’t nearly be as fun to leave you with the opportunity to go in with an open mind and leave with that mind warped, confused and exhilarated. It’s what the Fringe is all about, and Alderton seems to have gotten this down better than anyone else.
If you only see one show with shoes signing “Creep” this festival, see this one.
FOUR AND A HALF STARS (OUT OF FIVE)
Terry Alderton‘s Edinburgh Fringe show Terry Alderton: The Musical has its final performances today and tomorrow (26th and 27th August) at Assembly George Square Studios – One. For tickets and more details, head to the official website. And to see if he’s going to tour the show beyond the Fringe, head to Terry’s official website.
The reviewer attended the performance on August 24th. Photo Credit: Steve Ullathorn.