Sunday, September 24

The Stand-Up Horror Show – Just the Tonic at The Caves

A cabaret of Horror goes horribly wrong when the intended act performing dies in a freak nail gun accident, with an eagerly awaiting audience the understudy is thrown on in a truly “the show must go on” moment of panic. Whilst this is the plot to the show it’s also very much how the show felt overall, under prepared and unrehearsed.

Starting us off with a cheesy yet spooky voice over and an over dramatic mime on stage, one would think this show to be a silly: so bad it’s good performance, which I do think was the intention. For the first few moments of Tom Short’s set this idea is presented well, showing a nervous understudy who clearly is a little flustered and unprepared, played up for comedic value but unfortunately this one note is continued throughout. Whilst there are some funny moments Short relies heavily on the interaction of his audience to keep the show afloat.

Truly funny moments are overshadowed by weak delivery and a comic who cannot stand still which is heavily off putting. The show repeats itself throughout with a pattern that goes ‘here is a spooky magic trick that I don’t know how to do so I’ll say a one liner and put it away’, if the description of the show had been more along the lines of ‘understudy is thrust onto stage to do magic act after lying on his CV and not knowing any magic’ then the performance might stand more of a chance but unfortunately advertising itself as “Rocky Horror Picture Show crossed with Basil Fawlty” really does give its audience the wrong idea from the very beginning.

This being said there are some funny moments like the story book retelling of Goldie Locks which works well and when Short does the actual stand-up comedy sections of the show he is funny, it’s just lost within the theme, a theme that was unfortunately wrongly advertised.

The Stand-Up Comedy Show plays at Just The Tonic At The Caves- Just The Spare Room from 16th – 26th August at 15:40.

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Reviewer: Beth Eltringham

Reviewed: 16th August 2023

North West End UK Rating:

Rating: 1 out of 5.