Some comedians tell a stream of gags, some a winding story. Alex Horne stealthily creates a contraption to ring a bell that would have made Heath Robinson proud.
In what must be one of the most creative and surreal shows of the year, Horne has a wealth of punning material, observational comedy and musical jokes but they serve as almost magical misdirection to his real goal: using ladders, gutters, bowling bowls and rice to slowly create his bonkers machine.
His comedy is wordy and intelligent at turns, but also stupidly fun: an extended sequence where he mimes to a backing track of his stand up act is timed with exacting precision, keeping the audience laughing with each surprising twist. You never quite know what is going to happen next.
Interactions with the audience are warm and witty, bringing them in to the gags rather than making them the subject of the them.
As the evening builds to actually putting the intricate device to the test, you find yourself really, really wanting it to work: hoping that the series of levers, weights and ropes will all come in to line.
As with the rest of the show – for this performance at the Norwich Playhouse at least – Alex Horne definitely pulled it off.