Watching poet Tim Key’s latest show is like a waking dream – and not just because the stage set prominently features a double bed.
Part poetry and part comedy, Single White Slut ostensibly deals with Key’s attempts to bed girls and, in his words, “bring poetry to the lads”. In truth, no one theme really dominates as he jumps from melancholic monologues to shouting and stamping his way through coarse short poems (think limericks without the rhymes).
There’s even slices of dance and magic thrown in, together with audience participation from an eager Norwich Playhouse crowd.
The show is funny but it is also disturbing and – as a dream – you’re never quite sure which bits are real and which are not. For the sake of Anne Hathaway, whom Key appeared alongside in film One Day, you have to strongly hope his on-set reminiscence falls in to the latter.
Key is clearly a versatile performer – as comfortable starring in Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa as delivering his own, very different, material – but despite the laughs this show has a hollowness at its core. You’re roused at the end by the house lights, not quite able to hang on to the substance of what you’ve just seen, not quite sure if you want to shut out the outside world again and go back for more.