Tantalisingly close to brilliance
Because Charles Booth is an enormously impressive character comic, utterly convincing and with genuine range. Unlike many of his peers, Booth firmly keeps the fourth wall up, giving the show an oddly traditional feel, as if this were some antiquated technique. it gives the show real focus though, so you can become engrossed in his mildly eccentric cast.
Sometimes you get half of a conversation, such as with the mum and dad tentatively speaking to their daughter at her bedroom door, at different points of her upbringing. We hear their attempts to tell her about the hamster’s demise at the hands of the hoover, and the birds and the bees chat.
Other highlights are the white boy rapper performing an intervention to his little brother, and the pissed Jesus during the last supper. Booth utterly inhabits these people, and peppers the show with small gymnastic feats as if to demonstrate his literal versatility. He also dwells on each character longer than I expected, but not to any detriment – that just shows what a pleasure he is to watch.
It’s only the gags that need to come. There are a couple of zingers, and the script is an enjoyable listen, matching the subtlety of the characters and resisting the temptation to lurch towards hyperbole and preposterousness, but it is light on rib-ticklers.
There’s a TV show in this one, I’m sure, he’s just one tantalising piece of the jigsaw away from outright brilliance.
Review by Paul Fleckney