Saturday, 16 July 2011

Humphrey Ker is Dymock Watson: NAZI SMASHER (Edinburgh Preview) 14th July 2011

Who is he? Humphrey Ker, the tall one in The Penny Dreafuls embarking on his first solo show
Where did you see it? The Pleasance, Islington (again-as I said very cheap tickets...)

As I said this is Ker's first solo show after being in The Penny Dreadfuls forever. I'll be honest, I've never seen the Penny Dreadfuls live and slightly anxious that if all their shows do well. David Reed and Thom Tuck are also doing solo shows, which I will try and see at some point.

"WHO IS DYMOCK WATSON?" I hear you scream, maybe you didn't scream that but I will answer anyway. Dymock Watson is Ker's maternal grandfather, who was quite senior in the Second World War. Whilst doing some digging Ker finds out that his grandfather was part of an elite group and as he isn't able to get hold of his grandfather's files at the National Archives until 2031 this is Ker's fictional account of what his grandfather got up to. Though I should add where I work (Not the National Archives, twitter me if you care) does have some of Watson's files and I haven't had time to look at them yet.
Humphrey Ker as Dymock Watson

This show is pretty exhausting for the audience, at least I found it so. Ker's height had me on edge and I was convinced he was going to bang his head on the low wooden beam (He's 6ft 7) let alone how Ker must feel after the hour. He plays not only Dymock, one of only 7 Romanian speakers in the UK and the only one who hasn't been killed but many other characters such as Scottish inspector, who leads him to his mission, the American love interest Joanie, the Geordie elite trainer and Rex Hammer, who sounded a lot like Matt Berry. I'm conscious of spoilers but I will say there are some great lines about "pointy breasts" and a strangely realistic 'if dogs could talk' impression.

That is Ker's strength. He is very good at accents, the story is easy to follow and this show showcases him as a talented comedy performer (it is demanding show and I hope he is taking a holiday in September) and the show, understandably wasn't ready yet, I'll admit I'm more forgiving of Works in Progress when there is only one of you, for which Ker was incredibly apologetic; lines were forgotten, there were wardrobe malfunctions and he hadn't got hold of sound effects but it is has potential and is a fun hour. I would be surprised if  doesn't get more attention and television work after this, he deserves better than Fast and Loose anyway.

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