Rude Kirsty Young And The Worst Record Collection You'll Ever Hear
It's the eyes. There's a glint — of glee, danger or just plain malevolence, we're not sure — in Joseph Morpurgo's eyes when he looks at his audience. Last year he created a show of dark, twisted characters inspired by bits of grainy video footage from the 80s. What the hell's in store for us this time?
Actually, this time we're (more or less) safe. Morpurgo has chopped up a lot of Desert Island Discs shows to create a conversation between himself and Kirsty Young — turning her into a rude alcoholic in the process — and his 'discs' are opportunities to showcase a record collection that is, shall we say, more inspired by eclecticism than quality. The characters spin off from these albums: a batty piano teacher, sultry ladies' man and a remarkable section that proves middle class white men really can rap.
The laughs come from his magnificent sense of wordplay and keen observational skills and, as such, are of the head, rather than the gut. There's even an uplifting ending. Is it wrong that we longed for more creepy characters like the psychotic AA Milne narrator, bathed in red light as he tells us stories under a (venue-sized) duvet? Are we being unfair in comparing Morpurgo's previous show — one of the best we've ever seen — to its successor, even though this one got nominated for the main prize at Edinburgh and last year's, inexplicably, did not? Maybe. This is a damn fine show, one that we've seen bits of three times now; we'd just like a bit more of that dangerous glint, please.
Joseph Morpurgo: Soothing Sounds for Baby is on at Invisible Dot, 2 Northdown Street N1 9BG until 31 October. Tickets £12/£11. Londonist saw this production on a complimentary ticket.
Last Updated 08 October 2015