Mute Oddity: See Doctor Brown's Three Shows In One Month

Rachel Holdsworth
By Rachel Holdsworth Last edited 40 months ago
Mute Oddity: See Doctor Brown's Three Shows In One Month


There's a trilogy of oddness coming imminently to Soho Theatre. Doctor Brown is reprising his three Edinburgh shows from 2010-2012 over three weeks, performing his signature blend of mime, audience participation and bollocks-out nudity for our delight once more.

Back in 2012 we went to see the Edinburgh-winning Befrdfgth, and described it thusly:

The show is actually an exercise in expert storytelling. Only not telling, showing. Storyshowing. There’s a curious lull that comes over an audience when Doctor Brown performs in silence, rather than telling actual jokes with his actual mouth. Normally when you leave a show you are perhaps tittering lightly, or recounting the best bits. When you leave the Soho Theatre after Doctor Brown’s show you are blinking and confused, the sound suddenly back on. You are wandering around disorientated and unsure quite what you have just seen.

So yeah, it's mime, but not Marcel Marceau mime. Doctor Brown (real name Phil Burgers — we're not making that up) simply plays on non-verbal communication of the kind we use all the time, and exaggerates to sometimes grotesque effect. The man's a frightening talent: he followed up his Edinburgh triumph with an eight hour improvised marathon, and if he leaves you inspired you can take a three day clowning workshop with him for £200, starting on 20 January.

You can choose to see Because (12-17 January), Becaves (19-24 January) or Befrdfgth (26-31 January) or, if you decide to have your brain tickled by all three, Soho Theatre will reward you with a free drink at the bar. Fair enough.

The Doctor Brown Trilogy runs 12-31 January at the Soho Theatre, Dean Street W1. Tickets £10-£20.

Last Updated 09 January 2015

Tom Bolton

I saw Befrdfgth in Edinburgh in 2012. It was very memorable indeed. We somehow ended up in the front row, Doctor Brown picked me out of audience, and I was forced to perform his mimes for him, on my own in front of a very full house, while he directed from the stalls. I was on stage for what seemed like half an hour, but was probably a mere 20 mins. He is brilliant though, and I forgive him.