Red Bastard Will Chew You Up
Londonist Rating: ★★★★★
This show isn’t for the nervous. Wait, no — that’s exactly who it’s for. The vast majority of twitchy, semi-drunk doubters who tip-toed into Red Bastard’s comedy/therapy session late last night emerged an hour later just a little bit more fearless than when they went in. Never mind the licking, humping and ritual humiliation, this ultimate game of truth or dare has the power to not only sober up the lagered, but embolden the bed-wetter and refresh the jaded too.
Sounds weird? It is. Just take the host and our tormentor-in-chief: a scarlet creature who looks like what you’d get if a space-hopper mated with Kim Kardashian's buttocks. He prowls through the audience feeding on insecurity and destroying anyone who tries to take him on with quick-witted, waspish put-downs and some extreme physical interference.
In the end, the abuse is all on the right side of playful, though the tension in the room is palpable throughout, and it’s the squirming of others that makes this show such delirious fun. Until he turns on you, of course. We're slightly ashamed to confess what happened in there — but what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, right?
Actually, yes it does — and that’s the secret soft-centre of this show. Red Bastard isn’t simply trying to terrorise you, but make you re-evaluate the things that hold you back in life, that inner uncertainty making you feel jittery whenever you're faced with a glowering man who resembles a sunburnt velociraptor. Okay, it’s absurd. And extreme. But Eric Davis, the man beneath the make-up and red unitard, is a deep-thinking artist who also works with Cirque du Soleil.
So, take it from us, you’re in safe hands. And just keep telling yourself that while he’s rubbing his big crimson crotch in your face.
Red Bastard is on at VAULT Festival on Leake St (near Waterloo) until 22 February. Tickets are £16.50. Londonist saw this show on a complimentary ticket.
Last Updated 05 February 2015