Pleasance, Edinburgh
August, 2002

***** Like kids' TV show Crackerjack with grown-ups!

If I describe all the silliness that goes on, you'll wonder why I've given it five stars. I wonder myself, believe me. But it's immense fun.

Clover had a so-so career as a young actor until he turned back a couple of years ago, in his late twenties, to his early love of bizarre comedy. Immediately he struck gold. Only around half of his hour-long shows are scripted in any sense: the rest of the time he bounces off the audience and engages in high-speed free association; the results are sometimes dodgy or outright tasteless, but he moves too fast and is too engaging for his mistakes to catch up with him.

In this show, no-one is safe. Recreating the kind of sixth birthday party we all wish we had had, he gives out balloons, sweeties and toy guns, gets us to tell a birthday story with him then enlists half a dozen punters in various roles: the birthday boy, the awkward older kid, the nasty kid and so on. They and we play Pass the Parcel, Pin the Tail on the Donkey and so on, while he plays a gin-soaked mum. Matters inevitably degenerate into a massive fight with food and heavy-artillery water pistols. It's immensely daft, and mightily enjoyable... except for the poor venue staff, who only have 15 minutes to clean up before the next show. Your inner child will squeal with delight.

Written for

Copyright © Ian Shuttleworth; all rights reserved.

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