Ali Brice presents: Eric Meat Has No Proof, Only Memories of Pasta

Ali Brice channels a range of characters in a series of quirky monologues, underpinned by a loose and ultimately lacking pseudo-detective narrative

★★★
comedy review | Read in About 2 minutes
Published 06 Aug 2015

In a market saturated by risk-free comedy, shows such as Eric Meat Has No Proof, Only Memories of Pasta (performed by Ali Brice) can offer a unique appeal. Through a series of characters, he guides us through the eponymous Mr Meat's search for his absconded wife. It's an odd experience, but he sells the oddities convincingly enough that we want to remain in his world of personalities for as long as he's embodying them.

While his abstract style has its charms, it doesn't completely dispel the aforementioned risks that absurdist humour carries: the story is disjointed and the jokes often feel eccentric for the sake of eccentricity. Brice doesn't so much stray into wackiness as envelope his audience in it throughout. He's among the seated observers as often as he is in front of them, to the point where the audience's role is more participatory than spectatory.

The voices are lively, the props are inventive and the costumes are charmingly silly, but it's all in service of an unsatisfying plot. It's more a series of successive events than an interconnected storyline, which isn't consolidated by enough witty material. Brice is more a merchant of empathy than humour, and he does succeed in creating instantly intriguing characters. The shortcomings of the show lie in his failure to employ them in aid of any real satire or story, and the result is an array of contrived idiosyncracies dotted among amusing monologues and passable plotting.