Ben Target's Orangeade

★★★
comedy review | Read in About 2 minutes
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Ben Target
Published 12 Aug 2017

Target's latest show is a fascinating work of contrast. Both party and confessional. Fun and disconcerting.

There are games aplenty with plastic balls, inflatable bananas, balloons and party poppers. When we enter the room, Target is gloriously adorned in fairy lights. If you thought he couldn't look any more idiosyncratic, by the end of the show he has transformed himself into a Dadaist work of art; somehow managing to be simultaneously absurd yet maintain an unexpected dignity. His delivery is measured, his voice calming so we're happy to go along with what he expects of us.

Target's never been one to take the most conventional or easy route to a laugh. Part of the Weirdos group of comedians in London, as well as delivering many of his own surreal solo shows, he was also an integral part of Richard Gadd's—as hugely popular as it was unconventional—ensemble piece Waiting for Gaddot in 2015.

This show is in Target's typically off-the-wall style, but amid the surreality and the festive colour there's a thread telling the story of his family, in particular his relationship with his brother Hugo. Popping some balloons, surprisingly expertly with a toy rifle, they burst to reveal some slightly cruel secrets Hugo has divulged about his brother.

Overall it's a disconcerting yet absorbing blend with which Target has created his own unique world in this back room of a cocktail bar. Very much encapsulating the spirit of the Fringe.