Tim Key @ Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh

Megadate is an unmistakably Tim Key show, and unmissable at that

Review by Polly Glynn | 18 Jun 2018
  • Tim Key

There are few hours which can compare to Tim Key’s story of a perfect date. It’s a polyrhythmic piece in building the story up, and knocking it down, through inventive audience interaction, star-studded vignettes and poetry. Monologues about his mother’s cheese needs and diva-esque demands ensure there's also material more accessible to the Key-newbie.

Key himself is a self-professed imp: a puckish figure from beginning to end, he catches the audience’s eye as they walk in and playfully probes them throughout the show. He’s a surprisingly commanding fool though and not a typical low status clown. And with that command comes danger – you can never quite predict what he’ll do next. However, this seat-of-your-pants vibe makes Megadate all the more enjoyable.

He works every inch of the stage, and stairs, and the seats, of Edinburgh’s Traverse Theatre, all adding to the show's unpredictable nature. Though armed with few props and a distinct lack of focal furniture onstage (such as the iconic bath in Key’s Masterslut) there are several costume changes that would make the West End jealous.

Megadate is a complex yet immersive hour which turns from sweet to salty and back again in an instant. Key is at his gleeful best when he actively beckons the audience, and although you fear to fall victim to his jibes, you’re also dying to be picked.

Tim Key: Megadate played at Traverse Theatre on 13 June; UK tour continues before a short run at the Edinburgh Fringe (Pleasance Grand, 16-26 Aug, 11.15pm, £12-16)