Ali Brice @ Heroes, The Hive

A hidden gem of an hour

Review by Polly Glynn | 16 Aug 2017

Ali Brice is a deeply silly man. He’s fallen through a roof, cut open his hand trying to make a spaceship and spends the first third of Never-Ending Pencil as an Irish Monk asking nonsensical questions to a packed-out room. The latter of which is tear-inducingly hysterical, particularly when interrogating someone on the best bit of an all-inclusive hotel buffet-breakfast. It’s incredibly bizarre but immensely entertaining, even when some uptight front-rowers don’t want to play.

The inventive turns of phrase keep coming, even when Brice performs more as himself. Descriptions of his late grandparents, as well as a tour bus driver are like deliciously terrible poetry. However, these soon make way for more serious contemplations of not wanting children, depression and suicide. They’re all handled in an honest and thoughtful way as each topic becomes increasingly more relevant to the millennial generation. It is a show ultimately about love – for himself, his family and broadly speaking, humanity.

A simultaneously touching yet surreal hour, Brice balances it all with ease; this is an intimidating, inventive and even intimate comedic experience.

Ali Brice's Never-Ending Pencil, Heroes at The Hive (Bunka), until 26 Aug (not 9 & 22), 2.30pm, £5/PWYW