Ben Target @ Heroes, The Hive

Pleasing eccentricity that literally goes rather swimmingly

Review by Paul Mitchell | 15 Aug 2018
  • Ben Target

Hypnopompia: the state between sleep and wakefulness (more precisely, the state leading out of sleep – so basically, that confused, inertial phase of the morning where it’s difficult to move, speak, or function in any way that's normal). Why do we mention this? Because the never-less-than-interesting Ben Target has developed a "mellow comedy show" designed specifically to induce that precise state of mind.

A Splosh! is the sound a body makes when it hits a swimming pool (provided the pool is full of water of course, that part is important). Swimming, you see, was an important part of Target’s childhood; growing up in Texas, trying to become a "winner", endangering unicorns and developing an unfortunate codeine addiction (we haven’t fact-checked but this all seems quite plausible).

A quintessential Ben Target performance then, where narrative is somewhat secondary to crypticism and wilful absurdity. The soporific mood music throughout does indeed assist in delivering the hypnopompic state as the pace slows right down in the final quarter – a likely deliberate ploy as suddenly (startlingly) Target rails against the very concept he has created, aggressively intoning that there is, in fact, no place in the world for mellow comedy. Comedy needs, above all, the element of surprise. Perhaps this is what he wanted to demonstrate all along, and this is but the prologue to the next roguish Target incarnation(s)… we wait with bated breath, and, of course, goggles on.

Ben Target: Splosh!, Heroes, The Hive (The Bunka), 2-26 Aug (not 15), 3.45pm, £5/PWYW

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