Chris Coxen: Space Clone Audition
Chris Coxen might well be a genius, but you wouldn't guess from the reaction of this early-afternoon audience. The biggest laughs come from compere Tom Webb and two cheeky kids in the front row, with Coxen only inspiring confused silence from the rest of the audience. The premise of the show is that we have to vote which character we would send into space; the audience would gladly exile all of them to Mars.
To be fair, the first two aren't great. There's a motivational speaker based roughly on Tom Cruise's character in Magnolia, plus a 70s lounge singer, which is one of those American cultural references that doesn't resonate with a British audience.
The other characters show why some people get really excited about Coxen. A marketing executive who promotes weather (today he's selling us thunder) is a piece of inspired absurdism. The audience hate him. The final character, an expert in Combat Dancing, is a masterpiece. He finally gets some laughs for Coxen, mainly by threatening to murder the front-row kids in front of their mother.
If you're a fan of Simon Munnery or Will Ferrell's more obtuse moments, you might find a new hero in Coxen. A definite spark of genius, although it's bloody hard work for the audience.
Chris Coxen: Space Clone Audition, Cabaret Voltaire, until August 28, 14:30, £7