The Story Beast @ Underbelly Cowgate

John Henry Falle's Story Beast offers plenty of creativity but is too disparate

Review by Polly Glynn | 15 Aug 2018
  • The Story Beast

The Story Beast successfully distracts and entertains with This is Bardcore, which starts life like a pre-apocalyptic kids' TV show. There’s a song about jam, a Blue Peter excerpt and even a lovely little story all about a train. These are, understandably, pitch black in humour and seem to pave the way for the rest of the hour. However, the kids TV pretence is dropped without reason part way through and the narrative loses its way a little, until it’s hastily jumped upon 5 minutes from the end.

It’s difficult to pigeonhole; never taking the form of a sketch show nor being character comedy. Each section feels totally separate and unrelated to the next. Despite highlights being so disparate, from a retelling of Die Hard in iambic pentameter to the best novelty Halloween song since 30 Rock’s Werewolf Bar Mitzvah, you persevere with the oddities as there’s a smidge of magic in each one. A shoutout must also go to the sentient tree which frequently upstages the host.

However, it panders to a certain audience; folk who think Rick and Morty are the height of sophistication are a target market. It’s cultish and fun, but making comedy super dark is starting to lose its appeal.

The Story Beast: This is Bardcore, Underbelly Cowgate (Delhi Belly), 2-26 Aug (not 13), 10.40pm, £6.50-11

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