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The Colin Hoult Shows - Brighton Fringe review 2014 by Sarah Agnew

The Colin Hoult Shows, Company: Colin Hoult
Venue: The Burrow at The Warren, Category: Comedy
5, 14-15, 23 May 20:00 25 May 17:00 £8.50 (£7, £35 All Burrow Shows) [1hr]

With "Cover your belly" ringing in my ears and images of a man galloping around in his underpants, I felt I had been thoroughly exposed to the Colin Hoult experience.  The show was called Characthorse and involved an imaginary world, Snottingham and various characters as devised by Colin's seven year old self.

The show began with the fully dressed Colin in a suit who spoke to us in the deliberated commanding tones of the highly accoladed thespian, Sir Patrick Stewart, while wearing a tan coloured stocking over his hair. Addressing us as Sir Patrick he demanded various members of the audience to cover your belly. Late arrival, cover your belly. Pregnant lady, cover your belly.  It was a cover your belly-fest.  My Cardiff fella and I looked at each other, what's he talking about?

From there he took us with conscious ingenuousness back to his childhood and the imaginary world he had created.  Characthorse came from a misunderstood word his mother had said and Snottingham was accessed via a wormhole in his bedroom.

We met a Scottish guy who wanted us to sniff grated nutmeg, his accent seemed spot on and the phrases he used were really funny. Cardiff fella loved his dodgy cockney geezer and was still trying to mimic his "aow!" the next day.

Colin clearly revelled in the audience interaction and was quick to respond.  The funniest part by far was when, as Sir P again, he orchestrated three men from the audience to pick him up.  His comments were so funny, he gave them all nicknames and had them joining in the absurdity, which worked brilliantly.

There were other parts though that fell flat for me, his character with ticks seemed an easy target and hit the wrong note as did telling the girl in the audience, something along the lines of she'd never get a boyfriend. The girl was meant to repeat the lines and wouldn't. I thought good for you.

Hoult is absolutely a master character comedian and with credits such as 'Derek' and 'Being Human' he is a rising star to watch, he should just stay away from the easy targets and leave that to the school yard and kids who don't know any better.

Sarah Agnew - follow on Twitter @IrishAggers

NB Since going to the show I obvs had to find out what this cover your belly lark was all about.  Check out the Youtube videos to find out.

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