Joint winner of the 2011 Leicester Mercury Comedian Of The Year title
Imagine There's No Ben Target
Just imagine there was no Ben Target. The world would unquestionably be a darker, less interesting place.
With probably the most accurate blurb in the Fringe brochure, stating simply 'wear sensible shoes', he wants to shift responsibility for a prepared festival show on to his audience.
For his part, he's just introducing props and channelling possibilities. Taking the stage in a typically eccentric manner, he applies fluorescent facepaint (warpaint?) beneath his eyes and delivers initial instructions via flipchart, the authority of the written word absolute.
You may have seen Target's supporting performance in Richard Gadd's Waiting for Gaddot this year, an I can say even less about Imagine, partly because I couldn't reach my notepad for most of the hour.
His shows tend to have the flavour of an intimate cult, with several comics attending on the day I caught it, including Bob Slayer, Stuart Laws and Gurpal Gill. But there was also an enlightening moment where Target let slip that he's the product of a military education.
True or not, it might explain a lot. And there's a less obviously beatific, more demanding character to the mulleted eccentric's performance this year. Indeed, his involvement in Adam Riches' Coach Coach might give you a better steer on what to expect.
Naysayers might suggest there's a lack of edifice. But it's all deceptively well set up and simple but effective fun. Even if some of the developments are confusing and utterly throwaway, the absurd spirit of the production triumphs over all. And it's a mid-afternoon vitality shot if the festival has left you jaded.