The 1 Like Fish
Topping & Butch
Two Episodes Of MASH
From his album Tim Key. With A String Quartet. On A Boat
More Tim Key videos
|We Need Answers: Ian McMilland|
|We Need Answers: French Translation|
|No More Women|
|Alex Horne and Tim Key|
Tim Key won the 2009 Edinburgh Comedy Award for his show, The Slutcracker, a mix of poetry, unconventional stand-up and film. And in 2012, Masterslut won best show atthe Chortle Awards.
A former member of the Cambridge Footlights, he first came to the Fringe with their 2001 Edinburgh show Far Too Happy, which also starred Mark Watson and was nominated for the Perrier award for best newcomer.
He also featured in Alex Horne's best-newcomer nominated Making Fish Laugh in 2003, and is part of the four-man sketch troupe Cowards. His solo Edinburgh debut came in 2004, with the tragic one-man comedy play Luke & Stella, which was made into a Radio 4 series called All Bar Luke.
His poetry has also feature on Radio 4’s Mark Watson Makes the World Substantially Better and Charlie Brooker's Newswipe.
Tim Key: The Slutcracker - Fringe 2009
Tim Key is wounded. ‘I’ve got a Wikipedia page,’ he states dryly. ‘It describes me as a “deliberately bad poet”. There’s nothing deliberate about it.’
It may be a moot point – but you can certainly argue that his verses aren’t exactly conventional. They are usually incredibly brief, have little rhythm – which he interrupts in any case by breaking off to provide a running analysis – and often contain less-than poetic language, with him choosing words that convey just the right ideas but derail the flow of the piece. It means the poems sound like real conversations, while the topics, too, are not always what you would expect – an hilarious list of animals he thinks he can fit into, for example.
Everything contributes to the agreeable feeling that you’re entering another realm when you enter Key’s Portakabin. Performing to a continual soundtrack of operatic arias, trad jazz and portentious classical music helps reinforce that ethereal mood; as does the series of short films that punctuate the hour – artily shot and pretentious in tone, they could almost pass for smug fragrance adverts if there wasn’t an undertone of knowing wit.
That’s a very important aspect of Key’s appeal. While he affects seriousness, he’s very playful with the persona and the form, and constantly seems trying, unsuccessfully, to stop an amused grin playing across his face. Proof, should it be needed, comes in the wonderfully childish set-piece towards the end of the show.
His disarmingly charming delivery is full of ‘erms’ and pauses and half finished words, reflecting the way people really speak, rather than the polished patter of a stand-up. When he chats to his technician, Fletch, the conversation is awkwardly stilted. The affected shambolism, which begins from the moment he walks in swigging lager from a can before changing into a suit that’s seen better days, can only endear him to the audience.
There aren’t many jokes here, but Key presents an ever-shifting landscape full of delightful surprises and wryly funny moments through his distinctively original approach.
|Date of live review: Saturday 29th Aug, '09|
Review by Steve Bennett
Tuesday 18th Dec, '12- Union Chapel
Monday 23rd Jul, '12- Old Royal Naval College
Tuesday 6th Sep, '11- Old Royal Naval College
Friday 19th Aug, '11-
Monday 15th Nov, '10-
Carlsberg Cat Laughs 2010 
Thursday 10th Jun, '10- Kilkenny Langtons
Thursday 19th Nov, '09- Bar FM
Sunday 13th Sep, '09- 100 Club
Friday 10th Jul, '09- Tabernacle Centre
Show - Edinburgh Fringe 2001 -
Show - Edinburgh Fringe 2007 - Friday 0th Dec, '07-
Show - Edinburgh Fringe 2006 -
Great if you like your comedy with a stick up its arse. pretentious to the nth degree and moreover - not funny at all... Comedy for people who think they are smart but aren't really...
As someone who hates the way the word is used for any talentless tosser these days I think he is a genius. No really I do.
The highlight of my Edinburgh this year, especially at the Horne section where he was off his tit's, hilarious and i think i might be a tiny bit in love with him now. I just love the way he delivers his poems.
The emperor has no clothes - darling of the twitterati, his sub-Chris-Morris-Blue-Jam monologues and poems seem cynical.
Seen him a few times, and every single time he's been nothing less than brilliant. I'm so pleased for him winning the main Edinburgh award this year, and I'm equally pleased that We Need Answers has been recommissioned.
Absolutely wonderful. Should definitely be up for the big one this year, and if not, then should at least be a dead cert for the next poet laureate.
Alan Partridge: Mid Morning Matters
Instructions, Guidelines, Tuteledge, Suggestions, Other Suggestions, and Examples Etc, by Tim Key
Mark Watson Makes the World Substantially Better Series 2
Mark Watson Makes the World Substantially Better
Series one of his radio show
Far Too Happy
Edinburgh Fringe 2006
Edinburgh Fringe 2007
Tim Key: The Slut in the Hut
We Need Answers: The Inaugural Festival Challenge Cup
Edinburgh Fringe 2008
We Need Answers 
Edinburgh Fringe 2009
Tim Key: The Slutcracker
Edinburgh Fringe 2010
Tim Key: The Slutcracker 
Edinburgh Fringe 2011
Tim Key: Masterslut
Edinburgh Fringe 2012
Horne and Key and ...
Tim Key: Masterslut