Terry Saunders: Figure 8

Note: This review is from 2008

Review by Steve Bennett

A show inspired by a cancer scare, soundtracked by a musician who stabbed himself to death, performed in a dripping, dank cave; Carlsberg don't make comedy, but if they did, the chances are it would be nothing like this.

The latest effort from Terry Saunders - a comic who truly sweats indie and bleeds melancholy whimsy - is an off-beat, non-linear tale of the depressive, introspective Trevor, a man afflicted with an irritating habit of seeing people's futures. Not in a dramatic way - he gets snapshots of them taking rowing machines back to Argos, lying to their wives or planning a Center Parcs holiday.

Trevor's life has effectively been on hold since Adeline - his great love - deserted him five years previously and he resolves to kill himself. Though he comes close, a series of bizarre events involving tramps, sandwich vouchers and Philip Schofield eventually results in a happy - if mawkish - ending.

It's a sweet, frequently funny, heart-on-sleeve story, but for someone who calls himself a storyteller, clumsily told. Saunders tries to cram in too much detail, which, coupled with the jumpy timeline, gives the feel of a gabbled classroom show-and-tell. Perhaps this is an intentional device - he worships unashamedly at the temple of lo-fi, which might also explain the crudeness of the accompanying projections and the many missed cues. Or perhaps it is lack of fine-tuning, which is what is comes across as.

While many - myself included - will be placated by Saunder's self-conciously shambolic charm, those who aren't are likely to find it grating.

Saunders has a great knack for elevating the mundane minutiae of life into something much lovelier. His gentle, brazenly romantic story is admirably heartfelt. But in its bumbling gaucheness, it is as likely to elicit as many arrrghs as it does ahhhhs.

Reviewed by: Nione Meakin

Review date: 1 Jan 2008
Reviewed by: Steve Bennett

What do you think?

Live comedy picks

We see you are using AdBlocker software. Chortle relies on advertisers to fund this website so it’s free for you, so we would ask that you disable it for this site. Our ads are non-intrusive and relevant. Help keep Chortle viable.