Freeze! at the 100 Club

Note: This review is from 2009

Review by Steve Bennett

Fresh from being crowned King of Edinburgh, Tim Key is in as fine spirits as his marginally aloof persona allows. He’s performing tonight as Freeze, a double-act with Tom Basden, who stands forlornly on stage holding Key’s pint as he sets up the stage just-so.

There’s a delightful awkwardness about their interaction, and indeed their whole act that unbalances the audience. Combining precision with vagueness, the ambiguity of whether we are seeing a shambolic poet and his hapless sidekick or two charming performers underplaying their offbeat wit creates an expectant atmosphere.

Into this, Key lobs his short, strange poems, some from his award-winning Slutcracker show, while Basden interjects and occasionally plays guitar – if Key allows. The third member of this double act is the atmospheric backing track, faded in and out almost at random as Key bluntly issues commands to the sound desk. It fits in nicely with his character, who has pretensions of intellectual snobbery, but turns out rather prosaic verse –  complemented perfectly by Basden’s meek low-status demeanour.

Their lines are delivered with perfectly inappropriate timing, and their bright punchlines rarely anticipated, which makes them a class act.

Review date: 13 Sep 2009
Reviewed by: Steve Bennett
Reviewed at: 100 Club

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