Alexander Bennett

Alexander Bennett

Alexander Bennett: Follow Me

Note: This review is from 2014

Review by Julia Chamberlain

As debuts go, this wasn’t bad at all. Alexander Bennett has plenty of energy, in a good way. ‘Loads of energy’ is normally code for ‘chaotic and shouty', but in this instance you felt his focus and commitment, as he was properly in the moment.

I enjoyed his delivery, articulate, clear and warm, even though he said his voice was wrecked. He also has a sense of showmanship. His smart suit and shirt were tattered and distressed, as though he’d blown up something in the school lab. And like a wannabe emperor, he had the audience hail him to begin the show, a fantastic way of getting off to a flying start and making the room coalesce.

There were some big questions and ideas flung about – punctuated with silliness and songs. One involved a startling image that will stick in the mind, as he performed with a pair of googly-eyed testicles around his neck. But it wasn’t gross, just enjoyably daft. Unfortunately at the mercy of a particularly crap sound system, the music blared so he wasn’t so audible, and he ditched further songs rather than have the show mangled by technical inadequacies beyond his control.

The show was touched with madness. And I’m being deliberately vague about the content because I don’t think I can begin to do him justice; I felt as though I was watching a show of jump-cuts that I was failing to piece together. Although it didn’t hang together particularly well, the small audience seemed happy to respond and bond with him, laughing along.

Bennett took some ideas into very dark areas, quite thrillingly, and there were also moments of delightfully silly recollection, Princess Diana’s funeral providing some particularly choice laughs. He made me think of the schoolboys from If educated, anarchic and dissatisfied and there’s a lot of promise in him as a performer and a producer of some refreshingly different material.

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Published: 10 Aug 2014



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