Craig Campbell [2008]

Note: This review is from 2008

Review by Steve Bennett

At the top of the show Campbell introduces his Mr Eyetwister project, educating anyone who was expecting straight stand-up as to why he was swearing profusely and angrily wielding a shovel about his head like a riled bear stung on its bum by a bee.

Certainly this is a completely different direction for Campbell and it’s something of a revelation. In his stand-up set Campbell’s always been adept at spinning a skewed yarn with a slightly crazed, faraway look in his eye, but in this show he has taken it a step further to produce a one man play. Less a monologue and more a one sided conversation, Mr Eyetwister tells, in a series of encounters with unseen characters, the story of how he ended up in the Correctional Institute where he now resides.

Campbell proves a skilled actor, realising his genuinely menacing, darkly humorous character with relish; a character that becomes remarkably well-rounded across the hour.

We learn that Mr Eyetwister was so called after an incident as a teenager when he scared his mates and then girlfriend so much that her eyes, ‘twisted in their sockets’. He goes on to work as a ‘scarer’ in the Haunted House of a travelling fairground, the job we find him doing just before his incarceration.

Campbell’s script is beautifully crafted, his protagonist feels like a character who has stepped from a Bukowski novel or a Stagger Lee -era Nick Cave song. Mr Eyetwister’s hard bitten, sweary and lewd speech is skilfully recreated, providing us with just enough information to fill in the other side of his conversations and, of course, giving Campbell plenty of opportunity to slip in a gag or two.

Reviewed by: Marissa Burgess

Review date: 1 Jan 2008
Reviewed by: Steve Bennett

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