Words by Suzy Romer
Audience participation has always been a thrilling, essential feature of Adam Riches’ shows. Over time he has created innumerable styles of interaction and honed his skills when treading that waffer-thin line between audience trust and unpredictability. The atmosphere of this year’s show is particularly delightful and makes me smile just thinking about it.
On this occasion, the audience are all members of a town council where a misjudged tombola prank has resulted in the untimely deaths of ten tortoises and one of us is the murderer. Our interrogator is none other than Victor Legit, a starring character of previous shows, and once he appears (after a glorious intro) we really get down to business.
From beginning to end, the show feels like going to one of the best parties ever. The perfect cross-over between brilliant character comedy and a great big daft game is so utterly absorbing that an hour slips by in carefree joy. I say this as one of the people ordered onto the stage but our host is so expert at judging who’s up for playing along that pretty much everyone involved gets exactly the right amount of lime light. Do I remember what he said half the time while onstage? No. Is it a bit hypnotic? Yes. Would I recommend it? Absolutely.
Thanks to Adam’s spectacular comic dexterity, the type and scale of participation, special effects and splendid surprises build up with unstoppable momentum. We giggle, dance, sing, snort and cavort our way towards a comedy climax which is made all the more intense by the knowledge that not a soul in the room knows exactly how it will turn out. Every day is different. This particular performance ends in glorious triumph as the murderer is caught and punished in fitting Adam Riches’ style. He is one of the performers who makes the Fringe so heady and so wild. Comedy heaven.
P.S. Look out for a slinky cameo from Ben Target who is also performing at the Fringe
Buy tickets for Adam Riches, The Beakington Town Hall Murders here
7.50pm | Pleasance Courtyard | Until 26 Aug