Live Review: Daniel Kitson, Keep, Battersea Arts Centre

I wonder if Daniel Kitson is a fan of Inside No 9. His latest show, Keep, has the kind of twist that Reece Shearsmith and Steve Pemberton might have come up with. Having said that I should make this clear that this is not a horror show. Although you might think that if you've seen some of the two star reviews that have appeared in the national press since it opened.

And I hope I haven't given too much of a spoiler away by saying that there is a twist to this stand-up/theatre hybrid. With any luck that will help to sell more tickets, as the initial synopsis suggests that Kitson is simply going to read out a list of the 20,000 possessions in his house. I know he has said in the past that he likes to whittle down his fanbase to a tightknit coterie of hardcore devotees, maybe that's the plan.

Now I love Kitson and I expect he really could make reading out the phone directory funny, so I'd probably buy a ticket to hear him recite a list (editor's note - there were no press tickets issued so I did buy a ticket). As I said though, he is certainly reliably funny as he sits at his desk, puts on a Derren Brown style concentration-face and starts wading through his gargantuan list. "A brick. A brick. A brick. A brick...."

But of course there is more to Keep than bricks. While Kitson keeps (sic) trying to stay on track certain things distract him and make him go off at tangents. These are the most comical and thoughtful moments in the show as he shoots the breeze about incidents that have occurred in the past. As with numerous Kitson works some themes here include memory, meetings, heartbreak and how events in the past may come back to haunt you. OK, that's enough from me, I'll simply try not to give any more away.

Some critics - most of them, in fact – have suggested that at over two hours the show is long and maybe just a teensy bit indulgent. And I'd concede that this is probably not the best place to start if you've never encountered Kitson before. But it is worth noting that the full house on the night I saw it didn't seem to have a problem with the length and gave the gig a resounding cheer at the end. Although for some of them - perhaps those who couldn't go to the toilet as there was no readmission – maybe that was a cheer of relief. 

Until January 31. Buy tickets here.

 

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