Towards the end of "Terry Alderton: The Musical", Alderton says to the audience that he can’t wait to imagine you describing this show to your friends and family, and in this line, he has pretty much summed up the entire show. For his show is a crazy, mind-boggling mess that had me wondering as I left, whether I loved it or hated it; whether he was a buffoon or a genius. Even as I write this review, I still haven’t quite made up my mind and doubt I ever will.
This show is a mix between stand-up and musical comedy, paired with flashing lights, screeching noises and overhead voices that are used to express Alderton's "inner thoughts". At least, this is what I thought the overhead voice seemed to represent, especially after Alderton sang a song about being "Bipolar Guy". Alderton seems to be telling a story of someone going increasingly insane, but it is difficult to be certain because he often quickly switches to appearing just like any other comedian doing a stand-up set in a far saner manner. I will say is that this has to be the most bizarre show that you will ever see. If you like taking risks, this show feels like the equivalent of going bungee jumping for the first time – it’s exciting, and even if you hate it, it was a one in a lifetime experience.
At times, Alderton spoke so speedily, using his strange voices (something he is well-known for), that I struggled to understand him. This felt like an intentional decision on Alderton’s part to express Alderton’s increasing appearance of madness, or even to confuse the audience into a nervous laughter. Even if it was intentional to mispronounce his words, I personally found it to be a little uncomfortable and would have preferred to be able to simply enjoy his funny voices and know what he was saying.
One thing Alderton does very well is surprise you. Nothing he does is ever predictable, to the point where I had my jaw open throughout the entire show, simply wondering what he would do next. He shows no shame over the incoherence of his show, and is proud of what he has created, which I think he should be. To be able to stand out from the immense crowd of performers in the fringe and say that your show is the most unique, despite its flaws, is impressive.
Verity Sayer for Fresh Fringe