Gosh! : The Bill Murray
gosh! follows the story of twenty-something Joe Hayward (Loyd) as he leaves his job in insurance and tries to make it in the comedy world. What follows is a series of sketches detailing the trials and tribulations Joe goes through as he struggles to put together his one-man show.
Highlights include a surreal audition in which he has to act like a lonely, sad tangerine; a one night stand with a mop who has a penchant for Matilda; and awkward conversations with his Mum’s new boyfriend Tin (yes, Tin) who more than anything wants to make a joke about a lady with a foot for a nose.
Faced with the challenging task of bringing multiple characters to life, Kit Loyd (co-writer and performer) delivers an impressive performance of which he should be immensely proud. His characterisation is consistent throughout, giving each character a convincing personality even though several of them only appear in voiceovers offstage. The physical control Loyd exerts over his body is also something to be lauded – it has been some time since I saw someone contort their face and figure to such good effect.
Hamish Clayton (co-writer and director) also deserves much credit. The blocking was well thought-out, changes in the lighting were used sparingly but effectively, and each song choice felt deliberate and made sense for the scene in question. Probably the most impressive aspect of Clayton’s directing was in the show’s pacing. High-octane, physically exhausting scenes were interspersed with more low-key, emotional moments that always seemed to arrive at just the right time, leaving the audience feeling like they were riding at the crest of the gosh!’s wave rather than being swept away underneath it.
As we emerged from the theatre, awestruck and merry, my prevailing thought was that gosh! is just the kind of show that would do excellently at the Fringe festival. It is a dizzying, adrenaline-fuelled triumph, and I will absolutely be returning to see it when I visit Edinburgh in August.
Details: gosh! Runs 4-28 Aug, 20:50, Just The Tonic at The Mash House – Just The Bottle Room