You’d be forgiven for forgetting that Randy is a puppet, within 30 seconds of his new show, Randy’s Anti-Crisis, the illusion takes hold and we believe that the pile of purple felt that is Randy can breathe, talk, and have opinions about God. This show is all about creation, religion, and in particular a cult that Randy has discovered: Berylism.
The stage is set with a pulpit surrounded by candles, giving Randy a Church-like space to rant, and preach to the audience of his beliefs. He even has a large bible, which his puppet hands struggle to turn the pages of. The staging hides away anything that might reveal the mystery, and this is used to full effect at various times throughout the show, when we are revealed to the man behind the curtain, or at least we think we are.
The puppetry of Randy is perfect. He dances around stage, he stands up on his own, and he slides back and forth behind his pulpit swinging his arms back and forth making it seem like there must be more than one skilled person bringing Randy to life at any stage of the performance.
The script around the Berylism religion is tight but Randy takes a few turns away to anecdotes, some of which gives Randy his humanity and depth, but a few times it feels like opinions on topics are just shoehorned in without any real jokes to go with them.
In the middle of the set Randy was interrupted by a phone ringing. He takes the opportunity to do some crowd work prodding the phones owner, Tony, however it falls a bit flat and feels more awkward than funny, ultimately causing Randy to poll the audience on whether he should continue talking to Tony or go back to the script. The crowd votes in favour of the script to which Randy jibes, “Well Tony, I guess you’re just not that fucking interesting.” Resulting in the largest laugh of the whole crowd work section, which unfortunately seemed to lose the momentum of the show.
Randy’s Anti-Crisis is an extremely well crafted stage piece, including a fantastic 1970’s style projector audio-visual element that takes us through “the history of the world”. Randy is very comfortable in his purple felt skin and delivers comedy that cuts a bit deeper into the big issues.
Randy’s show is running throughout MICF until April 14.
More information and tickets can be found here.