Analog.Ue being the new Daniel Kitson show at the Lyttleton Theatre down at The National Theatre.


Who’s Daniel Kitson?
If you’ve got to ask this, then you’ve missed out. Daniel Kitson is, to my mind, one of the most consistently brilliant comedians out there, although labeling him as simply a comedian is doing him a massive disservice. An Edinburgh Fringe Perrier Award-winner at the age of 25, Kitson is a man who doesn’t need to play the game. He’s renowned for doing things his way – refusing to do TV (despite many lucrative offers) or even interviews, managing himself without the assistance of an agent, and running his own mailing list (which is the closest he comes to issuing press releases).

A stutter, a lisp & a beard you could store enough food in for a week have clearly been no barrier to Kitson making himself heard. His stand-up shows are as good as you’ll ever see and his rapid-paced turn of phrase is genius, the precise use of vocabulary embroiling you in exactly the world he wants you to be in. Profanities are used sparingly and only when no other word can deliver such comic gold.

However, as I said, Kitson can always be trusted to deliver the unexpected. Just as his stand-up was being showered with universal praise, he decided that it was time to try something new – I call them his monologues. These are more theatrical tales told with minimal props, not laugh-a-minute comedy but wonderfully crafted stories that entwine his fantastic sense of humour with a dark undercurrent of moroseness – something which, due to the frequency with which it occurs, must reflect some part of Kitson’s soul.

But back to Analog.Ue. If you have tickets then please read no more, I don’t want to spoil it for you.

Kitson’s latest show demonstrates his ability and desire to keep his audiences guessing. Analog.Ue is a masterpiece of visual storytelling where he doesn’t say a word. Instead, he’s prerecorded the entire show on 46 old reel-to-reel tape machines, all of which are piled on a table at the back of the dimly lit stage. Kitson spends the entire performance walking back and forth with individual machines, plugging them into the control table in the middle of the stage. As each one gets its moment in the spotlight, an asymmetrical sprawl of cables and machines remains beautifully lit in the background. The show can seem slow-paced at times, but as the three strands of the tale slowly unfold, the serenity draws you in and engulfs you. As well as the visual spectacle, Kitson is still a deeply funny, intelligent man, and Analog.Ue continually showers the crowd with sparkling gems of wit. You’ll walk out of the venue knowing you’ve been lucky to see something so special.

I can’t tell you to go and see it, as Analog.Ue’s run is completely sold out. When tickets went on sale the demand crashed the National Theatre website, not the first time a Daniel Kitson show has done that I think. All I can suggest is that you remember the name, and that the next time you see it in a theatre/comedy venue/pub you book straight away.

Then email me a thank you!