Topher McGrillis

Me and Mr C


There is a bare stage, stripped of any colour, the space is massive and in the centre sits a old teal two seater sofa and beside it, a suitcase brown old and battered. Gary Kitching comes on stage, immediately acknowledging the presence of the audience and breaking that fourth wall. The concept is clever, he asks the audience direct questions, picking on volunteers for answers, answers he will then use in his narrative. He also invited a volunteer on stage to act the role of his therapist, just simply smiling, nodding and reading out advice written on a piece of paper by audience members. Kitching does warn that the show is improvised and that could also be its downfall, and for the night I saw it – I didn’t think it worked too well. Kitching has great physicalisation and vocal range, the way in which he takes on his character seemed natural to him and effortless which makes the audience comfortable with what he is doing.

However the story itself for me was rather long winded, it could have been condensed and did not seem to have many depth in layers due to the execution. It is about a man who has been working a job in which he now despises for 24 years and finally decided to quit and pursue a career in stand up comedy however when that does not go as well as expected he is forced to return to his old job with glee. It’s a relatable narrative that focuses on the trap that life can be and evokes an emotional response.

Kitching is also joined on stage with a puppet who plays ‘Mr C’, we are told he does not speak and later learn that he in fact signifies that voice in your head that sees all you see, hears all you say and doubts all you do, sometimes even judging you before telling you what he thinks of it all.

As mentioned before, the concept is a good one however I believe the improvisation could have been polished and have some structure, there were some parts in which the same things where repeated and I don’t know if that was for dramatic effect or lack of material but for me as an audience member it felt like the latter. It would have been bettered shortened in time with distinct and precise moments, however it was undoubtedly funny, it is a great sit in for an evening after the pub and my favourite part was the audience being able to selected the music featured throughout the piece.