Autosexual pioneer Tim Key makes no secret of the fact that he is an arsehole. As such, he is familiar, occasionally irritating and disappointingly necessary.
His strangled route to his extended, sold-out metropolitan residencies gives some indicator of his peculiar and wide appeal – Russian student, writer, open-mike mosquito, sketch comic and now film star.
His current show, Single White Slut is a development of his slowly evolving theme of an effortlessly powerful, off-beat meta-poet whose sexual prowess is so compelling that it’s practically a nuisance to him while an unparalleled thrill to all woman.
With a blend of artfully dreadful poetry, personal horn-blowing and borderline sexual harrassment, this horrid man manages to select the worst traits of the character he has cultivated for himself and warps it into a Lynchian bubble complete with owl fancying and reckless priapism.
Always somehow one step ahead, Key heckles his own audience in order to keep them in check, to experiment with form and challenge them to give him something harder. All of this combines to fully engage the consistently packed Arcola Tent night after night with a thoroughly expert performance.
Key joins the likes of George Carlin as some of the few comedians can pull off working in the round without resorting to clumsily acknowledging the space. Indeed he extends the format with playful abandon, interfering with the stage and generally indulging himself in an hour and a half of well executed peacocking.
On stage Tim Key needs no recommendation, and off it he’s no arsehole. Clear your diary if you manage to get hold of tickets.