Bizarre and hilarious – Experiment Human welcomes you for a night like no other.
To be honest, when I found out I was going to be watching a show centred around the idea of an alien species kidnapping Benedict Cumberbatch I wasn’t really sure what I was letting myself in for.
Experiment Human is brought to Rotunda Theatre’s Brighton Fringe by Hooky Productions (one of several shows centring around their fictional Monkion species experiencing humanity. It revolves around the Monkion trying to learn how to keep Benedict Cumberbatch alive and happy within the attic, whilst roping in their unlikely audience of human subjects to help them figure out the human experience once and for all.
Featuring the comedic duo of Rosa and Maya Hallpike combined with high energy, quick wit and lots of physical theatre; Experiment Human is one of the most unique and unusual stories being told on stage.
For the first five minutes of this show – I really wasn’t sure whether this show was going to be my cup of tea. The show revels in its abstract and Artaudian-inspired style and with all the obscure movement, noises, and audience participation – I wasn’t sure what to make of the characters worshipping the almighty Cumberbatch.
However – what sets this show aside from any other bizarre theatrical experience is the heart and humour that the Hallpike sisters bring to their performance.
Relying on plenty of improvised moments – including making jokes about technical difficulties and disruptive traffic noises from outside, the sisters are perfectly present; always on top of every joke and moment and having the audience in the palm of their hand, being willing to play into their silliness.
Their comedic timing is exemplary – calling back to earlier moments with ease and creating shared jokes with the audience throughout. For a 60-minute show – the relationship that the two actors can build with the audience is astounding. I was enamoured by the strangeness and quirkiness of the whole experience.
Despite facing an audience which was admittedly rather timid and awkward, to begin with, the infectious energy of both Rosa and Maya allowed the audience to relax and revel in the unusual. It felt like an interactive macabre clown show!
This show certainly isn’t for everyone. You have to be willing to commit to the strange energy and excitement that the Hallpike sisters initiate. But if you are on board with the strange concept, you are guaranteed an evening full of laughter and oddness that will leave you puzzling about your own existence for hours afterwards.
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