John Kearns – Sight Gags for Perverts
A monk’s wig, a pair of false teeth, a deflated horse costume: sounds like the props for an am dram murder mystery. But no, the teeth-wig combo has become John Kearns’s trademark. He never explains why he’s wearing them, but they make his screechy self-loathing all the more ridiculous.
‘What this show about?’ he shrieks, in a cockney twang, before explaining it’ll cover some big topics: failure, aspiration and loneliness. But before we can get on to that, he has to test the audience by singing along to an entire instrumental funk track that he offers as our ‘chance to leave’. No one does, and if they had they would’ve missed a treat. Kearns is an absurdist, but there’s honesty and heart behind all his silliness.
Throughout the hour, Kearns focuses on his mundane real life: living with his parents, working as a tour guide at the Houses of Parliament, taking a lonesome holiday to Berlin. He paints himself as a tragic, lonely figure, and wistfully imagines being able to make a living from comedy.
But it’s not all doom and gloom. With a little help from Springsteen, ‘Sight Gags for Perverts’ has an uplifting, optimistic message, and there are tons of absurdly funny lines and strange ideas along the way. You can’t help but leave the show feeling joyous and that you’ve just witnessed a true comedy original. Not bad for someone who’s struggling to speak through his oversized dentures.
See 'John Kearns – Sight Gags for Perverts' at the Edinburgh Fringe
See John Kearns in London
Two-time Edinburgh Award winner John Kearns is a master absurdist. Even his get-up is seriously strange: in debut solo show 'Sight Gags for Perverts' Kearns he sported a monk’s wig, a pair of false teeth and a deflated horse costume. All the better to portray his ridiculous, hilarious self-loathing. Straight from the (deflated) horse's mouth, here's what's to expect at this series of Christmas shows. ‘In 2011 and 2012 I recorded my family’s Christmas dinners. Four years later I sat in a library and listened to them. They reveal such details as the changing landscape of South London bus routes and the disappearance of cod, all soundtracked to Elvis singing the Wonderful World of Christmas. At time of writing, I can’t promise that this isn’t the entire show.’Read more
As far as we're concerned, the Weirdos Comedy Collective's annual alternative panto is one of the highlights of the comedy calendar. Now in its fifth year, it's become a bit of a comedy Christmas tradition. A large gang of out-there comedians join forces to put on a chaotic, stupidly silly alt-panto – complete with cardboard props and sets, ludicrous costumes and ambitious songs – with practically no budget. And all proceeds go to Great Ormond Street Hospital. Once again, chief Weirdo (although he doesn't like to be called that) Adam Larter has penned the 'play', and Matthew Highton is directing. The cast this year includes Weirdos regulars Beth Vyse, Gareth Morinan, John Kearns, Katia Kvinge, Jack De’Ath, Bob Slayer, Joz Norris, Ben Target, William Lee and Eleanor Morton, plus a whole load more. And the plot? Well, we're not entirely sure to be honest. But we can guarantee that it will be the funniest, most haphazard and entertaining wedding you've ever been to. Find more Christmas pantomimes in LondonBook now Read more