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Alex Horne – Monsieur Butterfly review

Pleasance Courtyard

alex horne press 2014
© Avalon
By Ben Williams |

Alex Horne is still putting together his new show. Literally. Each night he builds an elaborate contraption out of plungers, desk fans, bowling balls, ladders and a professionally sharpened nail.

‘Even if you don’t enjoy it, you won’t leave before the end,’ he says, as he puts together another piece of the puzzle. Indeed, ‘Monsieur Butterfly’ is all about anticipation. Will this homemade Rube Goldberg-style device, made from items bought mostly from Wickes, succeed or will the finale be a total anti-climax? But there’s far more to keep you hooked than just pure curiosity.

The beardy comic tries to lower our expectations by announcing that he’s always enjoyed the ‘sheer joy of construction’ more than the finished product. You could hear a pin drop when the final moment of truth arrives, but really it doesn’t matter how successful his contraption is. Horne uses the assembly as a framework, if you will, to slip in crafty jokes and stories about his life: tales of squirrels, ideas for crazy golf graves and why his dream job would be ‘snooker cameraman’.

There are smart puns, strange facts, skewed views on fatherhood and heaps of silly ideas, and they all help to build the show as much as the tapes measures, balloons, traffic cones and baseballs.

It’s apparently taken Horne ten years (and £285 worth of kit) to put together the ambitious, delightfully daft ‘Monsieur Butterfly’. It’s a real treat to watch the final hour come together.

‘Alex Horne – Monsieur Butterfly’ is at the Pleasance Courtyard, 8.10pm

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