Colin Hoult

Colin Hoult.Colin Hoult has spun out a strange, sad, oddly beautiful world in a show which is interesting and powerfully performed but not particularly funny. Approached as theatre the show offers a disjointed, unsettling, exquisite series of character portraits, some of whom return, and some - like an old man afflicted with Altzheimer's who is funny at first, but slides rapidly into tragedy - are contained in single scenes completely disconnected from the rest of the show.

Whilst there isn't any kind of overarching plot, and only a few of the scenes contain any action, the characters slowly reveal themselves and their stories through Colin Hoult, Dan Snelgrove and Zoe Gardner's sensitive, intense performances. It is a testament to both characters and actors that frequent audience interaction never shatters the tense, unnerving atmosphere. Whether playing fetch with the dog, dancing or singing along, we are drawn right in to their world.

Songs, singing and chanting play a key role in establishing the characters' different settings, whether it be a dark spell woven by the fates or muted music from the nightclub next door. The aural landscaping is vital as the visual set up is rather confusing: a huge, white tree dominates the stage seemingly serving no purpose. Thwor, god of Thwunder, suggests it may be Yggdrasil, but there seems no link in tone, theme or story to tie the other characters to a Norse setting, and it remains mostly unexplained.

There is a smattering of dark humour throughout, and the different characters are often concerned with entertaining or interacting with us, but there are simply not enough laughs to qualify as a comedy show.

Listing for Colin Hoult's Inferno