Ali Brice stars as Eric Meat in this interactive detective love story, playing “three-and-a-half characters”. It all starts quite calmly, like a quirky noir, with the simple premise that Eric wakes up in his flat unable to remember anything of the night before. But his girlfriend Julia has seemingly vanished into thin air – and you soon realise that you're getting even more than you bargained for when Mr Meat strips down to shower, leaving very little to the imagination.
From this point on the show descends into madness. Meat enlists a member of the audience to become his assistant and chief note taker. They proceed to investigate the disappearance of Meat's girlfriend, observing suspicious characters like the Apple man and local party animal Froghat. The clues, we are told, are lurking in the audience. The suspense has everyone on edge. No one is safe from cross-examination; this is a great show to dispel any beliefs that it's only people in the front row who get picked on, as I discovered the hard way, coming face-to-face with an absurdly out-there party trick.
Brice is bold and relentless, unafraid to cross the lines of personal space and create an uncomfortable yet hilarious experience. That balance is key. The audience may have trouble piecing together what is actually happening but it never seems to lull. The random twists and turns of surrealism – the apple funeral for one – make for a bizarre and entertaining hour. At one point Brice even disappears himself, leaving his assistant in charge of the show and the audience; it's a risky move but the “volunteer” takes up the reins and continues where Brice left off.
Eric Meat is an endearing character, and his obsession with pasta along with his inability or unwillingness to accept the truth builds the story behind the man. It manages to create something potentially deeper than just the nonsense that is going on in front of us.
As Detective Meat and his assistant Tickles drive off into the sunset, I pondered the message we're left. It might be it doesn't matter about a moral: just enjoy the experience for what it is, a celebration of silliness, a joyfully silly show for silly people.