Ben Harris returns with another hour of obscure alternative comedy and storytelling. Stripped back from last year's more explicitly surreal 'Mr Harris', this is a semi-fictional exploration of Harris's inner self. So we are led to believe, anyway.
Harris has spent the year since the last Edinburgh Fringe recovering on a commune in Wales. He's taken to meditating, questioning who he is, and talking to pigs. For fans of comedy with a distinct narrative and format, Harris has pieced together more of a structure this year; we're taken on a journey from inquisitive schooldays through to the present, as Harris examines what it is that has shaped him, and muses whether he should start to live the life of a normal person. Which leads him to investigating his local supermarket.
There are not many people who can stand on a stage reading out shopping receipts, and not only make it really stupidly funny but also weirdly interesting. This otherwise incredibly mundane process provides some great insights into human nature.
Harris has such a relaxed presence; audience interaction is unforced – even when he's being heckled by a baby. His natural delivery draws the audience into his possibly make-believe world, and keeps everyone on board regardless how bizarre the material becomes. And it is the delivery mixed with a seemingly unlimited supply of surreal ideas that drives the performance. There is something just inherently funny about Harris reeling off the vegetables you'll find at his local Sainsbury's.
It's hard to pinpoint what exactly it is that makes Harris so entertaining. Is it his unique turns of phrase, subtle knowing gestures, a willingness to try out stranger and stranger concepts? Perhaps it's the mystery and anticipation of what absurd thoughts he will squeeze out of his head next. If only there was more comedy like this.