Marketed as an evening of entertainment with existential banter, The iDiOT Circus: Death Is Coming juxtaposes macabre music with wacky humour in an attempt to produce something comically philosophical.
The band is led by writer, singer and ukulelist Nick Court, who has previously performed in RSC productions, the Globe, and the West End. Other band members include keyboardist James Rowland, bassist Matt Cook and drummer Josh Haberfield, and the show is performing at Assembly George Square’s Piccolo tent.
Unfortunately, the angsty show’s intentions are never properly fulfilled, and the show consists of the band’s music with a few gags sprinkled in. The music is quite fun, but it is heavily relied upon to make the performance entertaining. The band’s music is available on Soundcloud and Spotify if you would like to judge for yourself, but the rather monotonous statements about radical Marxism and the inevitability of death get old after a while.
Lead singer Nick Court really steers the show, delivering great vocals and charisma in front of the audience. James Rowland is second in charge, and Matt Cook and Josh Haberfield, while great at their instruments, do not offer much more than their presence and musical accompaniment. The songs tend to jump from one to the next, being introduced through, at best, lightly amusing announcements. While the show’s references to cultural and philosophical figures like Shakespeare and Dostoyevsky are clever at times, at others they come across as self-indulgent and rather thrown in.
The costumes of The iDiOT Circus: Death Is Coming are purposefully eclectic and the show’s gags depend on randomness as a source of comedy. If this is your thing, this is your show. However, sometimes these gags go on for a bit too long, which can be painful if the audience are not responsive. Alternatively, the Piccolo tent’s curved seating provides a great space to watch uncomfortable, uncooperative and disengaged audience members, which is hilarious.
There is an appeal to this show but, unless you are entertained by an hour of morbid songs and the occasional laugh, it relies on other people having a bad time. Either way, The iDiOT Circus: Death Is Coming will have you thinking about death – for better or for worse.