Blake Mitchell : Enter the Yum Yum

By Colin Flaherty

This show could be described as a live action version of Adventure Time with a hardcore shadowy undercurrent. In fact the venue and staging suited the sinister atmosphere perfectly; in front of a dart board, lit by a single spotlight deep within the bowels of a pub.

The plot was complex; exploring abandonment issues, psychosis and other emotional problems with a mystical motif on top. Wrapped in a quest format, there were frequent surreal moments to provide the laughs and make the darkness palatable. Mitchell employed heavy handed self deprecation with plenty of comical abuse launched at him by those he encountered on his journey. It was driven by a soundtrack which set the mood, animated secondary characters and provided cues.

Audience interaction played a huge part and his appearance made it very confronting but he was just a big (albeit rather broken) teddy bear. Prowling the room he encouraged punters to accept his gifts, take care of important props and validate his comments. Sometimes his miming didn’t make it clear what he wanted done, but he moved on to others until someone worked it out.

All was seemingly going well until chinks in his armour emerged. Mitchell broke character a few times venting loudly, which could easily be mistaken as clever parts of the script as they were amusing in their extremity. After one too many technical issues in this audio heavy performance he put a halt to the show even though the supportive audience (one girl was compelled to give him a hug) wanted him to continue. He cited reasons of not feeling it and proceeded to denigrated himself at length. Not a very happy note for a comedy show to end on.

Judging by reports of previous performances, the show (and his well being) is currently in a state where it would appeal primarily to people who get off on car crash performances such as the band The Brian Jonestown Massacre. If Mitchell can hold it together and get to the finale as planned, the full twisted beauty will be revealed.

Enter the Yum Yum is on at The Bull and Bear Tavern until April 19