After recent successful runs at the Edinburgh Fringe Doctor Brown (Philip Burgers) once again graces London with his surreal, uncomfortable sketches and his lewdly dressed body. In 2010 he indulged in breakfast making, chair racing and games of Guess Who? played against himself.
In 2011 he donned a kimono and wooed members of the audience with provocative dancing and a pineapple. He is a master of suggestion and mime, a connoisseur of awkward and enticing scenes.
However Doctor Brown seems to have finally worn himself out with his new show Befrdfgth. In previous years his energy and stone-faced charisma has been the basis of his performance. He would never seem tired, unimaginative and never, ever would he find his own jokes amusing. As strange as it may sound, the sight of him actually enjoying himself and smiling (not with the squint eyed sarcastic smile that has always enhanced his performance) detracted from the mood. Whilst Burgers used to polarise his audience, his style being so bizarre that you would either love it or hate it. But this new Doctor, unenthused, exhausted and uninspired, has taken a middle ground and reigned in on the absurdity that made his previous shows outstanding.
Burgers begins by stealing clothes and bags from the audience, eating packed lunches and harassin members of the theatre staff. The show then launches into a steamy love tale between a man dressed in a bull costume and an actually bull and skates through tiger impressions and bike rides involving a lot of audience participation which (especially when he sits and watches a member of the
audience perform parts of his show for him) seem lazy more than anything. Bit and pieces have been taken from previous shows and reimagined and there’s points at which he seems to build up his old energy but for the most part Doctor Brown stands on stage looking lost, confused and disillusioned.
Book tickets to his show here: www.sohotheatre.com/whats-on/doctor-brown-befrdfgth