Review: The Slide Show Must Go On

Comedy duo Ben Bailey and Chris Parkinson deliver a hilariously engaging and informative stand-up, with a series of PowerPoint presentations about a variety of weird and wonderful subjects.

This post may contain mature or challenging content.

Review: The Slide Show Must Go On

The two comedians, Ben Bailey and Chris Parkinson, host an amazingly insightful, enthusiastic and downright bizarre talk into unexpected topics. Despite the frankly odd subject matters, their personable delivery casts an easy-going atmosphere. The duo form a perfectly balanced sort of yin and yang. Parkinson as performer is entertainingly passionate. He talks very fast about his research, gesticulating wildly with his notes swinging in one hand, until he’s red in the face. On the flipside, there’s Bailey, all deadpan and casual. He presents his talks with an unrelentingly dry wit, no matter how ridiculous the topic. 

Before the show starts, Parkinson greets each audience member by the door. He is speedy as ever, walking around the pub. And when he’s on the stage, he begins with his characteristic enthusiasm, explaining in detail what the audience can expect for the night. Bailey and Parkinson have prepared two topics each to present, using PowerPoint to present slides full of zany images. They take it turns to deliver their talks, and every topic is peppered with unusual facts and anecdotes.

The first talk starts from Parkinson, who gives an in-depth telling of the history of Monster Munch crisps. His personal stand-out being the Orange Monster, which represents the flavour of Giant Prawn. Parkinson gleefully shows concept art of the monsters from the 90s. And I have to say, for something aimed at children, they look terrifying. Completely random, but delightfully interesting - from here the talks get increasingly more niche. 

After a short intermission, Bailey is on stage next. I find his choice of topics darkly amusing and strange. His talk brings a rapid tonal whiplash -  from crisps to a showcase of erotic fantasy art. On his slides, Bailey showcases the admittedly tacky and vulgar art from a vintage art book. He explains that the art is accompanied by very flowery poems written by none other than the artist’s wife. Bailey takes an almost torturous amount of joy in reading out these poems in his monotone voice, contrasting the elaborate words with pictures of overly-muscular naked bodies. 

There’s another break, and Bailey returns with a new and equally odd presentation -  about aliens, which develops into discussing The War of The Worlds and its author H.G. Wells, who apparently remembered the houses of neighbours he didn’t like, so he could describe them being destroyed by martians in the book. 

Throughout the performance, the duo continue to explore the weird and wonderful world of their interests. Parkinson delivers the final peculiar topic, this one about famous hoaxes. He encourages the audience with full confidence to create their own hoaxes because, as he puts it, it feels good to lie. 


Mimi Waters

Mimi Waters Voice Reviewer

I'm a budding writer who loves to review all sorts of wonderful things that happen in the heart of Brighton. With a deep interest in art and literature, I'm constantly seeking inspiration for new creative projects.

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