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by on 24 August 2021

Travel Slight


by David Hoskin

Elf Lyons at the Hen and Chickens, Camden Fringe until 24th August

Review by Heather Moulson

The soundtrack of Blue Heaven, the voice-over recalling a bland TV presenter and the zippy sound effects compensated for the starkly furnished stage as this unusual one-man show opened up.  We were given immediate insight into this one person, played by David Hoskin, sitting there asking for nothing, simply living a bland man’s life.  His mime skills and strong interaction with the audience were impressive and made this a promising start. 

With carefully calculated blackouts, we were offered chapters into the unfulfilled existence of this man, who appeared in desperate need of a holiday.  The opportunity quite literally came to his door with artistic licence and flair.  There followed the atmosphere of a busy airport, the bland muzak, the flight and overwhelming arrival at a busy holiday destination: not to mention the beach, and the grimness of holiday makers there.  Every detail was conceived and presented.  This was written as a well thought-out piece. 

By a clever interaction with the audience and use of a beach ball, and with skilled puppetry, David Hoskin used his slick talent to the full.  After narrowly escaping a ghastly threesome, and the narrator pondering on the subject that holiday friends don’t really exist, he is stranded in a dark forest.  Sadly, I felt the consistency slowed down at this point, and despite the clever sound effects, my engagement fell away. 

The perky homecoming and greeting of cats brightened up and brought this unusual piece back on track.   The breaking glass effect of his home smashing round his ears as a bleak finale brought back its vibrancy.   

Well written, brutal, funny and sad, it had a lot to carry for fifty minutes.  I loved being treated to David Hoskins’ strong stage presence, obvious talent and versatility.  The direction of by Elf Lyons, himself an award-winning comedian and clown, enhanced a show that was genuinely funny and enjoyable for the majority of its scenes.   I still came out of the Hen and Chickens pub feeling very impressed. 

Heather Moulson, August 2021

Photography by Elf Lyons

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