DANIEL Bye is a theatre director who for the purposes of this show has become a writer/performer presenting what he calls a “performance lecture”.
It has for those expecting a play, he suggests from the start, a higher artistic value but is less enjoyable.
He certainly looks the part of lecturer with geeky spectacles, a shirt inspired by tablecloths, red trousers and a lecture screen.
The constant grin on his face, however, intimates something else, a sense of humour.
And so it turns out – although this is less stand up comedy, more of a comic challenge. He constantly leads his audience up one path, only to take a last minute diversion.
His subject is about the values in our lives. He begins with milk, producing a pint of milk in a plastic bottle and explaining how much he paid for it at the Co-Op.
But how much are the minerals in our bodies worth? The audience is invited to answer and told it is a miserable 60p.
Other things like working organs are worth much more, a heart costs £40,000, a kidney £54,000 and a lung £69,000. Our DNA clocks up £5 million and our bone marrow £13 million. In fact, if we sold everything including our skin it would total around £27 million.
Whether any of this is true I don’t know as elsewhere in the show Bye admits to making things up. Even nothing has a value, he says. He advertised an air guitar on eBay and raised £800, later selling other items like an imaginary friend.
The total of £6,000 he got paid for the show.
Well, he made that up, he says. Later he tells a rambling tale about going back to his home town of Middlesbrough and deciding on random acts of kindness, actions that led others to do the same and ending in a whole community getting involved.
He made that up, too. Sadly, it takes away some of the sense of the performance and you end up feeling a little duped.
For some reason, he offers glasses of milk to the audience at the halfway stage and hands out an envelope to one audience member containing £20 to be handed to a stranger to do some good. But did it really contain £20?
I like to believe that it did.