US TV veteran Christopher Titus, best known for his underrated sitcom Titus, provides a rollercoaster ride through his lurid and strange but true life. A lot of his stories about his dysfunctional parents, family suicide and lengthy custody battles can’t be repeated in print but manage the seemingly impossible task of being simultaneously hilarious and harrowing.
Titus manages to maintain this balance between comedy and tragedy throughout the show, as can be expected from someone with his experience, puncturing a lengthy serious statement on suicide with a joke that relieves any tension amongst the audience. This is helped by Titus’s energy as a performer, bounding across the stage one minute, sitting down to deliver some hard truths the next, that keeps the audience fully engaged with the arguably difficult material.
The second half of the show, which deals with the fallout from Titus’s divorce and his attempts to keep joint custody of his children, in particular benefits from this approach, which prevents the section from becoming a joyless tirade against the legal system and his ex-wife. Instead, Titus’s closing story about reuniting with his estranged children in a restaurant perfectly ties into the beginning of the show whilst encapsulating its overall tone.
Carrying Monsters isn’t always an easy watch, but Titus’s sheer comedic talent and charisma carries the audience through its dark patches to the light at the end of the tunnel.