The argument over the democratisation of various media rages on. While one camp argues for the right of the individual to shamelessly pursue their ineffable right to embarrass themselves on reality show auditions, the opponents of this very new trend condemn the un-yielding slew of opinions which appear all over the blogosphere. Ian Heggie makes himself an avid but inadvertent proponent of the latter camp by exploring the very worst of traits inherent in this information democratisation process with his new series of monologues – Wide Asleep.
Ostensibly a series of monologues about love, friendship and neighbourliness and new accompanying songs, the performance actually meanders between tales so mundane they could be the product of your eternal and unwanted night bus companion and Heggie’s painful attempts at singing while simultaneously gazing at the audience with a very creepy affectation of Mona Lisa’s ubiquitous stare. His style is unjustifiably self aggrandising and only redeemed sporadically by brief, crude laughs, while his material lacks any contemporary bite and references to the So Solid Crew and the Taliban are as cutting edge as the Aasics sports trainers and faded utility jeans he proudly sports.
It made me wish Simon Cowell was in the room
Having said that, Tyler Collins, his musical accompaniment by way of acoustic guitar and fellow songwriter, almost manages to redeem the entire performance with his brief appearance on one track. However, Collins is so good a singer that the rest of Heggie’s spurious anecdotes seem like the work of a second rate compere following this display of sonic wonderment. Neither a hilarious raconteur nor creator of moving theatre, Heggie quickly stopped me caring about his jokes-without-punchlines-masquerading-as-monologues stories and his flat crooning made me wish for the first time in my life that Simon Cowell was also in the room. All in all, Wide Asleep is as funny as the title, a more apposite version of which might be Wish I Was Asleep.
Wide Asleep @ The Tron Theatre, Glasgow from Tuesday 29th September – Saturday 3rd October.
Then touring: Finborough Theatre, The Finborough, 118 Finborough Road, London SW10 9ED on Sundays and Mondays, 4, 5, 11, 12, 18 and 19 October.