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Review: The Horne Section Live at the Southbank Centre

I always feel sorry for Alex Horne in Taskmaster. After all, it was originally his show that he took to the Edinburgh Festival in 2010 only to play second chair to Greg Davies in the televised version. He seems to enjoy himself just fine but it was great to see him taking centre stage at this week's performance of The Horne Section Live at London's Southbank Centre.  

The Horne Section, also created in 2010, is a musical comedy ensemble comprised of professional musicians and a vocally enthusiastic Alex Horne. A modern-day variety show, the band have fun with original comedy songs, unique takes on well-known tunes, audience participation and even an energising Zumba session. And for those of you who have ever wondered what Henry Hoover might sound like while playing a banjo, rest assured your time has come. 

Horne warmly brings the audience into the show and they're excited to take part, including one lady who gamely sung an awkward yet committed version of Happy Birthday to herself. Horne's energy doesn't dip for a moment in the show and this is infectious. Thankfully, he is also not an egotistical leading man giving each band member their time to shine and perform. The show never falters in its manic energy, as songs, props and costumes change as fast as lightning and everything is seamlessly stitched together. 

One of the problems with entertainment nowadays is a pressure that comedians feel to be political. This is perfectly understandable, but sometimes it is refreshing to encounter a comedy show where the driving force is not satirical observation or wry social commentary. And the sight of a giant hat dancing to 'You Can Leave Your Hat On' or two blindfolded audience members desperately trying to unravel a toilet roll to stick on a marmite covered holder (a little nod to fans of Taskmaster) is just the tonic. Thanks to Alex and the Horne Section for giving us some anxiety-free laughter and a thoroughly joyous night. 

 

To check out The Horne Section's latest dates, please go to their website here.