Verdict: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (reviewed 12 November).

“You embarrassed yourself”, “Confront your intrusive thoughts”, “You suffered emotional damage” are just some of the commands you’ll be getting in this very unpredictable show, where the audience is in control of what happens to their hero, Karate Man.

Devised by Karate Man himself (Bruno Dubosarsky, a motion graphic designer) and his nemesis Ross Roundkick (Daniel Scarratt, a digital marketing strategy consultant with an interest in psychology), Karate Man invites the audience to control Karate Man’s actions by using a hand-held game controller that is passed round from one audience member to another. Everyone gets a turn at helping Karate Man complete various tasks, such as: choosing a career for Karate Man, choosing an outfit for a job interview (I got to choose his hat), posing for his new fashionista boss, singing karaoke, and so on. Along the way, Karate Man must fend of goons of depression and self-doubt, and find a way to reconcile with his wife, Kara, who feels emotionally neglected by her husband.

The video-game concept might sound slightly daunting for socially-anxious people like me that was thinking Please God don’t let me f*** it all up but rest assured the game-controller is (mostly) super-intuitive to use, with options to kick, punch, jump, throw, move left or right and go into special mode (shaking his maracas) or turbo-charge himself. At each command, a robotic voice announces that selection and Karate Man responds by performing the action. And if you do f*** it up, you get the chance to try again until a voice announces “NEXT PLAYER!”

The concept is original and thoroughly engaging with a laid-back, chilled atmosphere and lots of laughs from a friendly audience that are just as anxious as you. The show is full of whimsical ideas and characters that keeps the momentum going during 60 minutes and never wanes in its ability to surprise and delight.

So PUNCH those inner demons. KICK those fears and doubts away. LOOK UP (and forward) to the next production and keep an eye out for this very entertaining SPECIAL.

Karate Man played at Improv Theatre on 11 & 12 November. Karate Man is devised by Beak Comedy which you can follow here with lots of cool stuff like behind-the-scenes podcasts and more.

Images sourced from Beak Comedy Instagram page

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