The Cambridge Geek

Tim Key's Late Night Poetry Programme

[UPDATE - 23rd April 2020]: Good lord, this is up to its fifth series now, and pleasingly the entire show is currently available, so feel free to dig in and crunch through the lot.

All a bit fraught this series, as Megan is very close to giving birth, and Lord, her long worrying husband, is nervous and not really helped by Tim's persistence in whisking her off to exotic locales, either to avoid his accountant or star in films. There's also some potholing.

It's still brilliantly written, and I'm impressed they've managed to keep the dynamic of the jealous Tim feeling fresh after all this time. It's also still excellento at dropping in additional details that relate to events that have happened outside the episode as little side gags.

[ORIGINAL - 21st February 2018]: Astounding, this is back.

Tim Key and Tom Basden present a (very) informal evening of poetry, which should consist of Tim reading deliberately terrible poems, but mostly involves him and Tom fighting about the correct way to behave when producing a radio programme.

There certainly is some poetry (though if you can tell the difference between it and a drabble, you're doing better than me), but it is interrupted more than a bit frequently by Tim's attempts to chat up the continuity announcer, Christine, even though he still fancies after Tom's wife Megan. (And a Siberian waitress.)

It is an absurdist chaos, tightly written, with impressively naturalistic dialogue, that pulls the listener into poor old Tim's maelstrom of emotions, typically about his constantly unrequited love. The dialogue has a complex interplay of cajoling and raging, as Tim tries to make his anger issues less of a driving factor.

Tom provides brief musical vignettes that always mix well with the spoken material, while still acting as unfortunate whipping boy to Tim's catastrophic plans. And Sally Phillips does a wonderful job as Christine, tweaking back and forth across the line of professional and silly.

I was excited to see it was back on, and with good reason.

Highly recommended.

Tagged: Radio Comedy Cast Sitcom Arts/Culture