The Story Beast: like Oliver Reed doing Jackanory
The Story Beast is the pseudonym of John Henry Falle, best known as one quarter of sketch troupe The Beta Males. He describes his eponymous solo show at the Pleasance Courtyard this year as ‘full of myths and stories and shit.’
The Story Beast begins with a series of twisted and very funny short stories told using the conventions of children’s entertainment, including narrating the goings on of a toy town that sits on stage and singing his own absurd children’s songs. The bearded Falle cuts an intense and hilarious figure, coming across like a hybrid of Oliver Reed and Brian Blessed performing in a frenzied episode of Jackanory.
Falle is a charismatic presence. He’s a physical performer with an incredibly versatile voice, and his storytelling techniques make the warped material feel somehow familiar and nostalgic. While he is often disturbing, he is always hilarious.
Christian Butler is a writer and musician based in London.
The Story Beast is at Pleasance Courtyard until 31 August.