Verdict: Recommended Show
Venue: Pleasance Courtyard
Writer/Performer: James Wilson-Taylor
‘James Wilson-Taylor creates a solo performance all about Batman.’
If you love Batman you will love this show. Using songs, musical parodies, and some slightly glitchy graphics to accompany his Bat-lecture, James Wilson Taylor has created an outlet for his enthusiasm and frustrations surrounding this popular franchise.
Dressed in an outfit, made by his mother, that would make any Batman jealous (Why did Bob Kane get rid of Batman’s original red trousers?) Taylor references every take on Batman beginning with the very first created which morphed into the image we all know today. Taking us through the history of one of the worlds most beloved heroes, Taylor shows us how ridiculous and implausible it all really is, from oversized bombs to being thwarted by ducks and nuns, shoddy graphics and that whole nipple business (for those who do not know, watch Batman and Robin, 1997).
Taylor shows great hatred against Zack Snyder (director of the upcoming Batman v Superman), Joel Schumacher (director Batman and Robin), and Ben Affleck (the next Batman) over their involvement and ruining of the Batman name in their own ways. And he finally settles the debate over whether Batman is gay or not by outing him as bisexual in great comic – and surprisingly non-offensive – fashion.
A lot of obvious yet mostly unchallenged issues are raised, like how did Bruce Wayne get away with taking charge of a child circus performer and turning him into a masked sidekick dressed in a terribly unsuitable outfit for such dangerous business? Or how no-one traced the Bat-credit card back to Bruce Wayne? (again, watch Batman and Robin). Taylor explores these issues and a whole lot more with humour and wit and a tiny doll of Robin stuck to a paintbrush.
Bat-Fan is entertaining, funny, and well researched. Tech issues aside, the slides and clips add to the humour and wit of the piece with clearly a lot of thought being put into them. Taylor is highly relatable and the whole performance is rather like hanging out with your brilliantly weird flatmate at home with nothing but a sound system and a cardboard box and having the most fun you could possibly have.