Wearing a surgeon’s white coat splattered with blood, with his hands also dripping, Rob Johnson emerges to introduce us the idea of the recidivist, who is doomed to keep reoffending even when desperately trying to break the destructive cycle.

From there Johnson and Harry Milas, working together as comedy duo Mantaur, whisk us into the darker recesses of the human mind in a weird, witty, twisted, nightmarish but mostly very funny cabaret-cum-sketch show called The Recidivists about the subconscious and the fear of the performer.

Photograph © Clare Hawley

There’s the hairy monster that comes at night, the crazy psychoanalyst called Dr Jung who rolls around on an exercise ball making bad puns relating to his name, the sleazy agent who sends a reluctant actor to a rather horrifying audition for a horror film, the young man tricked into committing a murder, and the young hoon who keeps cutting kite strings, among other vignettes. As for the Glen Campbell number, suffice to say it’s a hoot.

Quick costume changes, many of them on stage, are all part of the fun as the two bare-footed performers morph from one character to the next, pulling bits and...

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