With its spirited take on the darker side of humanity, this one-man show is an immensely engaging piece of cabaret theatre.
Here Comes Your Man begins as a convention for contract killers and assassins, with audience members given suave code names like ‘Maverick’ and ‘Golden Eagle’ to allow them to join in on the unorthodox conference. Alex Roe, the star of the show, plays Special Guest Presenter ‘X’, a contract killer who expertly hosts a masterclass about infiltration methods, processes and hit strategies. The masterclass soon delves into a more personal sphere, as X reveals his desire to join Echelon, a giant corporation that hires only the best assassins. The performance seamlessly transitions into exploring X’s private life – everyday struggles such as loneliness and love.
With a highly captivating and daringly original script that reveals the fragility of human life, Roe uses X, a self-proclaimed borderline psychopathic monster, as a vehicle to explore the themes of life and death. This venture into bleak territory features genuine moments of self-discovery and unexpectedly, Portishead.
Accompanied by pianist Tom Pitts, Roe belts out endearing tunes when explaining target precision (Fairground Attraction’s ‘Perfect’), the highs and lows of falling in love (The Pixies’ ‘Here Comes Your Man’ and The Beatles’ ‘Across the Universe’) and dealing with the final moments before death (Radiohead’s ‘No Surprises’). This unique blend not only results in the audience gleefully singing along to The Pixies (‘So long, so long!’), but it also masterfully provides insights into the protagonist’s mind.
With strobe lighting and sound effects representing whizzing gunshots, Roe makes the best use of the intimate space. He successfully utilises the entire space – not just the stage – and displays considerable (and intimate) physicality. Roe’s dynamic spirit is unrelenting, fuelling the high-octane energy the performance requires.
Part of Attic Erratic’s workshop season, Here Comes Your Man only gives subtle hints about X’s past and his motives for becoming a cold-blooded killer. It might prevent fully-fledged sympathy from the audience, or a complete immersion into the head of a ruthless assassin, but the mystery behind his character makes it more engrossing.
With its highly spirited take on the darker side of humanity, this one-man show is an immensely engaging piece of cabaret theatre. Roe’s revision of Here Comes Your Man for its Melbourne Fringe season later this year is definitely something to look forward to.
Rating: 4 stars out of 5
Alex Roe in Here Comes Your Man
The Butterfly Club, Melbourne
3 – 4 July
Melbourne Cabaret Festival
26 June – 7 July
First published on
What the stars mean?
- Five stars: Exceptional, unforgettable, a must see
- Four and a half stars: Excellent, definitely worth seeing
- Four stars: Accomplished and engrossing but not the best of its kind
- Three and a half stars: Good, clever, well made, but not brilliant
- Three stars: Solid, enjoyable, but unremarkable or flawed
- Two and half stars: Neither good nor bad, just adequate
- Two stars: Not without its moments, but ultimately unsuccessful
- One star: Awful, to be avoided
- Zero stars: Genuinely dreadful, bad on every level