Easy targets


GOSH, I'm easily pleased. I never would have imagined it would make me feel so happy to throw socks at actors. Well maybe in Week Three but certainly not at the beginning of the festival.

Californian theatre group The Burglars of Hamm have come up with the blindingly simple but brilliant idea of a faux actors' showcase that encourages the audience to pelt performers with balled up socks.

The show has a rolling bill, so tonight we had a woman "exploring many characters", a godawful happy-clappy children's performer, a self-indulgent Shakespearian actor and a truly cringeworthy homosexual coming-out story. All were fabulously awful, not in the sense of being incompetent, but as gloriously exaggerated examples of "look at me" acting.

It is a bit like a drama school exercise but it is wonderfully cathartic to behave so badly as a member of the audience. You end up like one of Shakespeare's groundlings, howling, groaning and hurling missiles in childish glee.

It's rather alarming to find yourself so easily becoming part of a mob but it is also very funny indeed and thoroughly recommended for those festival-weary moments. The woman next to me laughed so hard she had to use an inhaler.

• Until 19 August. Today 8.35pm