Built like a prop forward and with a loud voice augmented by a radio mic, McPherson takes us through the past love life of his character, Dan, in the hour before his next date.
Through a series of awkward encounters, messed up emotions, misread signals, drunken kisses (“Calpol and tequila”), Dan seems an amiable guy looking for love, finding it and losing it through his inability to sustain relationships with women or men.
He admits to being a storyteller which provides the clue to his real motives and personality that only emerge in the concluding minutes of the show.
With nothing but a stool as a prop, McPherson performs with a dancer’s grace in spite of his robust physique.
The language is semi-poetic, full of alliterative phrases and internal rhymes that add to the tension as well as the amusement.
Under Susie MacDonald’s assured direction, the lighting and Sam MacDonald’s sound design are impressively woven into the monologue, highlighting phrases and moods; at times he seems like a slam poet, at others, a rapper.
He even sings a few lines.
Alternating between fixing the audience with a basilisk stare and a self-effacing grin, he teases us into believing the truth of Dan’s nature.
The final revelations deliver a punch below the belt that has you rewinding the monologue to find the clues that he has laid throughout. It’s a deceptively clever and brutally honest sixty minutes.
Colossal is at the Soho Theatre until March 25 (Tickets: 020 7478 0100).