Bagmanimous, VAULT Festival

by guest critic Jo Trainor

Nonsense. Complete and utter, glorious, nonsense. This was Brendan Murphy’s very first outing of Bagmanimous and it was an hour of brilliantly silly joy. 

Man dates, “That’s limes”, and a list of famous sharks. The Bag Man, teaches the audience how to be gracious in defeat, and magnanimous in victory by putting the room through its paces. There are magical quests, intense quiz rounds, and bag inspections, and although we don’t do tremendously well, the Bag Man tells us all we’d learnt something new which is just as important. The show is team effort so get ready to participate. 

Murphy transforms into other larger than life characters throughout the evening. Crooner and master of Dad jokes Frankie Montana in his gold lamé suit is a particular fan favourite. Bagmanimous gives Murphy the space to exercise all his comedic muscles as well as show off his singing ability, and it’s such a pleasure to watch. Three jokes have the same punch line, but it just completely works for the show. 

Make sure you prepare for aggressive quiz show host Tommy Mooin’s quick fire questions; it may feel impossible to win, but he’s definitely not cheating. I don’t want to give away any spoilers, but I would brush up on your bear knowledge. 

There’s a sprinkling of plot, but the ridiculous, wonderful humour works as its own narrative. It may be its first outing but Bagmanimous’ game playing, rough round the edges comedy feels like a perfect final piece. If you can’t see it on Saturday I would be very surprised if it’s doesn’t have an Edinburgh Fringe run. 

Bagmanimous runs through 4 March. 

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