Steve Bugeja – Soho Theatre

ALMOST

“We need to talk”

A review by Tanya Howard

At the beginning of September Steve Bugeja embarked on his biggest tour to date, including a week-long run at Soho Theatre, following a critically-acclaimed sell out run at the Edinburgh Fringe. His new show titled ‘Almost’, which runs until 23rd February, is his most confessional stand up hour yet and tickets can be bought at stevebugeja.com.

There are four words that no one wants to receive from their partner in a text, the dreaded “We need to talk”, now imagine getting that message just as you are boarding a 13-hour flight right before your signal cuts out. This is exactly what happened to Steve, his girlfriend sends no more and no less than those words just before he took his seat next to Nina, who he soon learns is a newly single pensioner who makes it very clear early on that she is a bit of a lush. Could that sound more like the flight or what!

This story is his stop-off point, returning to it throughout the show in between material on technology, his beta-male status, his lactose intolerance and a rogue trip to Copenhagen where he decided to rebel from his good boy status and try a space cake. A trip overseas with his friend Ian seemed like a great idea at the time, the chance to be the rebel hiding inside, that was until Steve thought it would be a great idea to have his weed in a biscuit as this seemed the safer option. Except lactose intolerant doesn’t quite translate when buying a “weed biscuit” from a market stall and it ended with Steve having consumed much more than Ian and becoming a paranoid mess.

We are taken on a tale through university, overseas to Japan where Steve was very excited by the toilets that are a lot more advanced than ours, and to the swimming pool where he tells us why there are only two acceptable swimming strokes; Freestyle and Breast stroke. If you saw someone walking down the road backwards you’d think they’re a prick so why would you swim backwards waiting to hit a wall, and as for butterfly Steve just equates that with death, have you ever seen someone escape a shark attack using butterfly stroke.

Although Steve is a self-confessed geek who is basically 90% doubt (or 80% he might have done the maths wrong) he is extremely proud of having the top score at Train Simulator, and even has his own train conductor hat. He’s even sat on train journeys, started up the laptop and played the same journey on his game, taking in the same sites that are surrounding him in that very moment, I said he was a rebel remember.

In between all of Steve’s story we are taken back to the flight of dread where Nina has drunk the bar dry and has managed to tell her entire life story to Steve, he knows everything including how Cheryl just can’t resist a bad boy. This doesn’t take Steve’s mind off the panic he has about the talk that is waiting for him when he gets home which actually turns out to be a serious conversation about how Steve taught her grandad how to access porn on his iPad which had the entire crowd in hysterics.

But just as you think it’s all over there is time for one final sting that you go to laugh at to be told it’s actually true and leaves you feeling for this hilarious man but knowing he will be okay because he is on the road to stardom. I spend pretty much the entire hour laughing, as did the rest of the room, even one of the usher’s sat in on the show and most of us couldn’t breathe for laughing throughout. I’m excited to see where Steve’s career takes him next and I will definitely be keeping an eye out for the next tour.