Hambone is a brand spanking new interactive character comedy show with Tom Hamblin causing mischief and mayhem. The show gives you a character who is:
Studlier than a studmuffin, beefier than a beefcake, Hambone is the pork pie of male perfection. This one-man hurricane force tears through the frustration, stupidity and inadequacy of millennial masculinity. A new, interactive character comedy, Hambone cracks open the skull of manhood, to let his psyche out to play in 50 minutes of unpredictable buffoonery.
Beautiful words of praise include: “Hilarious”, “Loved awkward tonguing”, “Gave me a Hamboner”, “The ending wasn’t as funny as the beginning”
We caught up with Tom ahead of his show at Arlington to find out a bit more about Hambone:
What interested you around creating an interactive comedy clowning show?
Honestly one of the main reasons is I like funny shows. I just always find I enjoy them more and so when it came round to creating a show, the Clown/Buffoon styles are something that particularly interested me and so I set out trying to create something in this area. I wouldn’t say the show is Clown or Buffoon it just definitely has elements of it. My main aim was to create something I thought would be funny and different to what people may feel they have seen before and make them think about how they view some social norms. With Buffoon in particular I like the way it tries to make the audience feel or question something within the way they live their lives.
Where did the concept for Hambone come from?
It started with a solo performance I created for university based around the idea of selfishness and just caring about the way you look. When we decided that the performance was complete as it was, we focussed on the two ideas and it developed into desire. This then became desire and what extreme measures some men go through in an attempt to be desired/loved. Some of the characteristics in Hambone are admittedly (and perhaps unfortunately) more exaggerated versions of people we have encountered.
How was the process of creating the character of Hambone with him boasting utter male perfection?
We tried to think about what men do to themselves to try impress other people. For example, often when men can be overtly confident and macho it might be to cover up how insecure they actually are. And like I said there are people who we’ve met that just love to talk about themselves, so we started to discuss what we think drives them to be like that. Is it that need to be desired by others, but ultimately they’re having this mini battle about where they stand in society within themselves? You also have this whole culture sort of stemmed from reality programs like Geordie Shore with these total morons who are completely ripped and covered in fake tan just talking about sleeping with girls, are they really the utter male perfection they believe they are?
What is the best part of playing a character such as Hambone?
One of the best parts has to be being a total d***, but in a way the audience are actually onside with you. Although in a real life situation people would probably hate the character, because the audience recognise Hambone in people they’ve encountered/seen on TV, they (hopefully) are behind Hambone and like him. I think the fact he clearly shows he is flawed but tries desperately to cover it up makes him more relatable as well because we all have insecurities that we would rather not everyone know about. Then because the audience should be behind Hambone, the best bit has to be seeing what the audience will do and how far they will go, how far they will push and challenge each other. All because you’ve created a safe environment for them to play and because Hambone is completely open and out there with his audience-even if he is trying to hide it. He is the fool.
How do you want audiences to feel when they come away from your show?
I want my audiences to feel they can see Hambone in real life situations, and also see where there are flaws in the way we go about trying to fit to social situations. But in a way they might also question in themselves what they do to make themselves be desired. Can they recognise it not just in other people but also themselves? It’s not always a bad thing, everyone obviously wants to be loved by someone, be it family, friends, partners etc. But to what extremes do they try to achieve that, and are they trying to be desired by anyone, everyone or someone more specific? I also would hope they feel they allowed themselves to be involved in the show. Maybe look back at how far they’ve just gone during the performances and what they’ve tried to make each other do to challenge ‘normal’ social situations. After that, I just want them to have laughed a lot, got involved and enjoyed themselves.
Do you plan on taking Hambone further and exploring the character in other ways or is there a new project in the pipeline once you have finished with Hambone?
Well ideally I’d like to take Hambone on tour post Edinburgh and so I think the character will develop hugely from where it currently is to the end of the Fringe. I think there’s so much more to find in the chinks of the armour of each of the characters. As well as there’s always going to be more games and opportunities to play with the many different audiences. In my head Hambone is the beginning of a sort of alter-ego character to play and so I would like to create a new show with Hambone, but it’s not exactly in the pipeline just yet.
Hambone is here on the 17th June at 8pm. Tickets are on a Pay What You Think scheme. To purchase tickets you can book online at www.arlingtonarts.co.uk or you can call our Box Office on 01635 244246. For access or carer tickets please call our box office.