Enter the Sandman
Written by: Keegan Thomas
Directed by: Keegan Thomas
The Fringe Bar, 28th Feb 2023
Reviewed by: Stanford Reynolds
Part stand-up, part informational slideshow, Enter the Sandman sees comedian Keegan Thomas detailing how, in 2022, he watched every Adam Sandler movie ever made – all 42 of them – just because he wanted to. Now, he gets to share all of the highs and lows of Sandler’s filmography with us.
The show begins with a video montage of Academy Award winners being announced, with Adam Sandler noted to be missing from the list. The use of the projector screen is a great warm-up act that has the audience laughing before Thomas even steps on stage. The screen is then used for the remainder of the performance as Thomas clicks through a hilarious slideshow, covering every one of Sandler’s films. A sound board is also used to support Thomas’ improvisation, and the lighting changes subtly for different emotional moments (lighting and music by Leki Lyons).
Thomas’ performance brings us into this manic hyperfixation with Sandler’s films so convincingly. The delivery is hurried and frantic, the slideshow looks like a school project that has been slapped together the night before it is due, and the soundboard is pushed to play absurd soundbites at random moments. The script is exceedingly varied, featuring such moments as an audience singalong, three different AI-generated raps about the Hotel Transylvania movies, and a crowd member being brought up to read a role in a scripted skit.
Thomas makes the most of every second on stage, squeezing in jokes and ideas at a speed that becomes a little unhinged – because who wouldn’t be after a whole year of Adam Sandler movies? At times the performance becomes rushed and unfiltered, and perhaps could have been edited down to make the comedy more apparent, but it also feels like the point is that the show is a chaotic rollercoaster ride.
The finale is a dive into the ‘Sandler-verse’ conspiracy theory, which alleges that all Adam Sandler films are connected in a shared universe. This theory does not entirely convince me, but Thomas’ frenzied energy on stage sure does.