Henry Café: Quiz Machine


When the police can’t solve a murder, what else can you do? But for Henry Café, he won’t allow his aunt be laid to rest until  he is able to solve the murder, and he has hatched the perfect plan to unearth the killer, by holding a quiz at her wake to catch the killer out. In what must be one of the best comedy show premises this Fringe, it’s a bold challenge to live up to such an idea, devised and performed by character act Harry Carr, Henry Café is a fairly simplistic, nerdy Bristolian character that could find himself fit perfectly in either ‘This Country’ or ‘The Detectorists’. Café fairly nails the tropes of the over confident and over sharing quiz master type with a misplaced sense of pride. The audience perform the role of the funeral party as Henry asks a series of questions over a series of rounds that he hopes to uncover the true identity of his aunty Pam’s murderer.

This is a hidden gem of a show and Harry starts and finishes with confidence, that is filled with a good mix of dark flights of fancy, jokes that go to the bone, bad puns that work for the character. Carr keeps you highly amused throughout with quiz rounds and anecdotes of his late aunt that make you more than suspect he is embellishing the bond he presumed he shared with his aunt. There’s a bit of audience interaction, but never looks to embarrass the participants and for a fairly packed room at Whistle Binkies, everyone was more than on board. It maybe does lack a bit in production value that would add a little bit more to the experience, but for a show on the free fringe, that’s not something that easily achievable without knowing the room acts are inheriting. But some props such as the Countdown board can do with a little more thought and ingenuity to help take Henry Café to the next level. But this is mostly nitpicking. Who knows if Henry Café is a one off for this festival or if Harry Carr has more characters in the works, but this is bloody funny show to see this Fringe and Harry Carr is a name very well worth keeping an eye on.


Chris Aitken

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