But with C90, an hour-long narrative, Daniel Kitson fancies himself a storyteller. He's dropped himself in the middle of a theatrical set telling us about two main characters, both on the verge of retirement. One is a lollipop lady, well-satisfied with her choice of career; the other is a man working in a clearly metaphorical but still nigglingly nonsensical facility for the storage and cataloguing of abandoned compilation tapes – hence its title, C90, that recalls the classification of an audio cassette with 45-minutes per side. Both characters are quirky, with a capital Q, thinking and expressing their thoughts as variants of Kitson's own fashion. They also seem a little hollow and struck me as rather adolescent creations.
This looks like theatre, but sadly it's really just a radio play. Nothing would have been lost if C90 had been broadcast one afternoon on Radio 4, or if it had been printed in Saturday's Guardian magazine so we could read it ourselves. In fact, that would likely have felt more intimate, and the question of why he bothered with a set and fancy lighting when they added so little could have been forgotten.
All in all C90 is a rather sentimental affair, sometimes even trite. Kitson romanticises compilation tapes, veritable dinosaurs these days, to such an extent Lord only knows what he thinks of iPods. And while his characters are nearly OAPs, their emotions are puerile and seem like they could be attributed to the author's teenage years.
Those who've seen Kitson's stand-up might have been expecting to meet up with their old friend for a good old natter only to find out he had only one thing on his mind and couldn't be stopped from going on about it for more than an hour. He might have made you laugh occasionally, but the whole time, we wished he'd have gotten over it and gotten back to his old self.