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Danny Bhoy: By Royal Disappointment

Note: This review is from 2010

Review by Steve Bennett

He may be playing the biggest venue in the Fringe, but there’s absolutely no sense of occasion to Danny Bhoy’s show. He saunters on, casually as you like, and just starts talking quietly and calmly about the weather.

That his comedy appears so much like a relaxed chat is, of course, both its strength and weakness. It’s unforced and natural, yet lacking any real ‘oomph’, since real conversations don’t have oomph either. If he’s put any effort into the performance it’s all gone in to making look like it’s not a performance.

So much, therefore, depends on what he has to say. Sometimes this amounts to not much – for example, the Australians’ tendency to name things very literally – and other times he states the obvious, but gets it so spot on, it works.

In these sections, you can spot people in the audience nudging each other, happy to be told what they surely already knew about themselves. Like the Canadian contingent who hollered loudly when their home nation was mentioned tonight, all some people want is acknowledgement of their existence.

Happy to milk the Scottish stereotype, Bhoy gets most out of his sections on drinking: on the scramble for last orders, on over-enunciating to appear sober or on how wine is selected in the offy. Not all of these contain punchlines, but when they do – as in his offhand dismissal of weak sangria – they can be brilliant.

Bhoy sells most of the material on his considerable charm. A running gag about Vikings doesn’t really amount to much, though he gives it commitment. But we love him most when he reveals his weaknesses, relatively small though they be. His humble recounting of foot-in-mouth moments when he met comedy royalty (Matt Damon) or the real deal (The Queen) are made funnier by his milking the embarrassment of what might be considered relatively minor faux pas.

The apparent effortless with which he tells these stories is engaging, but the content is solid rather than spectacular.

Review date: 14 Aug 2010
Reviewed by: Steve Bennett

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