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Dwight Slade

Dwight Slade

Show type: Edinburgh Fringe 2006

Dwight's quest for truth-n-justice continues with his loyal companion: a mischievous, irrational Dark Monkey (that some say is the soul of his comedy-partner Bill Hicks...)


Starring Dwight Slade


Original Review:

Dwight Slade used to work with Bill Hicks. Now we've got that necessity out of the way ­ what's he like as a comic in his own right?

Vengeful is the answer.

Anger is his perpetual state of mind. Every ignorant, loud, self-centred person he encounters drives him crazy ­ and since he lives in America, that makes for a lot of fury.

He wants to bludgeon some courtesy into every such idiot he meets with a pool cue, which is a pretty good analogy for his vicious set itself; a venomous storm of powerful, raw rage directed with lethal force at his deserving, if small-scale targets.

The man who aggravated him the most was the fellow plane passenger who jabbed him awake because he wanted the window blind up as his Harry Potter-reading wife sat impassively between them. For Slade, that encapsulates what makes America what it is today: a selfish aggression married to a childish intelligence cocooned in empty entertainment.

That's his strength as a writer, to wed his personal bugbears to a bigger picture, with most the routines tied in to his unbending worldview.

His strength as a comic, mind, is his blistering, powerful performance, full of passion and pace, skilfully illustrated with effective sound effects, especially in a punchy sequence about how the difference between boys and girls is down to the gun noises they make as they play.

There's plenty of astute observational work in his set, too ­ it's not all ranting ­ and his comments on the roadside crosses marking fatal accidents are inspired; as is his cynicism about the cloud of terror we're all supposed to be living under.

A couple of minor things stop this from being a faultless five-star show, including a rather tired routine about thinking users of hands-free mobile phones are talking to you, and a gimmicky, extended set piece with which he closes, abandoning his exquisite stand-up to mime how he dances and sings along to various songs on the car radio.

But in full, furious flow, Slade is a mightily impressive comic.

Steve Bennett



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