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Down and Out Comedy with Mike Belgrave
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Dr Phil's Rude Health Show... Or How To Pleasure Yourself In A Safe And Sustainable Way
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Durham Review: 33rd Annual Surprise Party
Damian Clark: Stand Up
This is a show about things that are Awesome! it’s a show about how when things are up, they’re up, and when they’re not, there’s an angry middle aged woman staring at you. Join one of Australia’s finest stand-up comedians as he ignites the Fringe with his award winning, high octane brand of comedy.
Damian Clark: Stand Up
Provoking a memory from a student past spent sat in your underwear watching daytime soaps Aussie comic Clark opens by announcing that he's not from Summer Bay or Erinsborough, pauses, then clarifies that they're the fictional settings of soaps Home and Away and Neighbours.
It's a deceptively uninspiring opening gambit because what follows is a sheer feel-good comedy hour that bounces along gag after gag.
He follows the easy Aussie references, endearing himself to us with some playful, self-deprecating comments about the encroaching baldness hidden beneath his baseball cap. Many of the topics that crop up are familiar ones, but what sets Clark above the rest is that he infuses them with such energy and verve they feel fresh.
His cat's quirky characteristics are acted out, waving his (be-trousered, it's probably best to add) arse at the crowd to indicate the 'pink dartboard' he's frequently faced with at close range. Elsewhere a routine on the popular topic of Facebook, complains of how misleading the profile photos are, but not in the way you might expect of being over-flattering, but an anecdote which sets up a nicely absurdist routine about how Clark could be pictured to confuse his virtual friends.
The show is in part inspired by the Pixar film Up, about a house flown by a mass of helium balloons, which caused him to weep in the cinema from behind his 3D glasses. Although the direct influence of the film isn't absolutely clear it serves to reveal his softer side, leading up to a routine about proposing to his girlfriend with the use of some outdoor fairy lights and a bunch of mates.
Clark punctuates the stand-up with a couple of short choreographed routines about dancing with your headphones on and, in a brilliantly simple but effective routine, explores his adventures with a crash test dummy mask. It's bladder-burstingly funny while also managing to be a touch sinister.
Clark belts through his routines; with the speed he talks, surely you're getting an extra 20 minutes of material. You get the feeling that he must spend the remainder of the evening folded up in a cupboard having been powered down by his sound technician along with the rest of the equipment. Even a little aside about one of the air conditioners in the room packing up gets a laugh: ‘Look at him, his little orange light taunting me all month.’
No matter what mood you went in with, you'll leave smiling.
|Date of live review: Saturday 20th Aug, '11|
Review by Marissa Burgess
This is not a four star show. While there are some funny moments, it's patchy and didn't entirely keep my attention. The idea that it's rated on a par with the shows of Humphrey Ker or Richard Herring is ludicrous.