Alexis Dubus: Cars & Girls
Show type: Edinburgh Fringe 2012
Selected travel tales (the funny ones). May include traces of UFOs, truckers, cockneys, the Nevada desert, bean festivals and the Dutch.
Alexis Dubus: Fringe 2012
What’s that on Alexis Dubus’s sleeve? Oh yes, it’s his heart.
After entertaining romps through the topics of swearing and nudity and ongoing adventures as arrogant Frenchman Marcel Lucont, the 33-year-old gets personal with this, his first storytelling show.
It’s gorgeous; an honest, effortlessly funny hour of yarns about broken hearts, broken vans and broken English that puts an endearing level of ‘rom’ into its ‘com’. Dubus is a born raconteur, turning what could easily be unremarkable anecdotes about travelling and dating into pacy, likeable, consistently engaging material.
His ear for accents is a real asset here; though he probably has more French characters than strictly necessary (inviting knowing laughs from the longstanding fans), he proves a dab hand too at stoned truckers from Skegness, racist Australians and spaced-out Californians.
It’s hard to detail the stories without giving away all the pearly punchlines and payoffs but it’s probably acceptable to say they involve serial killers, several visits to foreign hospitals, a seriously disastrous honeymoon and sex on the beach – and they’re infinitely better than those summaries suggest.
If Dubus seems mellow, it’s with reason – he’s madly in love and this time at least, it hasn’t resulted in a terrifying trip to a Spanish brothel or in getting sand in his pants. The closing tale of a visit to the infamous Burning Man festival in the Nevada desert segues from hallucinogenic scenes involving polar bears on wheels and acid-laced salami to a shy declaration of love for all mankind. This is followed by a more specific declaration of love so heartfelt and daft it’s easy to forgive the cheesy call-back that accompanies it.
Dubus warns at the outset that storytelling often translates as ‘might not be funny all the way through’” and while this is true to an extent, what the show lacks in gags-per-minute it more than makes up in charm, warmth and wit.
Go see this when the Fringe is starting to make you jaded – you’re guaranteed to leave with a spring in your step and a bluebird on your shoulder.