Truth and Bullshit

Note: This review is from 2003

Review by Steve Bennett

Dominic Frisby was trying to forge a career as a character comic when he discovered, possibly belatedly, the axiom that the best comedy comes from truth. So out went the wigs and costumes and in came the no-frills stand-up. This show is the result.

In fact, he does starts with a character: the yokel figure of Morris The Morris Dancer, who looks splendid in moustacheless beard, folk outfit and teeth Janet Street Porter would be proud of.

The gags this generates are pretty much as expected, sheep-shagging and inbreeding being recurring themes, and it's delivered in a pleasantly chatty style with more than the odd neat touch, even if the constant asking of questions to the audience to launch topics does bear the hallmarks of padding

Elsewhere, though, you wonder why this is done in character at all. Questions of Iraq's weapons of mass destruction, for example, or the Notting Hill Carnival would hardly prey on the mind of a man whose main hobby is chewing on straw.

But then into the phone box he pops, to re-emerge as himself, on a quest to tell us the truth and reels of a list of facts from his inside leg measurement to his PIN number. But having information about someone isn't the same as knowing them.

Attempts to go deeper involve telling us about niggles with his wife, his struggles to pay the mortgage, and successful attempts at blackmailing his neighbours (which is where the devotion to truth may have gone slightly awry).

It's all pleasant enough, in an ice-breaking, chat-down-the-pub sort of way, helped along by Frisby's engaging manner and one or two witty asides. But is that really enough to be worth £9.50 an hour?

At one point he tells us that he hates comedy without an edge, yet he really ought to judge his own act by that criterion. The closest this show gets is by showing a picture of an enormous turd in a toilet bowl for a minute or two, which is just plain unpleasant.

This early performance was dogged with technical problems, but that's not the problem (although he ought to be controlling the projection of slides himself - the timing's never going to be perfect if you're relying on a technician), it's the lack of any insight and a distinct shortage of stonking gags.

There's difference between things that are true and The Truth, but Frisby only ever skims the surface.

Review date: 1 Jan 2003
Reviewed by: Steve Bennett

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