Comprehensive Steve Day

Note: This review is from 2006

Review by Steve Bennett

Steve paints an idyllic picture of his 12-year-old self, racing around in the long hot, summer of '76, wandering through fields with his friends accompanied by his loyal dog hang on, he didn't get a dog until he was 40 How better to demonstrate the unreliability of memory and the comedian's desire to embellish a good story? This is an intelligent, gently political, small P, show and extremely funny with it. He has a gift for the verbal image that makes you wish he'd write a book as well as perform.

Ostensibly the show is concerns his five children, school and education, but the important matters arising are what is learned from life. Modern kids are blessed with material goods that keep them in the house and unsocialised. This overprotection of children, kept indoors and driven to school, prevented from extensive interaction with each other means they miss the life lessons of negotiation, cooperation and taking the consequences of your actions. (This sounds far more po-faced than it is: if tales of people's children normally send you into a coma, give this show a try because these are hilarious and form a small but essential part of the entertainment.)

Steve moves from the specific - the 18-year-olds' qualification-free departure from school ­ to the general ­ the pointlessness of over -pecialised degrees and the proliferation of tinpot universities where any slackjawed numpty can stagger through a BA .

The show moves into some great anecdotes about engaging with life ­ his experience of sharing a flat with four disabled people (he's deaf himself), genuinely with endless comic possibilities, the politics of deafness and the perpetuation of British Sign Language, the culture of subtitles and the experience of doing Edinburgh. This show is very funny, warm but without tiresome sentimentality, and intelligently life-affirming.

Julia Chamberlain


Review date: 1 Jan 2006
Reviewed by: Steve Bennett

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