Dan Nightingale: Geronimo

Note: This review is from 2008

Review by Steve Bennett

Though largely unknown in the London comedy industry, Dan Nightingale is easily one of the best comperes in Britain, able to read and manipulate pretty much any audience.

He’s so accomplished that it’s hard to believe this is his first solo Fringe show… but then the cut-and-thrust of hosting a gig is a entirely different kettle of haddock from the narrative demands of the hour-long project.

True enough, the Manchester-based comic has chosen to present only a very loosely themed extended set; nominally about throwing Caution to the Wind and taking the plunge – hence ‘Geronimo!’ – but in reality a chatty series of solid club routines. ‘A load of silliness,’ he bills it as.

Nightingale is a friendly everyman, able to strike up a conversation with anyone, and he does incorporate a bit of audience banter into his fluid, appealing stand-up. You can’t keep a good MC down.

That amiable demeanour lends an easy accessibility to his act, which is presented as effortlessly as idle chat with your mates. Some of his observational topics might have been well-covered by other comedians – Jeremy Kyle and drunken, horny women in particular – but he presents them with such a casual air that it almost doesn’t feel like material.

Like an increasing number of comedians these days, he’s not a bloke’s bloke, but rather a conflicted, soft, semi-metropolitan liberal, preferring to feed squirrels in the park to anything more macho. But this is not a show of lightweight whimsy, just down-to-earth stories from everyday existence.

Nightingale exhibits a lot of playful charm in the telling of these yarns, and occasionally comes out with a perfect turn of phrase to draw out the laughs. Despite his protestations that he can do only two accents – Brian Blessed or camp man – his acting out of the scenes he describes, from going to the gym to the rows with his temporarily demonic girlfriend, breathes life into the whole hour.

Under scrutiny, in fact, there’s sometimes not a whole lot to the anecdotes at all; but the joy is in hearing them being told by such an engaging performer with a well-developed instinct for funny.

Reviewed by: Steve Bennett

Review date: 1 Jan 2008
Reviewed by: Steve Bennett

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