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Darrin Rose: What's Pot Pourri?

Note: This review is from 2010

Review by Steve Bennett

Ground remains unbroken as formulaic Canadian stand-up Darrin Rose spends the best part of an hour reinforcing the usual stereotypes of how men are different from women.

Most of his tales are about he – a man – is emotionally stunted, while his girlfriends – women – are emotionally complicated. They also have a long memory for arguments and tend to want to change their partners’ behaviour, while blokes like beer and winding each other up. But whenever you run into an ex, isn’t it so true that both sides want to make out how well they are doing…

Rose was brought up in an all-male environment, which, he says, informs his world view. So it must be coincidence that simply hearing a lot of other male club comedians would also lead you to the exact-same conclusions. It’s almost like one gender is from one planet, and the other gender is from a different one – or that men like Pot Noodles while women like pot pourri, to borrow references from his set.

There are a couple of neat routines within this, even if they’re not pushing the intellectual boat out, sticking out like chocolate flakes amid his vanilla material. And once he moves on from the relationship stuff, there’s more of interest. About 30 minutes in he tells of how he used to hang out with small-time drug dealers and of a particular run-in with the law, which don’t have much by way of a punchline but are engaging tales.

He’s got an easy, confident style, too, especially when relaxing into some fruitful crowd work away from the constraints of his prepared routines. Although he does good-naturedly berate the room for being quiet, though that’s not exactly our fault. And, man, does he say ‘man’ a lot, man. You tend to notice these things when you’re not particularly enamoured of the material.

This is surely a perfectly serviceable, solid, club set – but in a festival where hundreds of comedians are striving to do something different with the artform, this seems a very unambitious hour.

Review date: 23 Aug 2010
Reviewed by: Steve Bennett

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