review star review star review star review half star review blank star

David Quirk: Approaching Perfection

Melbourne comedy festival review by Steve Bennett

It’s a guarantee that David Quirk discusses topics you won’t hear elsewhere: the man who records white noise relaxation soundtracks, an obscure book relating near-death experiences to orgasms, the marketing decisions of pharmacy chains…

What’s more, his thought processes are as unique as his subjects, producing an original, offbeat show – and, yes, it’s really hard to avoid using the word ‘quirky’ about him.

The blurb for Approaching Perfection promises ‘literal and figurative darkness’, and Quirk does indeed encroach on existential issues, wondering if the fear of death is the great motivator that makes us do anything.

But while his approach is dry as dust, the stand-up isn’t as bleak as mentions of mortality might suggest. There are humiliating dating stories, hangover survival tales, and the ever-popular meme of encountering a racist on public transport – all of which are relatable, even if Quirk’s wryly tangential take on them is very much his own.

And for all of the comedian’s fascinating obscurity, it’s his friend Caz, dim of wit but astonishingly candid about her sex life, who gets the biggest laughs. She might want to claim a co-writer’s credit.

Quirk’s carefully constructed show contains some minor theatrical touches, that are as underplayed as his casual, laid-back delivery, and just as effective in bringing his offbeat stories to life.

The unhurried pace is an antidote to some of the more manic comedians this festival, although audiences must be prepared to accept the occasional slow patch as he philosophises his way to the next big laugh. It’s the trade-off to having a show of substance, as Approaching Perfection undoubtedly is.

But with her misunderstanding of slang, Caz would probably call it simply a real boeing show.

Reviewed at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival, April 2016

Review date: 29 Jul 2016
Reviewed by: Steve Bennett
Reviewed at: Melbourne International Comedy Festival

What do you think?

We see you are using AdBlocker software. Chortle relies on advertisers to fund this website so it’s free for you, so we would ask that you disable it for this site. Our ads are non-intrusive and relevant. Help keep Chortle viable.