Daniel Foxx: Villain | Edinburgh Fringe comedy review
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Daniel Foxx: Villain

Edinburgh Fringe comedy review

Daniel Foxx is part of a sea change at this year’s festival, a clutch of comics making their debuts having built their audiences via social media rather than slogging round the circuit.

Some of these acts, like Adrian Bliss, were among the first to sell out their entire runs, but haven’t necessarily met with artistic success in converting from the short video format to an hour long live show. Many of them advertise the number of online views they’ve racked up on their posters: numbers which are vast, meaningless and indistinguishable from each other.

Daniel Foxx picked up his stats on TikTok, where he specialises in playing the camp henchman to an unseen supervillain, commenting cattily on the décor of the lair and things of that nature. But he’s also been making more effort than most to cross over and work his way up IRL, and has enough seasoned stand-up chops to carry off this debut show even when the material is a little worn around the edges.

Beginning behind a keyboard with his peroxide hair gelled into devil horns, Foxx sets out his most important thesis in a song called It’s The Gays Who Are Evil, showing how villains have always been linked with camp.

Like a lot of his observations, it’s a comedic truism, but probably not new to most of us. The argument might make a little more impression if it expanded its scope beyond Disney films, but Foxx’s reference points don’t go much further back than what he describes as the dawn of cinema: Jennifer Saunders singing Holding Out For A Hero at the end of Shrek 2 19 years ago.

He's much better when he’s being more personal, with some strong and insightful material about his experience of homophobic bullying, the psychology behind it, and its sublimated sexual component. The Friday night crowd, unfortunately, seems to struggle slightly with the shift in tone, much happier when hearing the more rote Disney revisionism about the hotness of Beast from Beauty And The Beast and the unsavoury qualities of Peter Pan.

Foxx certainly has the skills to flourish on the live scene, but like a lot of new comics, he’s still waiting for permission to develop his act.

Review date: 14 Aug 2023
Reviewed by: Tim Harding
Reviewed at: Pleasance Courtyard

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