Darren Harriott: Roadman | Edinburgh Fringe comedy review
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Darren Harriott: Roadman

Edinburgh Fringe comedy review

What would you do if your peers were hoping to take advantage of civil unrest by planning a spot of looting, as if anticipating a big sale?

It’s something Darren Harriott had to consider when the 2011 London riots spread to Birmingham and his pals wanted to get involved. It’s an interesting and entertaining – if brief – passage in this enjoyable hour with the double Edinburgh Comedy Award nominee.

Reflecting on some of the changes in his life since then, Harriott recalls the days when he looked up to the tough-acting  roadmen. They seemed so cool – even if their lack of discretion during the JD Sports-sweep had penal consequences.

This likeable comic keeps things light throughout this laugh-heavy hour, even when mentioning what must have been pretty difficult family experiences, particularly involving his father. He has plenty of fun stories about growing up, such as the excitement of the Steve Irwin-cosplaying ‘animal man’ bringing his creatures in for the Black Country school children to gawp at (and worse), and, later, what Harriott was expected to do while working as a security guard in the 99p Stores.

He’s got an observation about racial aspects of Game of Thrones that’ll give you some chilling thoughts, and some goofy tales, often at his own expense, about trying new things, from wine and salsa dancing to learning Japanese.

Harriott tops and tails this lovely hour with stories about his experiences on celebrity television quizzes: the outcomes contrast pleasingly, with a few laugh-out-loud surprises, and an underlying sense of relief that he had a good excuse not to go looting that day 12 years ago.

I’d love him to write a comedy drama series about his early life. If there isn’t one already in the making, please can someone get on it?

Review date: 24 Aug 2023
Reviewed by: Ashley Davies
Reviewed at: Pleasance Courtyard

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