Dave Gorman, Touring | reviews, news & interviews
Dave Gorman, Touring
Dave Gorman, Touring
Likeable comic points out life's inanities
Dave Gorman was probably the first comic to have embraced technology in his stand-up. Albeit, in the early days, it was using 35mm slides, hand-drawn graphs and an overhead projector, but then latterly a computer and the ever-more influential Internet and social media. And so, as is a feature at all his shows, there's a large screen on stage when I see him at the Royal Festival Hall and when he says: “I've put it on a graph” there's a loud cheer of recognition from the audience. But this isn't a show for geeks; rather a conversation piece using the Internet and technology to flesh out or illustrate his subjects.
The tour of Dave Gorman Gets Straight to the Point* (*The Powerpoint) started in autumn 2014 and has been done in blocks (the final show is on 31 March, back at the RFH); the interruptions have been due to filming for his popular series on Dave, Modern Life is Goodish, and the birth of Gorman's first child (which he mentions but thankfully doesn't mine for comedy).
Gorman's comedy is observational, and seen through a wary eye for human behaviour
The show starts brightly with Gorman, always a very likeable comic, unpicking the words of the children's song “If You're Happy and You Know It”, pointing out its illogicality and forced bonhomie – using, what else, a chart to plot his findings – and that Facebook is the modern equivalent of being forced to watch people's holidays slides. Gorman has bought 20,000 slides discarded by other people over the years, and he gets some good comedy from showing slides of random strangers and weaving stories about what may be happening in the pictures.
He goes on to talk about his mother's misunderstanding of how Twitter works, Mail Online's wilful refusal to learn what “selfies” and “photobomb” actually mean, as they use the words indiscriminately in order to upload yet more celebrity pictures. Elsewhere Gorman talks about the worst thing to say to your partner after having sex, and how emojis can never capture the subtleties of human interaction.
Gorman's comedy is observational, and seen through a wary eye for human behaviour; his shtick is to minutely examine a premise – stretching a point rather than getting to it, which is the joke in the title for anyone who has seen his comedy before.
Sometimes that approach works wonderfully – in his “found poems”, for example, the very funny poetry Gorman has made up from bringing together random below-the-line comments on online articles, which are always vile – but there are jokes that are too drawn out and need a pithy one-liner from a comic who does sarcasm rather well, rather than the lengthy routines they are given here. One routine that could do with some editing is the tale of a complicated prank involving a made-up television show; there's no real pay-off and maybe the joke is all in the telling, but my attention wandered at this point.
Gorman always has an essentially humane point to make though, and he generally makes it with good comedy; there are a lot of laughs in the evening as he points out life's inanities. Plot that on a graph.
- Dave Gorman is touring until 31 March
Subscribe to theartsdesk.com
Thank you for continuing to read our work on theartsdesk.com. For unlimited access to every article in its entirety, including our archive of more than 10,000 pieces, we're asking for £2.95 per month or £25 per year. We feel it's a very good deal, and hope you do too.
To take an annual subscription now simply click here.
And if you're looking for that extra gift for a friend or family member, why not treat them to a theartsdesk.com gift subscription?