Douglas has been a professional food writer since 1986. He is also an award-winning actor and director in Community Theatre and has been for many years. His blog may be found at: www.urbaneguerilla.wordpress.com
One of the better things about Perth Fringe World is that, for younger or less experienced performers it provides a proving ground for the necessary apprenticeship to become a star.
The Working Men's Clubs and Bars that provided a stage years ago have all gone now and TV, ever greedy of talent, makes new material old very quickly.
Daniel Conlan (Photograph courtesy Perth Fringe World)
Musical Hall artists of the Edwardian era could work on a routine for decades – think Harry Tate and the Motoring sketch – and even pass it along to their children as a bequest whereas now TV, even more so, YouTube and social media makes a bottomless pit into which one chuck one's best material.
The Craft, a small, rather nice pub alongside Outback Jacks in James Street is offering such a stage for emerging artists and stand-up comedians. Comedians such as Daniel Conlan, originally from Glasgow, although with an intelligible accent fortunately.
The show is entitled Daniel Conlan is Typing, although judging from his material I would say it more stereotyping than any actual keyboard work.
Theoretically, the show runs for an hour, although that depends how the show goes, the material he chooses to run and the general feel of the evening. He was warmed up by a local lad whose name I unfortunately didn't catch – a pleasant enough lad with original, if not hilarious, material.
Daniel himself is a good-looking, charming young man who relies heavily on audience interaction and his own natural charm. Unfortunately for him the audience at the 5:30pm show consisted of ten – in a performance space designed for at least 100.
His material was original, but his lack of experience showed and personally I wouldn't have risked calling his largely Australian audiences racist and bringing up Manus Island and Nauru until one was absolutely sure one had them on side.
Also, it was perhaps not the best idea not to prepare better. I know Billy Connelly walks on stage with no idea what he's going to use, but believe me, son, he has quite a lot of experience and, trust me on this, you're not Billy Connelly also he doesn't take a written list of topics with him. It is disrespectful of the audience not to prepare even for an audience of ten, perhaps even more importantly, especially for an audience of ten.
Although he couldn't have got a better audience than us, he certainly deserves a bigger audience, and I think they will come with time.