Comedy, particularly stand-up, is extremely subjective. The funniest thing in the world to you may be a complete waste of time to someone else, and this is completely unpredictable. It therefore can be very hard to successfully recommend a comedy show even to the people you know best.
I believe that Danny Bhoy is the closest thing to an exception to this rule that exists. Casting one's eye around his average audience reveals people of all ages and demographics, and it takes about ten minutes to figure out why. He is neither arrogant nor self-deprecating. His language is crude, but he is never really rude or unpleasant. He is irreverent, but in a way that only seems to endear his audience more. Danny has a style of humour that combines clever observations and engaging story-telling, covering everything from cats, to planes, to French romance, to grain versus corn-fed chickens, to female clubbing rituals, to the lethal Scottish diet, and pretty much anything and everything else. Everyone can find something in his shows to relate to, and his enthralling and energetic story-telling style has a way of blocking out the world outside the theatre for the entire time he is on stage.
His comedic career began in 1998 in Edinburgh, Scotland. He immediately found success, and finally burst onto the Australian comedy scene in 2003 at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival, where he has been wooing Australian audiences since.
He comes out routinely for every second Comedy Festival, and on the last few visits he has topped it off with a regional tour, bringing the Festival to those who may not be able to get to it. This extensive experience and time spent touring is perhaps why he seems to slip on his stage persona like a comfortable old pair of trakky-dacks, and is so much in his element when he is standing under blinding lights in front of hundreds of people that he makes a fish in water look awkward.
Inspired by the realisation that his printer ink refills were more expensive than his printer and the letter he found himself writing to Epson addressing this, Danny goes on to produce an onslaught of angry letters to commercial entities that he believes have wronged him or society in an enthralling 1.5 hour crusade. Following tangents into segments of his usual brand of observational and anecdotal-style humour, he returns to his crusade intermittently with a completely natural flow. The entire show is laced with his unique layered wit and super-human sarcastic capabilities, combined with a starkly contrasting complete lovability. The only real problem with the show is that it barely leaves the audience enough time to refill their lungs before the next big laugh.
So whilst caution must be employed when recommending comedy shows, Danny Bhoy – Dear Epson is probably the closest thing to a guarantee that you will find at the Festival this year. I'm not saying they don't exist, but I have never met a human who has seen him in action who hasn't fallen victim to his charms. Dear Epson will be on at the Playhouse Theatre, in the Arts Centre from Tuesday to Sunday until 21 April. I highly recommend it.