David Whitney – Struggling to Evolve
Ill-conceived, unhappy show featuring cheap gags and little intelligence
This article is from 2012.
Blasting his way onto the expectant stage with a hefty set of bagpipes, you could probably cite this loud start as the highlight of Whitney’s set. The tired-looking comedian immediately conceded (unnecessarily) that the bagpipes were a gimmick – before launching into a tired and unconvinced tirade against the rage that Scots experienced on finding out that this southern-sounding man was parading as an authentic Aberdonian. On seeing the (small) audience, he then abandoned the microphone in favour of his voice.
Unfortunately, he then failed to deliver the need for surely devastating humour to make up for these unpromising beginnings, or to somehow integrate them into the rest of his routine. Meandering onto the well-travelled road of pedestrian comic fare, he began with banks, floundered with G-spots, and consistently tried and failed (out loud) to assess his audience. ‘This is a weird one’ he frequently said, to nervous laughter, or stony silence. On this night certainly, there was a tiredness and lack of invention in his routine, which led the audience to believe that the show’s subtitle, ‘struggling to evolve’ was, like everything else in the hour, a cheap gimmick.
Gilded Balloon Teviot, 226 0000, until 27 Aug (not 14), 6.15pm, £10--£11 (£8.50--£9.50).