David Ephgrave: My Part in His Downfall (2 stars)

David Ephgrave: My Part in His Downfall

Experienced comedian reflects on his troubled past and revels in minor details

No matter how hard David Ephgrave tries in spiking some energy into the room or putting smiles on our faces, he seems too haunted by his past to plough forwards in comedy with any great conviction. In part, there are serious issues at play here, with his mental health history poured over as he notes how he was 'depressed before it was fashionable' and recalls the inappropriate music played while he waited for appointments at the Mental Health Unit.

Given the time he spends pouring over a brutally negative review from last year, you're sure that there will be a great pay-off to offset his rant, but other than a clip of Bart Simpson saying the name of Ephgrave's mortal enemy, there's nothing along the way to lighten the mood. And for a man who (justifiably) pinpoints the small but crucial mistakes that people make in public, the fact that he gets the name of his own show wrong (twice) rather kneecaps his intent.

But perhaps there's a way out. He's tried acting and given comedy a right good go, but the most successful moments here are Ephgrave's songs as well as his natural skills when he's commanding attention from a stage. Exclusively concerning his psychological wellbeing, he's written depressing songs about depression, and they completely jar in a comedy show. But there may be something to be said for him becoming a musician who can be funny rather than continue as a comedian who performs non-comedy songs.

Just the Tonic at The Caves, until 26 Aug (not 13, 20), noon, £5 (£4).

David Ephgrave: My Part in His Downfall

  • 2 stars

Doggett and Ephgrave The 1991 holiday camp talent show winner, frontman of Best Hertfordshire Band 1998 and Most Promising Student 2002 pinpoints where things went wrong. Among the Daily Telegraph's 20 Funniest One-Liners and Comedy Central's 35 Funniest Jokes from the 2017 Fringe. 'As smooth as they come' (BBC.co.uk).

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