This article is from 2006.
Rhys Derby’s Based on Actual Events is a thing of two halves. After appearing and quietly asking us to contemplate the state of the world, he segues into an uncanny impersonation of a robot, complete with gears and twiddly bits. It seems he’s always been good at funny noises and impressions and his talent for mimicking everything from machine guns to musical numbers has even saved him from a number of pretty scary situations.
Having rattled through some of the incredible sounds and voices in his repertoire, Darby puts his microphone to one side and conducts us back in time to his troubled childhood. A social misfit, his one attempt to impress a girl (by tying rockets to his ice skates at the local rink) quite literally backfired. A spell in the army followed, also wholly unsuccessful, though his inch-perfect impressions of his seniors eventually led him down a totally different career path. Darby’s delivery is gently amiable, his style unfettered by gimmicks, and his endearing onstage persona so wide-eyed and genuine it’s hard to resist. (Allan Radcliffe)
Pleasance Courtyard, 556 6550, until 28 Aug (not 15), 9.55pm, £9-£10 (£7.50-£8.50).