Daniel Simonsen: Stranger
An uncertain follow-up from one of last year’s winners
This article is from 2013.
Daniel Simonsen starts Stranger by peeking out from the curtain almost as if he were afraid to just walk onto his stage unbidden. At times, his muted delivery and Norwegian accent make him sound as though his voice is being fed through autotune as he lurches around a variety of subjects, with his awkwardness and physicality serving as an anchor point. He is also seemingly obsessed with not getting three-star reviews, believing that at least you would remember a one-star show even for the wrong reasons.
There are a few genuine high points in a confused and often uncomfortable show from last year’s Best Newcomer winner: his description of the way Facebook distorts life is both funny and insightful. And a prolonged description of a pre-internet masturbatory fantasy is truly inspired; but these are both let down by a woefully misjudged and agonisingly long routine on how he would perform if the audience were cats. This was almost a three-star show, but thanks to his desperation not to be one, added to the painful last quarter, this reviewer is happy to oblige.
Pleasance Dome, 556 6550, until 26 Aug (not 12, 19), 8.20pm, £8.50–£11 (£7.50–£10).