Devvo's Deal or No Dealer Gaymeshow
Disjointed gags and rap songs fail to impress at 2014 Edinburgh Festival Fringe
This article is from 2014.
As occasional E4 and YouTube personality Devvo takes the stage, the first thing he does is announce he has a reviewer in tonight. When he demands that I identify myself, I reluctantly put up my hand. My expectation is for some light banter before he gets on with the show but Devvo seems to have a real issue with past reviews (he repeatedly quotes a recent bad one) and he firmly transposes his disgust onto me. Fixing me with an unblinking stare, he's an intimidating presence and we're not off to a good start.
Just as I can't extricate myself from this review, it proves impossible to evade Devvo's attention for the entire show. He figures that, since I'm reviewing him, someone should evaluate me, a task he assigns to the man sitting next to me who awards me four stars. I'm less willing to be so generous.
Devvo is a comedy chav character with a strong cult following. His disciples are an overwhelmingly young crowd and he has no difficulty in summoning volunteers to join him onstage. So it seems unfair that the majority of the audience are overlooked as he's determined to involve me as often as possible. I'm constantly asked if I'm enjoying myself (I'm not) and he harangues me with tips for writing my review. He repeatedly tells me to mention that his scoring system is arbitrary. It is. For his ultra low-fi 'gaymeshow', Devvo divides the room into halves: those of us in employment and those of us without (or jobs v nobs as he puts it). What follows is a series of disjointed gags featuring audience participation interspersed with a couple of Devvo's rap songs, the choruses to which his fans eagerly join in.
Devvo is part of a small lineage of similar characters like Vicky Pollard, the Wee Man and Lee Nelson that has been on the wane for some time now and there's not much left for him to do but harass me, sing a couple of songs and flog some t-shirts. But his fans seem enthralled so I'm glad that someone had a good time.
Bob & Miss Behave’s Bookshop, 226 0000, until 25 Aug, 6.40pm, free (£5 to reserve a seat).