Dangerfield: Sex with Children
Comedian Chris Dangerfield delivers stand-up confessional at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe
This article is from 2014.
The stand-up confessional might soon need a Fringe programme category all of its own. And Chris Dangerfield might well be the sub-genre’s new poster boy. The name of his show certainly raised a few eyebrows ahead of August, people assuming that Sex with Children was little more than a cynical attempt at earning some free publicity. But that title is, somewhat depressingly, a wholly accurate description of what his show is all about.
The youngster alluded to is Dangerfield himself as he graphically recalls the abuse he received at the hands firstly of a magician, then his babysitter and a man she began a relationship with. Perhaps Dangerfield’s biggest triumph here is that he has somehow managed to find humour in the most appalling of human atrocities. While there are moments of jaw-dropping horror, he never lets us linger on them for too long without getting a joke rolling to soften our pain, even if he remains raw about it himself.
Sex with Children can easily be read as a daily therapy session, in which he reaches out for some kind of catharsis while admitting that he has done bad things himself, all of them clearly traced back to the violence he has suffered. Weirdly, it all starts off in playful manner, with the comic dashing on stage and dismantling the empty front row, throwing the foldaway seats into a cavernous cubby hole of this sticky-floored venue. Wearing a fez, he makes a gag about Tommy Cooper’s death before unravelling the agony, slowly but surely.
The Hive, run ended.