An Audience with Harry Deansway (3 stars)

Baffled camaraderie from a debt-riddled comic


This article is from 2015.

An Audience with Harry Deansway

The deal with Harry Deansway is that he’s a self-deprecating, self-sabotaging, deliberate shambles of a showman. So he fluffs his lines, interrupts himself, tries out new material for the first time, sings tunelessly, trips on his props, gets a no-show from his own parents, then proceeds to rattle off an embarrassing string of (apparently true life) disasters, all involving him. This includes the time he got dumped midway through his own show, put Jimmy Savile on the front cover of the comedy magazine he published and edited (The Fix), racked up £30,000 of debt: the list goes on.

But weirdly, it works. The crowd warm to his hapless schlemiel routine, and the shambolic format means they are often so confused about what’s actually going on, it creates baffled camaraderie in the room. The fact that Deansway has brought along several showbiz pals, planted in the crowd, also helps keep the momentum and laughter going.

Whether or not it’s advisable to encourage a man who’s already £30,000 in debt to continue a comedy career is another matter. The man in the audience who spontaneously thrusts a £20 note on him clearly thinks it is.

Just the Tonic at The Tron, 0330 220 1212, until 29 Aug, 5pm, £5 (or Pay What You Want).

This article is from 2015.

An Audience with Harry Deansway

  • 3 stars

Harry Deansway If you'd said to me three years ago when I started doing stand-up, ‘You'll have the best show at the Fringe in 2015’ I'd never have believed it, because not only am I a great talent but I'm very down to earth. This show is for anyone who's been sued three times, has a 100% sacking record and run their…


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