A professional, confessional set from a ‘drunk dickhead’
This article is from 2015.
Julian Deane's hour starts innocuously enough, with some rather humdrum observational one-liners about drugs, work and women. So far, so ordinary. But about 15 minutes in, he starts to tell the story of how he ended up in Belmarsh prison at Christmas 2013, and how it changed him. Gone are the repetitive rhythms and slight predictability of the opener and here is where Deane really hits his stride.
Between the gags, there is a genuinely great bit of storytelling that has you rooting for Deane, a self-described 'drunk dickhead' rather than a proper 'nasty man'. He isn’t afraid to get earnest, either, dropping in the occasional jibe at the inefficacy of the justice system, or a hint of the added perspective being a young father (he became one at 17) gives.
Quite unexpectedly, the show builds towards a rather heartwarming end but if that all sounds rather worthy, don’t be misled: a well-placed knob gag is always on hand to puncture any moments where the seriousness seems in danger of taking over. Julian Deane puts in an engaging performance, and the measured poise with which his wry punchlines are delivered ensures that you’re in the hands of a professional.
Just the Tonic at the Tron, 0330 220 1212, until 31 Aug, 9pm, free.