Dane Baptiste: Reasonable Doubts
A set about race, technology and dolphins with varying results
This article is from 2015.
There is plenty to admire about Dane Baptiste’s second Fringe hour, but too many minus points abound for this to be deemed an unqualified success. On the upside, Reasonable Doubts has a wealth of ideas, enjoyable details and cracking jokes: his withering take on social categorisation and segments playing around with technology terms were outstanding.
On the minus side, there’s quite a lot of well-trodden or obvious stuff here: yes, we know that there’s a lot of ingrained negativity from having ‘black’ as an adjective ahead of the likes of market, sheep etc; and no one needs to mention that some people or organisations profit from war as though it’s a newsflash. When he raises the subject of dolphins and sex, you just know that Free Willy is about to get an airing.
But most off-putting of all is Baptiste’s slightly detached stage manner. He does attempt the occasional interaction which goes nowhere but his style is aloof and sarcastic, his gaze mainly fixed somewhere above our heads rather than trying to make a full connection. Dane Baptiste is more impressive than loveable, but he has plenty attitude and some solid material to help push himself over the line if not into the heart.
Pleasance Courtyard, 556 6550, until 30 Aug, 7.15pm, £11–£13 (£9–£11).