David Elms: Goody Boy (3 stars)

This article is from 2016

David Elms: Goody Boy

A lo-fi show about words and commitment that eases you off into the night

It seems apt putting David Elms on at 9.30pm: if you've spent a whole day plodding around the festival, he's an incredibly soothing presence to end with. He has an incredibly measured, softly spoken delivery, which at first can appear deceptive as if nothing in particular is happening. But what emerges is a show that's far more layered than it first appears.

Thankfully, he isn't as 'nice' as he first claims either. The reality to his claims of being a good husband creeps in slowly; he's often absent, a slightly selfish partner who is fearful of full commitment. And so what builds is a realistic portrait of a marriage, one that is scary as well as comforting, and supportive while being frustrating.

The third of his Boy-titled shows, this exists in the same vein as Mister Boy and Nurture Boy: a clever, low-key show with plenty of subtle wordplay, an unsurprising skill given that he studied linguistics. So keen is he on words that at one point he even reaches for a dictionary. But what really adds to this show is the occasional tune played on his guitar; they are incredibly beautiful lo-fi melodies that contribute greatly to the mood.

Pleasance Courtyard, until 28 Aug, 9.30pm, £7.50–£9.50 (£6.50–£8.50).

David Elms: Goody Boy

  • 3 stars

The Pleasance Lucky pup Elms is back chasing his tail again; he's learning about sacrifice, guilt, and, as always, love. 'As if someone has squeezed all the sweet and nice out of Stewart Lee and made a whole new comic with it' ★★★★ (Scotsman). 'A born performer' ★★★★ (List). Musical Comedian of the Year 2014. As seen in…