Daniel Kitson: Possible new bits for a pre-existing show (4 stars)

This article is from 2017

Daniel Kitson

A glorious mess which has fun with his own position in the comedy firmament

Although Daniel Kitson keeps insisting this work-in-progress show is going to be 'dogshit', his mid-morning set is actually very good. And it's good often for exactly the reasons it's meant not to be: it's half-baked, still cooking, and occasionally deflates when the oven door opens too early, with many of the best laughs coming straight from those pretend-crap bits.

A less-scripted, more improvvy peek behind the curtains of Kitson's brain and writing technique, he will knowingly buy into his own comedy 'legend' status and get laughs from his own arrogance before proving he's probably not actually a monster with no humility via some self-aware auto-slagging. He knows the level of loyal reverence his fans hold for him, and gets in a joke about their 'affection for his back catalogue'.

He compares himself to Shakespeare, Jesus and a solar eclipse this time, before describing his own disgust at the state he leaves hotels in. When it feels like he's just rambling on about Scrabble matches with his dad, or repeatedly fluffing a story about sheep, he's actually slipping in views on bigotry, heteronormative narratives and his own cis-het white privilege: his stammer is the only reason he gets away with the last one, he reckons.

A glorious, relaxed mess of Daniel Kitson pulling himself up on things then patting himself on the back for others, with regular warnings about weak bits of the show that are about to peter out, he's onto a winner with this style of failed comedy.

The Stand, run ended

Daniel Kitson: Possible new bits for a pre-existing show

  • 4 stars

A work-in-progress set from hot-ticket Daniel Kitson.