Review: Danny Bhoy, Festival Theatre
Danny Bhoy returns to the Festival Theatre in Edinburgh as something of a local Bhoy made good.
Not only is he one of the few comedians who can consistently turn a profit at the Fringe, but after years of touring he can now boast an equally devout following in Australia and New Zealand.
The show is a billed as a greatest hits set featuring the highlights from two of his previous tours. However, the hackneyed nature of the material he covers would suggest that the tours in question were from about 15 years ago rather than much more recent history.
The success of Michael McIntyre has shown us that there is still a place for observational comedy so long as it is sharp and provides a new slant of the subject.
Bhoy, on the other hand, seems content to spend most of the evening covering such well-trodden ground as the fact that the English love tea, the fact that same word can have different meanings in other languages, and especially the fact that the Scots like a drink.
Even when he does manage to touch on some more inventive subjects, the ideas seem underdeveloped and he never ventures far from the middle of the road. There is limited interaction with the audience throughout, and the response to any heckles is very much of the stock variety.
It is only when his focus shifts to a more anecdotal style where he can really let his charm and warmth show through. In particular, his self-effacing story about a celebrity encounter in the United States and his memories from French class at school are excellent set pieces. Bhoy has talked of his admiration for Billy Connolly while growing up and it is in these sections that this influence is most obvious.
Unfortunately, those moments are all too brief and he swiftly returns to the safe haven of clichéd observations.
The frustration is that there can be no doubt that Bhoy is an engaging performer and, with some fresher material, he has the looks, charm and talent to be an even bigger success story than he already is.
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Monday 20 May 2013
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