Darren comes from an area famed for its Old Skool style men who don’t cry.
Darren Harriott, Pleasance * * *
That and a particularly non-demonstrative relationship with his mum are preying on his mind. He thinks they explain why he has never been in love.
He is expansive and engaging onstage and comes across as eager that we all get what he is saying, rather than rushing to pack in the punchlines.
Which is not to say the jokes are not there. Mr Men characters, the under-18 club scene in Birmingham, old people, hook-up possibilities for Nazis and his inability to master small talk are all great little routines.
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His riffs on climate change, being an introvert, his schooldays as the fat boy, and sex education are thoughtful, and his early section on influencers, featuring God and Jesus is a winner.
Towards the end of the hour we get into “straight pride”, how online dating is probably less “creepy” than doing it the old-fashioned way, and a bit of navel gazing about living life to avoid rejection. This hour feels fresh and honest and, although far from the funniest that you will see, is nicely free of gimmick and contrivance.
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