Edinburgh Festival Fringe: Despite being an Edinburgh Fringe newcomer, Damien Power is 13 years a comic. And you’d call him a natural if it didn’t undermine one of the core arguments in his wide-ranging, densely packed hour.
Assembly George Square Theatre (Venue 8)
Advocating that everyone should try stand-up, if only to disabuse them of illusions about the apparent ease and glamour involved, he suggests that we all dream in two dimensions, never appreciating the additional dimension of sacrifice and dedication required by reality.
The likeable Australian isn’t so self-obsessed and precious to just flatly come out and say this though, leading into it with the example of his successful Indy 500-racing brother, whose fitness regime, graft and risk to his life belies the theories of the average guy in his car that he too could be a world champion. One of several strands in which Power decries superficiality, he also laments his Christian ex-girlfriend rejecting sex because of a supposed sign from God, and the limitations of technology and capitalism in forging a utopian future, the latter inspiring a very funny act out in which he envisions a third-world farmer literally emancipated by his coffee-buying largesse.
The most memorable elements in this hour are the stealthy ways in which this single father deploys his son to keep an eye on his ex-partner and her new boyfriend. And his desire not to just crowd-please but to say something with his comedy, in contrast to the famous act he supported who chewed him out for his edgier material, and whom he now sends up with cold, clinical vengeance. There’s nothing ventured by Power that will drastically alter your world view. Equally, there’s not a duff routine, just strong stand-up, capably woven together.
Until 27 August. Today 8:20pm.