As consistently good as Dave Gorman’s television show Modern Life is Goodish was, the show’s ending after five years has an upside. Gorman has now returned to touring, and With Great Powerpoint Comes Great Responsibilitypoint retains much of the TV show’s format, with its investigative analysis of the unexamined everyday and the Powerpoint-style on-screen punchlines he originally developed live.
But there’s perhaps more cutting cynicism here, a dash of extra, welcome edge, especially about the BBC’s daytime staple Cash in the Attic. There’s also a sly nod to his bête noire Alan Sugar and a couple of his TV show’s regular highlights: “found poems” compiled from moronic online comments. With one about the recent Royal wedding reducing the comic to helpless tears of mirth, it’s surely a bittersweet feeling for Gorman to know that anything he writes can always be upstaged by the internet’s infinite number of monkeys.
Dave Gorman: With Great Powerpoint Comes Great Responsibilitypoint, Playhouse Theatre, Edinburgh ****
Despite giving the audience what they want, he resists becoming formulaic because, by his own standards, he’s also sharing slightly more of his personal life. Blowing up a minor disagreement with his wife about toiletries is classic Gorman, drilling down into the numbers to claim the dubious high ground. But he also counters sneering social media about his family leaving London for Bournemouth with some witty manipulation of demographic statistics, surely a unique comedy furrow and one that reflects upon the current tone of online discourse. Taking a pop at The Daily Express’ use of clickbait is an easy target, but Gorman applies a private eye’s methodology to tease out the laughs, while again light-heartedly making his point about the erosion of standards. - JAY RICHARDSON