TART, London-based San Franciscan, David Mills, is a spiky recent import from the cabaret circuit, delivering his caustically sarcastic stand-up from a bar stool.
David Mills is Smart Casual — Free
Alternative Fringe @ The Hive (Venue 313)
Star rating: * * *
With his sharp, refined appearance, smooth, honeyed tones and rampant bitchiness he’s a strange mix of the measured and the transgressive.
The package is charismatic and authoritative, sidestepping the paucity of some of his material. There’s little to recommend his withering demand for “fat bitch” Stephen Fry to simply “f*** off”, save for the refreshing frisson of its unorthodoxy, to which he adds a further, unlikely slur against the national treasure. Attitude alone often carries him through.
Celebrities are a favourite target, comparisons between them typically insulting both parties. Minority groups take a few slaps too, occasionally with wit and daring, elsewhere simply for the sake of it.
He does have some good jokes, on the most unlikely aspect of the Thor movie, superheroes clearly a preoccupation as he aligns certain fashion designers with villains from the Marvel comics universe.
There’s a compelling thread in which he asks why the gay rights movement should settle for equality rather than celebrate difference but it’s underdeveloped. A flawed but still promising debut.
• Until 27 August. Today 3:45pm.