I enjoy narrative comedy. The way a comedian brings up seemingly random jokes and then weaves them all together into one big story at the end is not only funny but clever. I did not think, however, that Rhys Darby’s premise of the end of the world was particularly engaging or relevant in his show. It may of course be to do with his absolute talent at sound effects with outerspace seeming a good vehicle to display them. Nevertheless he is naturally funny, amiable and engaging and absolutely everyone should go and see him. I cant think of anyone who wouldn’t like him. I just don’t think comedians need to feel forced into adding extra dimensions to their shows. With an almost full house Rhys could stand on an empty stage and get the support of any audience.
Audience wriggling: only with laughter
Bows: continued performing his dance club routines from 1991, ‘feeding the chickens’ being my favorite
Venue: could not love Pleasance more, the vibe and the atmos are immense. The venue was the perfect size. I don’t think comedians should do any bigger.
General Spot: thirtysomethings and couples and a really wonderful children’s area
This Way to Spaceship – 3/5 WIGS
Rhys Darby (the person) – 4/5 WIGS
Review by Goubba
Rhys Darby’s stand-up started very well, but run out of steam near the end. This was because he tried to carry off what I call narrative stand-up, when a comedian tells jokes around a framework of some bigger story, something I feel that is very hard to do well.
Rhys was on a spaceship, telling us a few jokes based firstly around his early days, and then how he met his wife. At three stages it cut back to the spaceship where he was chatting to the ship’s automated voice. These parts did not work so well and certainly contained less humour than his foundation material. After the final spaceship scene, we find out how he got to be on this spaceship, explained in Rhys’ typical physical style, however, done in a way that he reused most of his physical jokes from the beginning. Now don’t get me wrong, he is a very funny guy, and lots of his humour is based around physical comedy or theatrics and specifically his use of sound efffects, something that he does extremely well. However an hour-long show is too short to be repeating jokes when you could use fresh material. Indeed if the whole show was dedicated to just telling jokes as opposed to linking it all together in one big story maybe it would have gone down better in my books.
Maybe that is the way stand-up is going, or maybe this is just the way stand-up is heading at Edinburgh, as it tries to compete with the massive conventional theatre market on offer at the festival. Either way it didn’t fully work for me. However, as he did make me laugh for 45 mins, is a very nice guy, and of course is also Murray from The Flight of the Chonchords then for Rhys I give another…