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David Morgan: Triple Threat
Published on Sunday, 07 August 2011

4 stars

Just the Tonic at The Tron (venue website)
4-15, 17-28 Aug, 2:20pm-3:20pm
Reviewed by Craig Thomson

 Recommended for age 18+ only. Venue may not permit under-18's - check with venue before booking.

If I had to list a triplet of things to expect from David Morgan in Triple Threat, it would be these: big hair, big glasses, and big laughs.

The term “triple threat” actually derives from Morgan's experience in youth am-dram, where it denotes a performer who can act, sing and dance passably well.  We get evidence of this prowess throughout – even the dancing – and there are plenty of funny reminiscences from the world of amateur dramatics (and “if you're not familiar with am-dram you haven't been on the Mile lately”).  But there is another triple threat lurking in there, as he explores school memories of bullying: geek, dyslexic and gay.

Morgan is an instantly likeable figure on the stage, with his comically oversized spectacles and elaborate quiff serving to make him appear even more boyishly charming.  He appears almost impossibly confident, dealing easily with a diverse afternoon audience in a fairly difficult venue.  He quickly latches (and leeches) on to 'Clint' in the front row, but even when being just a little bit creepy he still achieves an air of innocence.

His blurb promises to explore his love of musicals, and he doesn't disappoint.  Though at times it seemed there were only three of us at the back laughing at the Les Misérables jokes, they were still excellent gags.  Using the quirk of his mobile number containing the digits of Jean Valjean's prison serial code, Morgan leads us into a wonderful set-piece in which his vaunting ambition is crushed even in his own fantasy.

He delivers a number of such well-observed segments, but the links between them sometimes seemed a little jumpy.  It also felt that we were building to a thrilling conclusion, around his experience of homophobic bullying at school, and he very nearly delivered – but I just thought he didn't quite sell the set-up enough to fully justify the finale's very good, and somewhat revealing, punchline.

At the end of the day, though, Triple Threat is an extremely well-polished set and a hugely impressive solo debut at Edinburgh.  I'm going to stick my neck out now, and suggest that David Morgan will be a big, big act in years to come.

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