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The World According to Damien Crow
Published on Thursday, 11 August 2011
4

4 stars

The Stand Comedy Club V (venue website)
Comedy
8, 22 Aug, 7:35pm-8:35pm
Reviewed by Mathilda Gregory

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

Poor Damien Crow; he’s not happy. He can’t bear his dad or his step-mother. Nobody understands him and people laugh at the way he dresses. Don’t they realise that he feels pain more acutely than other people, or that his mind is so powerful he can bend people to his will?

Comic creation Damien Crow’s angst is very, very funny. A stereotypical goth (in full regalia) doing stand-up is such an inspired culture clash, he gets laughs as soon as he steps on stage. And his withering asides and general demeanour just get more and more heightened the more we laugh. From the reaction he got to the list of things he likes because they are black, he was clearly reminding a large proportion of the audience of a cringe-worthy teenage phase they’d rather forget.

Crow’s entitled, deluded ranting about his unhappy lot is clearly a comedy goldmine. The character’s persona is so funny he doesn’t really need jokes – simply whining about not being able to afford the right kind of knee-length boots is hysterical. But there are jokes anyway – good ones, too. They particularly illustrate Crow’s blinkered attitude, and his jaw-dropping lack of a sense of proportion when examining his own problems in a wider context. For example, the goth phenomenon, Crow explains, began in the 80s, and was misunderstood… ‘like AIDS’.

My two concerns watching the show were whether it was going to stay funny for an hour, and whether perhaps this was just a too easy a target for mockery to be really insightful. However, Crow, navigates both these pitfalls in a completely unpredictable way. It turns out that Crow – or perhaps his creator – is rather adept on a most unexpected musical instrument. And once he brings his ‘band’ onstage, the whole thing takes off to another level of absurd juxtaposition.

At some points, Crow, with his pancaked grease-stick make-up, even reminded me of a traditional clown. A sad, monochrome clown. Poor Damien Crow, he’s not happy. But he should be… at least in secret.

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