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Alexis Dubus: Cars & Girls
Published on Friday, 24 August 2012
2

2 stars

Assembly Roxy
Comedy
2-13, 15-26 Aug, 6:45pm-7:45pm
Reviewed by Martin Lennon

 Recommended for age 12+ only.

Imagine your best friend has travelled across the world – and when he comes back, he sits you down and tells you all about it. Throw in some stories about ex-girlfriends and you more or less get the concept of Alexis Dubus’ show this year. While he certainly is a nice guy, he’s no Michael Palin, and it falls short on both laughs and entertainment.

Following on from his previous two shows, all about swearing and nudity, Dubus takes a slightly different approach as he explores two factors that have seemingly played a huge part in his life, the eponymous cars and girls. The show is delivered in a lecture-style format and focuses heavily on his travels - from hitchhiking to Morocco or going to the Burning Man Festival in America - and the girlfriends he has had along the way. Alongside this he also shows some photos to complement his adventurous tales.

Dubus is charming and likeable, and he is a good storyteller. However, this can't make up for what is a predictable and lacklustre show. This is best summed up when, at the start, he states that there aren’t a lot of laugh out loud moments. There are some funny sections which often involve small tragedies (he fractured a delicate part of his skeletal structure while skiing in France), but to me there wasn't enough conflict in his comedy to make what he was saying sufficiently interesting; telling a story about meeting a girl and then getting dumped by her didn't exhibit that edge.

The most interesting aspects of the story are the people he meets on his travels, like the lorry driver who let Dubus drive his truck, and gave him the immortal words of advice "make sure the cow is in line and everything will be fine". Also, the metaphor of the Burning Man and banishing demons of ex-girlfriends was a nice touch; but the story which contained it was too long to really grab me. While Dubus obviously has lots of stand-up ability, I was just yearning for a bit more comedy throughout the show.

The stories of his travels will help restore your faith in the goodness of people, but maybe it would work better as something other than a stand-up show. If you are confused about whether to get away from it all, then Dubus may inspire you to grab the chance and go for it. But the show is very short on comedy – and while his intentions are good, it just feels like a lecture on his love for traveling that leads you to a road that you have probably been before.

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These are archived reviews of shows from Edinburgh 2012.  We keep our archives online as a courtesy to performers, and for readers who'd like to research previous years' reviews.

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