Credit: The Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society
Sneek-a-Peek

Des Clarke

Everything he says is hilarious and he manages to say so much you're getting double the comedy for your money.

Venue: The Assembly Rooms (Venue 20)
Des Clarke hardly seems to pause for breath, and the best thing is you don't want him to. Speaking so fast it's like he's got somewhere else to be, within two minutes Des has the audience gasping for breath along with him. Everything he says is hilarious and he manages to say so much you're getting double the comedy for your money.

Des openly admits he's always had too much energy, pointing out the carefully chosen stool which is supposed to keep him still and centred on stage (at first he flails around on it and later abandons it completely during an uncoordinated but brilliant ceilidh sketch). Luckily on or off the stool Des is unbeatably funny and his energy is not something that should be stifled by sitting down. Like an out of control jack-in-the-box, the moments he spends pinning himself to the chair seem to release him with increased force onto the stage at the next punchline. The content also bounces around; ricocheting from his OCD to dating, back to OCD before flying off at a tangent to his meeting with Prince Charles. In fact the whole show has an irresistible, off the cuff unscripted feel. Des Clarke is so fast, so sharp and so natural that no audience could fail to be woken up by him.

The show also gains its brilliance from Des's unashamed self-deprecation; it is not a few token jibes or a feeble attempt to jump on the humble comedian bandwagon, but the full force of his Glaswegian anger brought to bear upon himself. Anyone can make fun of someone else, but to make fun of yourself in the manner Des does is an incredible talent. The best thing is the more Des tries to make you understand how weird, awkward and un-stereotypically masculine he is, the more you come to love him. Des's background as an impressionist also shines, or rather contorts and morphs, its way through onto his features as he takes off Prince Charles, Andy Murray and his awkward, glasses wearing, mullet bearing younger self.

I expected this show to be good, but it was so much better than that. Des's style is natural, fluid and quickly responsive to anything the audience throws at him. His uncontrollable, twitching energy leaves him talking double speed and accompanying it all with flailing arms and legs, but that is what makes him so brilliant. The audience were never quiet.

Written by Laura Jeffrey



The Assembly Rooms (Venue 20)
54 George Street
Edinburgh
EH2 2LR
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