14 August 2009

Rhys Darby – It's Rhys Darby Time

Unbeknownst to me, not only had Rhys actually played Edinburgh before (in 2003 as confirmed by the lovely cylinder in the Pleasance Courtyard listing everyone who has performed there for the 25th years of the Pleasance as a Festival venue), but he also did stand up here and not character acting. Needless to say there are literally no people in the audience who have come because of that show or because of his stand-up. Not to disappoint Rhys starts with a Park Ranger who gives a butch intro to the show. From a few reviews by reviewers that like to ruin gags before the show, it seems he has tightened up that segment as it does have a few good (and different) amusing lines in it. It's then time to welcome out the man of the hour, the only person who seems to be playing in Edinburgh this year (if you read mainstream magazines), Rhys Darby as Rhys Darby! One of the interesting things to learn is that Rhys has an amusing skill in making sound effects that are Police-Academy good.

After 10 minutes of Rhys as Rhys he delivers a stunning gag accompanied by a perfect physical representation. The moment will live with me forever! Sadly, so will the memory of the next 20 minutes when he suddenly changes track and tells us a story from Hollywood along with two good but unfunny characters. Coming out of this Rhys starts strong as if he has just walked on to follow a comic who has just bombed and killed the mood (which in a sense he has). The last 15 minutes are good, comparable to the first, with some more physical humour and a few sound effects delivered as promised earlier in the set. In all it's a good show from a talented man that has the potential to be great, if he cuts the incredible 20-odd minute lull in the middle. His big gag was great though! Talented, Warm and Surprising – 8 out 10 or four stars calling out 'present'.