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“Irreverent”, “potty mouthed”, “sophisticated” and “polysyllabic” are favourite terms of critics when reviewing ‘Dark Side’. After seeing Mr Minchin in action it’s not hard to see why. ‘Dark Side’ is a mix of pointed social comment, ribaldry, slapstick and song that cascades over the audience. Beat poetry fuses with anthems crying out for a stadium full of addled lighter bearing peaceniks. Anger at the world is interwoven with insights into Minchin’s romantic nature; all hidden behind the facade of a rock’n’roll nerd trapped in a classically trained body. Best of all, the audience is kept enthralled and constantly amused by the quirky base lyrics set to impeccably tinkled melodies.

Minchin is articulate, with an obvious love of language, entendre and a keen interest in anatomy. He gets away with heathen attacks on the “doctrines of monotheistic religions” in his ditty 10 Foot Cock And A Few Hundred Virgins by his simple virtues of charm, a good voice and the manner of a lovable little scamp. He writes love songs for the lonely, the repressed and the perverse with songs ranging from extolling the virtues of cavorting with “the delectable, inflatable you” to the joy of pain.

Minchin maintains a curious mix of world weary cynicism and hopeful optimism best espoused by his Live Aid/8 peace offering to the Israeli and Palestinian peoples with its simple refrain of “We don’t eat pigs, You don’t eat pigs, Why don’t we not eat pigs together?” A simple solution to a complex problem but as Minchin paraphrases, every answer is the basis of another fucked up cliche.

Part stand-up, part gig, ‘Dark Side’ is fantastic cabaret; ideally suited to late venues and patrons with all that this entails. ‘Dark Side’ is a series of seemingly unconnected vignettes but a show that enables the audience to make its own connections while having a hearty belly laugh, a titter and beer.

(Darien O’Reilly – DB Magazine)

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