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“Tim Minchin is like Bert Newton, but is not nearly as strange looking and has what I think is his own hair. My rather stretched point is not that Minchin is an old daytime television presenter; because he is not; rather that he is a complete entertainment package; a man who can sing, dance, act and deliver the perfect one-liner with an eerie sense of timing. He has the skills, like Bert Newton (and scarily enough Kerri-Anne Kennerley), of an entertainer from a by-gone age where everyone could do everything. Minchin also has a potty-mouth, a self-deprecating grin, a sparkling wit, and the likeable dishevelled manner of Chaplin’s Little Tramp. All this goes together to make Minchin’s Darkside amongst the most enjoyable one man performances you are ever likely to see.

Minchin’s show is based primarily around a series of slightly absurdist, often perverted songs. Something of a virtuoso on the piano (note I intentionally avoided using a pianist pun here, so count yourself lucky) and with a fine ear for a catchy jingle, Minchin gets away with singing about such topics as dating a blow up doll and sticking Easter eggs up your ass. As well as being musically intriguing, the lyrics on even the most puerile-seeming numbers are witty. A musician, a comedian and a word-smith, Minchin is Gilbert and Sullivan rolled into one without the penchant for forcing cross-dressing onto others. On leaving the show, you’ll have at least one of Minchin’s catchy numbers stuck in your heads for days, but rather than be annoyed, you’ll still be cracking up.

One of the most pleasing aspects of Darkside is its carefully honed structure. This is more than just a random assortment of songs and sketches; it is a show that returns repeatedly to a self-conscious investigation of several themes in the comedian’s life. Tim Minchin is foul mouthed, rambling, slightly insane, and quite disturbing. He also happens to be extremely musical and totally hilarious. Darkside is more than just another ‘must see act’ in this year’s Comedy Festival, it is one you really should see.”

(Gawain Davies – The Swine)

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