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“The bare-footed stylings of new hipster cabaret cannot possibly get any better than Tim Minchin’s Dark Side. Musical savants turned comedians are crawling out of the woodwork these days, toting VCA degrees, piercings and alt rage, but Minchin is a cut above. His angry piano bar tuned are funny as hell and his sardonic showmanship is surprisingly understated. I hate this school of comedy – the sly finger-clicks of the ironically self-aware, jazzed up indie kid – but I loved Tim Minchin.

Dark Side opened with a spot of interpretive dance before Minchin settled into a protracted Cole Porter-esque ode to his inflatable girlfriend. Not something that sounds particularly funny on paper, granted, but delivered with singular charm that somehow capitalised on and at the same time avoided the cloying, theatrical ivory-tinkle of Manilow and his kind. But it wasn’t until after a brief lull involving apt but unfunny mime that Minchin really exploded on the crowd, with hit after hit of wise, wicked and joyfully hateful tunes that made me laugh so hard I snorted.

The whole audience was giddy, as it happens; unusually vocal and high-spirited (or high on spirits in the case of one unnecessarily chatty little fucker), so that when Minchin started an unassuming little beer hall sing-along, they were chorusing with him by the second round. This particular musical joke, a peace anthem for Palestine and Israel involving the words ‘we don’t eat pigs, you don’t eat pigs’ was a highlight in a show full of gold. Even the beat poetry, which generally makes my skin crawl, was a masterwork of savage wit in rhyming couplets. By the time he closed the show with a heartfelt, Ben Foldsy, small-boy-in-a-big-world ballad, Tim Minchin was my new favourite thing.


(Beat Magazine)

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