Darius Davies prepares his audience by engaging the slightly low-energy room with some standard ice-breakers. He also provides some trigger warnings related to phalluses and Trump (cue much confusion). Davies refers to the lack of energy and confronts the reticent, explaining that he will give as good he gets. But he does so with charm and confidence.
As he moves through the gears there is a palpable mood change in the audience and his presentational skills allow him to provide concise little comic nuggets related to the social media and fake news that he has selected for this run. A confident and dynamic performer, who has honed his crowd work on the circuit, he selects his material with an eye for irony and people’s fallibility.
One particular highlight is his analysis of his social experiment as a female profile on Tinder. Whilst providing empathy with the #MeToo movement it also allows Davies to showcase a passion for wordplay as an overeager match repeatedly misspells ‘bobs’. He manages to do this without overtly ridiculing or attacking the misled match.
An online campaign created by disruptive Spanish Fringegoers forms the middle of the set. Having been removed from Davies’ 2017 show they started an anti-Darius Davies Twitter account and tweeted several high-profile accounts. Davies expertly milks their outrage and syntax to exceedingly satisfying comic effect and the audience agree.
The set ends with an analysis of a feud over a £50 Ryanair booking fee. Swearing revenge, the resultant Google alert allowed Davies to exact a televisual revenge via some non-existent fact checking at the BBC. This incident is almost three years old but its inclusion as part of a critique about the unreliability of media is perfectly appropriate and serves to highlight the extent of Davies’ research.
This is a confident and engaging show from a relaxed and witty performer who can handle a varied crowd and an adequate room. Davies’ reliance and passion for visual aids would undoubtedly benefit from a bigger room since he has the personality to fill it.