To call someone lanky seems like a blunt, uncaring way to describe a person, but when it comes to Donald Alexander it’s probably not even close to being accurate. The gangling comedian shares his posture and movement with that of an inflatable tube man, flailing his legs across the stage as he spindles out jokes that make you question your own grasp on reality.
Alexander gets bored hanging around backstage so he pops out early, giving us a bonus minute of free content. He promises the rest of the show is amazing before talking about the process of maintaining handkerchiefs in order to combat his pal’s misogynist attitudes. They became acquainted at a Sky retentions centre where you had the most pointless of goals, to convince people not to quit watching telly. He openly brags about being the best at scamming grannies into broadband packages they don’t need, but fails at buying drugs to fit in with the Wall Street lifestyle that call centres are known for.
Most of his material is exhaled in a stunted, staggered manner like what you’d see from a small kid performing a speech at assembly for the first time. It lines up perfectly with his innocent and childlike observations as a stand-up, a perspective on things that many of us have lost the ability to see. When he starts to read from Huxley’s The Doors of Perception, it’s hard to see where the acid trip starts and Alexander’s act begins. His stint as a primary school teacher might explain why he’s able to tune into this level of insight that defies logic. Some of his finer points involve becoming embroiled in pigeon herding, accidental lifesaving and connecting with his dad over terrorist attacks. One likeable thing about The Great is that it’s a little peek into a world that you aren’t quite sure really exists, but you wish does.
The physical elements of his comedy are rarely touched on, as he caresses the walls and hunkers down in a bow-legged pose to hammer home straight-faced punchlines. It appears almost as though he’s doing all this moving about because the stage itself, in this converted comedy vault, can barely take his full height without having his head smashed into the ceiling. Whatever the case might be, Alexander has proven himself one of the greats of Scottish comedy, a truly original and entertaining alternative comic.