Friday, December 2

Dave Gorman: Powerpoint to the People – Liverpool Philharmonic Hall

Dave Gorman entered the stage greeted with a round of tumultuous applause from the audience; it was a full house of mainly 35-year-olds upwards eagerly awaiting Gorman’s characteristic brand of comedy and enlightening statistical information. He was dressed in his usual attire of checked shirt denim jeans and trainers, his trademark laptop, stage right.

Gorman is known for his popular acclaimed TV series, ‘Modern Life Is Goodish’ where he has proved himself to be an exemplar, brutally revealing life’s incongruities in comedic fashion.

In a show lasting just over two hours he delivers an enormous amount of interesting information in his characteristic manner; he is both fast-talking and slick, often laughing uncontrollably at his own jokes. From the offset he proceeds to ask everyone not to reveal any spoilers.

The set was standard, comparable to those typically used by most modern-day comedians – a bare stage -except in this case, a large computer screen was projected onto the curtained backdrop which was used to convey various snippets of information accompanied by humorous remarks and revelations from Gorman plus the ever-present laptop.

Gorman entertained initially with anecdotes of medical problems and visits to see his GP explaining how his life, now that he’s in his fifties, is different to how it was when he was younger.   He recounted how his life experiences have changed now that he has a six-year-old son and he entertained with some examples of amusing moments during home schooling with Eric, which he greatly enjoyed.

Life during lockdown featured strongly and he shared how his comedy show tours had come to an end because of it.   He had to look for work elsewhere and due to his love of completing cryptic crossword puzzles he began compiling them for newspapers such as The Guardian, The Independent and The Daily Telegraph.

Chef, Greg Wallace and his TV show, ‘Inside the Factory’, features heavily in the second part of the show with Wallace introducing Part 2 on screen; Gorman reckons Wallace doesn’t actually know who comedian Gorman is and he compares Wallace to a six-year-old boy in a man’s body because of the inane comments he makes during his TV show.  He also ridicules the metaphors Wallace uses and questions the reasoning behind him wearing a hairnet over his bald head in the show.

There is a section about Hotel Celebrity in Bournemouth with accompanying photographs.  Gorman suggests that the ‘celebrities’ featured are somewhat questionable and maybe because he is performing in Liverpool, he includes a small accolade to Ken Dodd.

His Hollywood ‘Walk of Fame’ section is interesting as I for one didn’t know that celebrities actually pay something in the region of $50,000 for having a star named for them there and there are lots of lesser-known US ‘celebrities’ who have paid for the privilege.

There is a small amount of audience participation and at one point a lady sitting in the front stalls receives a small trophy for having clapped the greatest number of times up until that part of the show.

No show of Gorman’s would be complete without his infamous Found Poem section, and he didn’t disappoint with an entertaining rendition in which he creates something positively lyrical out of banal online comments.  These mock-solemn recitals are high points in his skilfully constructed TV and stage shows.

The show finished with Gorman telling the audience that Greg Wallace was actually attending the show (not) and wanted to finish it, incognito.  This was achieved with his silhouette waving Goodbye on the projection screen.

Gorman is an engaging performer; it was difficult not to feel the warmth from the audience, he’s like the brother-in-law or son-in-law many watching would wish for and all left with a smile on their face, wanting more.

The show is hugely entertaining, skilfully constructed and Gorman produces a superbly entertaining show from the unlikeliest stream of information and day-to-day occurrences.

Reviewer: Anne Pritchard

Reviewed: 30th September 2022

North West End UK Rating: ★★★★★