Wednesday, July 6

The Preacher – Brighton Fringe

‘Philospohical’, ‘existential’ and based on the ‘Biblical book of Ecclesiasticus’ are not common descriptions you would associate with a stand up comedian but these descriptions can certainly be attributed to David ‘Dave’ Davidson in his stand up performance ‘The Preacher’, performed as part of the Brighton Fringe Festival.

It’s true that many of us challenged ourselves during the various lockdowns of the past year or so but performing stand up, based on a book of the bible to no live audience was certainly up there with the strangest of challenges.

Adapted by Anthony Noack and now performing on line, David ‘Dave’ Davidson was one comic who chose to carry on with stand up whether there was a live audience or not. Perhaps something a Preacher may also do in times of the Bible and speak to whoever was listening? As a keen lover of comedy, this is like no performance I have ever seen and at times it felt like more of a philosophical discussion than a ‘usual’ stand up performance. However, it did make me chuckle as well as reflect (rather unexpectedly) on the meaning of life throughout.

‘The Preacher’ is a performance based on of the Biblical book of Ecclesiasticus. Created in Melbourne during a Covid lockdown, from the very beginning of the set Davidsons almost monotone performance was ‘awkward’ and right up to the very end I had to consistently remind myself that this was comedy.

The one thing that was highlighted throughout Davidson’s performance was a constant comparison between the comedian and the preacher. He performed as a modern day preacher, questioning aspects of life and asking what the point of it all was. With a bottle of wine as his only prop which he consumed over the hour I considered perhaps even the wine itself was associated with the biblical referencing throughout.

Occasionally, even Davidson seemed to need to remind himself that he was performing comedy and threw in some quick jokes in a ‘Jimmy Carr style’. These were also heavily associated with the Bible especially when he talked of Jesus changing water in to wine but considered whether he ought to have changed it back to water again ‘for cleaning purposes’.

The Preacher is almost certainly like no stand-up routine you will have seen before, however, having said that, I would still urge you to have a look. It is unique, absurd and very, very niche. If you like your jokes delivered on a plate then I’d think twice about watching this. However, if want to see a clever comedy act in the guise of a thought provoking modern day preacher, causing in you to reflect on the meaning of life at the same time, then this is certainly for you.

Available online through the Brighton Fringe Festival from 28th May – 27th June

Reviewer: Angela Kelly

Reviewed: 16th May 2021

North West End UK Rating: ★★★

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