FRINGE – Paul McDermott – The Dark Garden – 3.5K

r1086733_13041623By Peter Maddern

Of all the member of the Doug Anthony All Stars, Paul McDermott has always seemed to be the most strange; that grin he occasionally gives sort of gives it away and he as good as admitted as much at the outset of his Town Hall show when he claimed his teachers at primary school use to describe him as having the ‘the voice of an angel but the mind of the devil.’

This show exposes further that innate strangeness. Inspired by the death of a close friend, McDermott and his three piece backing players takes us through songs about the five stages of grief – not exactly an uplifting topic consistent with the usual whooo whooo tone of the Fringe but an interesting expose nonetheless, held together by those songs being somewhat light and fun as well as a good vehicle to show off his not inconsiderable vocal talents.

McDermott, in trade mark mauve vest, then separated them with his mostly high quality banter, covering such diverse topics as drinking dead fruit flies to how to make a goose honk. Unfortunately, the show came somewhat unhinged when he descended at around the 50 minute mark into an extended monologue around a vagina ‘joke’.

Just why comics see this moment as a good time to drop there is beyond me, especially one as talented as McDermott. Have they come up short on an uplifting ending and look to lower expectations with this dross? I don’t get it but it and the erratic lighting added to the strangeness of it all.

Kryztoff Rating  3.5K

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