Edinburgh Fringe 2013
ReviewCameron Davis is a mild-mannered Aussie comic who fills the small stage at Finnegan’s Wake with a presence that is reassuring, authoritative, and only slightly self-deprecating. His comedy talk, framed as a lecture on the human condition, is well set in the wood-panelled space and the audience surprisingly large for a noon show, is with him all the way as he meanders through his subject matter. He follows a set of worn notes, spread out on a music stand, and manipulates his PowerPoint like a pro, and we can’t help but think that some great knowledge is about to be imparted to us, some secrets of life and living that will make us better, more effective humans.
Full of tongue-in-cheek sight gags, puns, and clever turns of phrase, his talk is less educational and more relatable comedy – like coolly delivered stand-up. It quickly becomes apparent that, while revelations may not be in store, chuckles will be the order of the day. This is not an uproariously hilarious show, but a pleasantly humorous chat, an enjoyable hour spent in Davis’ company discovering how our greatest triumphs may also be our biggest liabilities as a species. Davis covers philosophy, great inventions, and mortgages, blithely skipping through history’s pages with droll humour, not dry, but witty. And while not everyone is laughing all the time, the room is never free from the sounds of chuckles and the appreciative sounds of people who recognise themselves in the comedian’s jokes.
The Human Condition is an enjoyable way of spending an early afternoon. Davis is engaging, the material interesting and funny, and the setting pleasant. This is no evening at the Apollo, but it is a good time. For anyone who’s ever stopped to consider the bigger questions in life, The Human Condition may not have the answers, but it’ll provide the light comic relief.