Edinburgh Fringe 2014
Dan Clark brings his one man show “Me, My Selfie and I” to the Pleasance Dome, where he invites you to share his most personal thoughts on relationships, sex, family, phobias and middle age. His recent jettison from mainstream TV gives birth to this soul searching expedition, and he reveals his darkly hilarious meanderings as he tries to achieve peace of mind.
Four years ago, Dan Clark was riding high on the success of his sit com, “How Not to Live Your Life” which was an antidote to all the other saccharine sitcoms that still dominate the television schedule. The appointment of a new programme commissioner at the BBC resulted in his show being cruelly axed while in its prime, leaving fans of the show who like their comedy raw, with no explanation or replacement. Clark suddenly finds he has a massive amount of time on his hands and this leads to a period of self-reflection from which this show finds its roots. Left alone with his own thoughts, he begins to ask those big questions. At 38 what has he achieved? Why has he been single for so long? Are his expectations too high? Each one of these questions allows him to depict situations he has found himself in and reveal a little more of the complicated person he is.
This introspection is a double edged sword, because each revelation encourages him to delves deeper into the darker areas of his mind, searching for those answers that we are all looking for. He even questions the questions he is asking. Clark is multi-talented and he capitalises on this by using all the tools in his kit. Actor, writer, musician and general all-round performer, I suspect he’s more relaxed on stage than anywhere else in the world. It’s a slick show, and the one or two mistakes he makes are highlighted by him, bringing attention to them by laughing uproariously. He then quickly absorbs them back into his performance without missing a beat. He has an innate sense of comic timing with the occasional mischievous conspiratorial looks to the audience as he discusses those taboo subjects that we all love to hear people confess to.
There’s no subject out of bounds as he included his experiences of masturbation to internet porn, what he really feels about dating and what he really feels about death. It’s a simple set and his guitar is the only real prop that he uses. He talks warmly to the audience, stealthily including them into his material and they – clearly appreciating his sense of humour- reward him with the laughter he’s looking for. It’s not all pie in the face though, Clark has depth and he’s not scared to change the rhythm and show his tender side.
There’s a couple of painfully intimate moments and I glance around the room to see how the audience are responding, but they’re with him all the way. There’s so much in this show and I’d like to include more in this review, but it would truly spoil the impact of the comedy. By the end of his performance, Clark has completely seduced everyone in the room. The women want to take him home and the men can imagine going out with him for a pint. Dan Clark. What an act!