Dandy Darkly, resplendent in a fringed and spangled cowboy costume complete with tiny Stetson and incredibly pointy snakeskin boots opens his show with a request: should anyone decide to walk out, could they please do so quietly. This proved to be an unnecessary request as this hour of satirical social storytelling is captivating, and the only time I see an audience member reach for their coat is because they are sitting directly under the air conditioning in the small basement venue under CC Blooms.
Darkly's storytelling is incredible and mesmerising.
Trigger Happy! consists of four disparate stories that each flag up something rotten in the United States of America, all performed in a breathless, frantic speech that segues perfectly from monologue to poetry to song, interspersed with shrieks and cackles that punctuate the tales and frame the absurdities with a knowing sneer.
The subjects of his tales are as bizarre and irreverent as Darkly himself. An American war hero convinced that rainbow-bannered werewolves are destroying his small hometown, a tale of a celebrity starlet who must bleed for her fans and producers and a drag queen rat who performs in the trash of an American Apparel store. It seems that these stories couldn't possibly make sense as a whole yet Darkly's delivery deftly links his surreal stories whilst ensuring that each stands apart.
The performance is constantly underscored with original music pre-recorded by Adam Tendler, Rachel Blumberg and Bryce Edwards but shortly after starting the performance, Darkly kicks the cable from the amplifier with his rather spectacular boots and is forced to give us an 'unplugged' rendition of Trigger Happy!. The words do not suffer.
Darkly's storytelling is incredible and mesmerising with so many words per minute that it can take a little time to tune in to the rhythm of his voice and you fear that you're missing the subtleties, but that's not a criticism; just an encouragement to return and see the show a second time in order to pick up what you missed.