The simple ‘good vs bad’ narrative is present in just about every aspect of our culture and society. In Villain, Daniel Foxx turns villain narratives and stereotypes on their heads, doing more to show the subjectivity of good and evil than Maleficent ever did. He plays around with the idea of the ‘villain’ as depicted by Disney and dissect his own childhood experiences using the villain aesthetic as a theme to connect the show.
Foxx is a compelling and incredibly talented composer and lyricist
Like an ogre, there are so many layers to this show. It explores the villain archetype that we've seen in films, using it as a lens to analyse the root of the meaning behind the euphemism 'gay' and its affect on individuals and society. Foxx’s tone is very dry, sarcastic and at times even detached as he presents logical and step by step analysis to examine the villain stereotypes, which allows him to pick apart the 'good vs evil' narrative that Disney films and fairytales favour. He uses observationist and anecdotal humour to build his stand-up hour, using it to show how much of an impact and harm that such a dichotomy creates. Foxx comes off as very measured and controlled, almost as if he’s saving all of his emotional energy for the songs, which he performs with a lot of heart and intensity.
There is an element of musical comedy in this show, and Foxx’s talent is such that anyone who doesn’t like the genre will change their minds once they hear Foxx play. Taking a note from the musical theatre genre, Foxx performs numbers that are equal parts music and comedy, essentially writing satirical lyrics for a ballad. Foxx is a compelling and incredibly talented composer and lyricist, and he performs these incredible character songs that would be completely at home in a Broadway musical. The songs, especially Maybe I’m Wicked, are showstoppers in their own right. Each song takes on a life of its own, communicating a sense of vulnerability as well as a restrained but defiant anger, a clear nod to the ‘villain songs’ that have come before it, a style that neatly fits into the rest of the comedy in this show. It would be such a gift to be able to listen to these songs over and over again.
Villain is an extremely important show because in breaking down these archetypes, Foxx shows just how much homophobia is ingrained into our culture, even to this day. After watching Villain, it is practically guaranteed that you’ll never watch another Disney film the same way ever again.