Darius Davies' HBÖ Special Uncensored

Davies is a dynamo and a wonder to behold on stage. As he rails on “the rules of life,” his delivery is akin to a performance poet’s; rhythm, pitch and pause feel studied in every word, and Davies repeats and repeats his subject like an old-school orator. Such energy is matched in movement, as he pulls mic cords taut to simulate the sheets of his girlfriend’s bed and brandishes the mic stand like Braveheart on the eve of battle. As he exclaims repeatedly that he is “proud to be British”, curling over to slap the amp on every other word, Davies feels like a faith healer, commanding his audience with wonderful charisma.

Irreverency, unfortunately, can occasionally take a turn into too-easy tropes.

Bringing a tone of worldly weariness to the most superficial subjects, Davies’ material feels freshest when the topic is totally trivial. A panegyric to the three point plug has the audience in hoots, as do bits about internet cafe charge rates and McDonald’s sauce servings. When Davies opens into observations on broader themes, however, material feels weaker: A joke about online racism and homophobia (which feels a little like an excuse to use a handful of edgy expletives) is upstaged by a following bit about trolling players on CoD with cat noises.

Irreverency, unfortunately, can occasionally take a turn into too-easy tropes. The observation that women know about nail art, whilst men are more preoccupied with farting and dickslapping feels pretty Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus’. Indeed, at moments it feels like Davies is aware of these weak spots and cheap shots yet carries on regardless. The fact that he caveats a joke about his dad’s desire to “kill all the homosexuals” with an aside to lay out the well-worn “different time, different world” defence feels telling: Davies is like a class clown, egged on by the giggles of his mates to make a joke he knows is both unoriginal and off-colour.

Overall, the HBO Special Uncensored is a compelling watch and its energy is infectious. However, even as censorship certainly goes out the window, a bit of editing here and there wouldn’t go amiss.

Reviews by Jack Powell

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Performances

Location

The Blurb

Darius Davies brings his critically-acclaimed HBÖ Special back to Edinburgh for a series of uncensored gigs. The show HBO tried to ban, the show that reviewers called 'Brilliant, hilarious, outstanding' ***** (BroadwayBaby.com), the show more people need to see. This is an hour of high-octane comedy, 'a near faultless and original set, which would not look out of place at Live At The Apollo. Moreover Davies has something to say' **** (ScotsGay.). ‘Amazing. Get yourself over to New York now’ (Chris Albrecht, former president of HBO).