I wouldn’t normally mention a show’s venue in a comedy review, but David Mills is performing in a gorgeous space in the Voodoo Rooms. Beautifully adorned with perfect acoustics, it’s a much better arena than many on the paid Fringe. Indeed, as Mills himself reminds us, John Kearns won the Foster’s Award for best comedy show last year after gigging in this very spot.
Is Mills’ show good enough for a Foster’s? Yes.
The former cabaret artiste goes back to his roots a little with an opening song, Am I Black Enough For Ya? It’s a bold, and under the circumstances, very funny question, what with Mills being as Caucasian as Hulk Hogan. Accompanist Laurence Owen competently bashes away on his guitar, but he’s not needed much after that. In fact the only very minor fault I can find with Don't Get Any Ideas is Owen’s unnecessary and distracting presence on stage during this mostly non-musical set. This stage should belong to Mills and Mills alone.
Like the sharp-suited lovechild of Larry Grayson and Dave Allen, Mills combines laid-back storytelling with acerbic wit. The comedy is original, and wide-ranging. Seemingly, after a long day of innovating, the comedian likes to practice Mindfulness whilst sitting in his panic room. Mills treats us to a crash course in modern Buddhist techniques. He succeeds in sending up the whole concept without trashing it. We also get the benefit of some of Mills' life hacks – where one simple solution can apparently change your life.
Mills also strays into the political area, for some original satire on the likes of Hillary Clinton, Ed Miliband, ISIS and Kim Jong-un. This is sharp, intelligent stuff and some of the best political comedy I have heard this year. Not afraid to ad-lib, Mills also delivers an unscripted and very funny digression aimed at the front row when a punter’s phone goes off.
Is Mills’ show good enough for a Foster’s? Yes. As a comedian he has the skillset to match the very best on the circuit. The performance, the material, and the gravitas – it’s all there. Essential viewing.