Demi Lardner feels the need, at one point in their most recent show, to unveil a banner listing their previous accomplishments and awards they have won. This is presented alongside a series of self-depracating laughs at technical errors and admonishing of the welcoming audience applauding their routines. These elements are a staple of Demi Lardner's deservedly-lauded act, as their clowning exists in tandem with their rejection of mass appeal, but this is the first time Demi Lardner has brought a show to the fringe where their self-deprecation feels at least partly justified.
Many of the surreal sketches feel as though the comedian is spinning their wheels
I Love Skeleton seems to be a show thrown together with a smattering of new material as well as jokes taken from Fringe shows past and popular viral videos. The show has no structure, unlike their previous Fringe outings, and a conceit set up as the audience file in is thrown away at the conclusion to create the illusion of a closing callback without putting in the effort of crafting one. Demi Lardner is as virtuosic as they have always been but I Love Skeleton feels like a comedian with something to say (even if that thing is "it's funny to do strange things") not being prepared enough to say it clearly. There are a few routines which manage to surprise and many which draw laughs from the crowd but the end result of the show is unsatisfying as many of the surreal sketches feel as though the comedian is spinning their wheels.
Demi Lardner underperforms here by failing to develop their best traits. Whilst they have a definite recognisable style that continues here for another 40-minute blast of surreal absurdism, there comes a point where a formula starts to appear amongst the organised chaos. Whilst previously her surreal material has seemed revolutionary in its unwillingness to bend to any clear comedic structure, here it has become evident that it is simply adhering to a repetitive structure of their own creation. More than it has seemed before, it is apparent that if you've seen one Demi Lardner show you've seen them all. Whilst Demi Lardner is undoubtedly a strong performer, they would perhaps be best suited for taking some time off before coming back with a clearer show that demonstrates their significant talents more clearly.