It’s Me Dayne is thoroughly awkward, cringe-worthy and even gob-smacking, but boy, is it funny. Indeed, Rothman is a fresh face on the increasingly popular anti-comedy scene; not only does he revel in those horrific ‘huh?’ moments, but he retains a certain likeability that gets the audience on side. His bespectacled, gawky appearance complements a seemingly genuine excitement that anyone has even bothered to turn up, and this innocent charm endures even in instances of obscenity.
This kind of comedy is, however, an acquired taste, and his morbid tendency might be a bit too much for some. There was, for example, a disgruntled lady in the front with a sticker on her forehead who was not convinced, but Rothman swiftly took on her grumbling with wit and restraint. While even I found the macabre content pretty brow-raising at times, on the whole, it assisted his comic hopelessness to great effect.
Perhaps the most amusing aspect of the show is his dabbling with poetry, storytelling and even song, ‘because at least then you get your money’s worth!’. A poem dedicated to his blind friend, in which the audience was stranded for a good twenty seconds in complete black-out, was a rather ridiculous highlight. Likewise, an imaginary conversation with President Obama under the sea set a pattern for the sheer absurdity that was to follow. One section included a quiz on his pet lizard (a ‘quizzard’) for which an audience member was allowed to call anyone in his phone for assistance; hilarity ensued.
As Dayne grew increasingly confident, he picked audience members out to help him stage a play. This section was rather dependent on the enthusiasm of the participants, and though he was very lucky in this regard, I really felt for those on stage after they’d been stuck up there for a good fifteen minutes. The finale song got everyone clapping and singing along, keen as we were for Dayne to enjoy himself, and it even continued as - and this is an understatement - things got downright weird. In a nod to the Arrested Development’s never-nude complex, we saw a little more of Rothman than was necessary; by then, though, we had all thrown reason so far out of the window that we were just happy for him to express himself. You go, Dayne.