Kierkegaard Comedy Show - with Claus Damgaard

There are two kinds of people at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival - those who run screaming from the phrase ‘Kierkegaard Comedy Show’, and those who run shouting towards it. As a former Kierkegaard scholar, I very decidedly belong to the latter category. That bias declared, however, I cannot imagine Claus Damgaard's thoroughly bizarre, slightly self-deprecating blend of stand-up and nineteenth-century existentialist Danish philosophy making much sense to anyone without a relatively good knowledge of Kierkegaard's writings. Adopting the role of a Kierkegaardian aesthete, a man seeking to ‘create himself’ within the confines of social interaction, Damgaard plays up his flirtatious dandyism for black humor (a recurring joke about his nice suit is particularly effective), insisting that Kierkegaard can help him take control of his life, get over his manipulative ex-wife and help him into the knickers of a ‘princess’ he sees across the room at a tango.

At its best, the Kierkegaad Comedy Show is gleefully strange, veering wildly through odd bits of anti-humour, Kierkegaard's quotes (read from a ‘generation four’ iPad), intentionally awkward audience interaction and winding tangents about Damgaard's fictitious ex-wife. At worst, though, the piece is a bit too in love with its own cleverness - the pace slows substantially in the middle, and the Kierkegaard references and inside jokes get too obscure even for a Kierkegaard fan. Damgaard is a charismatic performer, expert at playing the role of a Kierkegaardian dandy, but at times his quick delivery gets in the way of clarity: words and sometimes whole phrases are gabbled or lost.

For those who can't tell a Kierkegaard from a Kant, this comedy show will hardly be amusing. But for fans of Søren, Damgaard's piece may prove an entertaining, if obscure, way to spend an hour in the afternoon.

Since you’re here…

… we have a small favour to ask. We don't want your money to support a hack's bar bill at Abattoir, but if you have a pound or two spare, we really encourage you to support a good cause. If this review has either helped you discover a gem or avoid a turkey, consider doing some good that will really make a difference.

You can donate to the charity of your choice, but if you're looking for inspiration, there are three charities we really like.

Mama Biashara
Kate Copstick’s charity, Mama Biashara, works with the poorest and most marginalised people in Kenya. They give grants to set up small, sustainable businesses that bring financial independence and security. That five quid you spend on a large glass of House White? They can save someone’s life with that. And the money for a pair of Air Jordans? Will take four women and their fifteen children away from a man who is raping them and into a new life with a moneymaking business for Mum and happiness for the kids.
Donate to Mama Biashara now

Theatre MAD
The Make A Difference Trust fights HIV & AIDS one stage at a time. Their UK and International grant-making strategy is based on five criteria that raise awareness, educate, and provide care and support for the most vulnerable in society. A host of fundraising events, including Bucket Collections, Late Night Cabarets, West End Eurovision, West End Bares and A West End Christmas continue to raise funds for projects both in the UK and Sub-Saharan Africa.
Donate to Theatre MAD now

Acting For Others
Acting for Others provides financial and emotional support to all theatre workers in times of need through the 14 member charities. During the COVID-19 crisis Acting for Others have raised over £1.7m to support theatre workers affected by the pandemic.
Donate to Acting For Others now

Performances

The Blurb

Deadly serious comedy show about love, sex and romantic relationships. 'With woman, fun came into the world' said Danish philosopher Kierkegaard. Now Claus Damgaard gives us his personal take. www.eitheror.dk

Most Popular See More

SIX

From £42.00

More Info

Find Tickets

The Book of Mormon

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

The Phantom of the Opera

From £30.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Back to the Future - The Musical

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Frozen the Musical

From £36.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Wicked

From £30.00

More Info

Find Tickets