Larry Dean: Farcissist

Male stand up comedians from certain parts of Glasgow often face a significant impediment; they can’t help but sound like Billy Connolly, and so inevitably find themselves compared with “the Big Yin” – especially when performing in old rival city Edinburgh. Larry Dean, however, doesn’t suffer unduly from any such comparison; he’s just as happy to play with the stereotypes of the “scary friendly” Glaswegian, just as self-effacing when it comes to his own foibles and failings, and perfectly willing to revisit a prostate check for the sake of a big laugh. Larry's a natural raconteur, which is all the more impressive when he “comes out” as being dyslexic and having a stammer.

Like this show? I loved it!

Arguably, though, Larry has two distinguishing features as a performer: one, he is arguably easier on the eye than Connolly ever was; and two, he’s gay – a fact he deliberately “just” drops into his set via the use of a personal pronoun. Thankfully, it appears that we’ve reached the stage of human civilisation where, at least to a keen Edinburgh Festival Fringe audience, the sexual orientation of the performer simply isn’t an issue. Perhaps it helps that he “can’t do camp”; that he comes across as just a funny, generally inoffensive young man who might make fun of his Mum’s accent but definitely loved his Gran. What’s not to love?

Except, of course, being a homosexual Glaswegian does inevitably colour his experience of the world, especially since he’s once again single and so experiencing the new dating reality of mobile Apps like Grindr. You could argue that his material about “dating etiquette” in this brave new 21st century world isn’t that radical – even straights use the likes of Tinder now – but Larry shares his stories with a glint in the eye and uses them as compelling evidence of how different the world is now that everyone is apparently aware that sex happens.

If there’s any point Larry appears to be making, it’s how he needs to get over his fear of emotions in general, and to better control his habit of ruining all those “nice” moments in life by involuntarily making jokes. Farcissist feels pretty free, flexible and relaxed – as well it should – but his return to an earlier story some 40 minutes later is a perfect example of how smoothly honed this show actually is.

On the night of this review, Larry Dean wore long denim shorts and a white T-shirt with “Like It” written in large red letters. Like this show? I loved it!

Reviews by Paul F Cockburn

Multiple Venues

Nests

★★★
Dundee Rep Theatre / Macrobert Arts Centre

The Yellow on the Broom

★★★
Underbelly, Bristo Square

Tom Neenan: It's Always Infinity

★★★★
Assembly George Square Studios

Police Cops in Space

★★★★★
Gilded Balloon Rose Theatre

Rik Carranza: Still a Fan

★★★★
Gilded Balloon Rose Theatre

Marmite

★★★★

Performances

Location

The Blurb

Fosters Comedy Award 2015 nominee and gallus Glaswegian Larry Dean returns to the Fringe with a show about emotional detachments and an absent love life. It's essentially jokes about intimacy in a bigger room. Sell-out show 2015. As seen on Live from the BBC (BBC 2), Live at the Comedy Store (Comedy Central) and Elevenish (ITV2). Winner of Scottish Comedian of the Year 2013. 'The audience lap up his cheeky-chappie shtick... here's to a generation of new Billy Connollys' (Guardian). 'Definitely one to watch' (Time Out). 'Fascinatingly funny' (Evening Standard). 'Dean is unmissable' ***** (Edinburgh Festivals Magazine).