Phil Dunning: The People's Prince

As his simple but extremely catchy theme tune states at the outset of The People’s Prince, his name is Phil. At first it is anyway. By the end of the show this talented character comedian uses a long list of other names as he works his way through an impressively eclectic and often very funny selection of alternate personalities.

Dunning repeatedly proves his abilities as a performer throughout the show.

Dunning kicks off proceedings in full drag with a sultry singer, the kind of fading star who’d haunt the lounge bar of a low rent cruise ship. With music and more than a touch of madness it sets the scene for a frenetic hour of highly camp, fast-paced fun.

There are numerous highpoints as Dunning swaps through wigs and characters in fairly short order, including a terrific short and surreal interlude from a Boots worker who is only partially useful in obtaining in-store discounts. A sequence which sees the comedian assume the position of a exuberant dancing lion of the Disney persuasion while members of the audience form an awkward backing cast is also tremendously entertaining.

However, despite many high quality and surprising characters, the quality across the show is not uniform and scattered amongst the many interesting personalities are a handful which do not work as well. It’s not that these characters don’t show promise, it’s just they don’t seem as well thought out as others; good ideas in need of more development.

These shortcomings are minor though and Dunning repeatedly proves his abilities as a performer throughout the show, displaying great comic timing, inventiveness and an ear for a funny song. The comic has developed a strong cast of characters and if a few of them were further rounded out he would have a very special show on his hands.

Reviews by Alec Martin

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Performances

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The Blurb

He's the talk of the town, but don't worry, his feet are firmly on the ground. Not! Come and see the guy that men wanna be and women wanna be as well. It's Phil Dunning's debut hour! The daughter of an oil baron, Phil is embarking on a solo career to try and make a living off his own back. He's coming to the end of his Invisalign treatment and his confidence is through the roof. His straight teeth and tight ass make for a five-star show. Whaddaya waiting for?

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