Tony Dunn affects the airs of a tutor as he provides us with a fascinating seminar on the nature and behaviours of the world’s psychopaths. What are the driving characteristics of a psychopath? Are psychopaths the same in every country? What sort of jobs do psychopaths flourish in? How do you recognise one, say, sitting in an audience next to you?
Dunn bases his examination of this topic around the psychopathy checklist - which, after a quick bit of Googling, I can confirm is a real thing. Together we work our way through those characteristics that have been universally acknowledged as psychopathic traits. Dunn provides sketches and stories so we can see these traits in action, examining superficial charm, pathological lying and a grandiose sense of self worth. We find ourselves examining those traits within ourselves, and those we know closely. We learn about why the cold logic of psychopaths often proves to be a very successfully trait in the cutthroat world of business, finance and hierarchy. Do psychopaths make good lovers? Is it possible to learn from what works for psychopaths? Should we? Is life easier when you are no longer burdened with the empathy for your fellow man?
There is a mountain of opportunities for laughs in this topic and Dunn gets the most out of it. You are left wondering how much of the presentation is fiction or fact, when Dunn seems to pre-empt this suspicion and confirms that all science used in this show is true. No pseudoscientific nonsense welcome here - despite what the silly wigs and the crazy characters may suggest.
This show offers a pleasing mix of character sketch, informative banter, anecdote, quiz show style antics and more. Dunne has a decisive wit, cleverly twisting amusement out of each sentence, a charismatic delivery and a penchant for the silly.
This was a thoroughly enjoyable and informative show. If you’ve missed this Festival’s round of light-hearted fun, you should definitely keep an eye open for this chap in the future.