Shaking Hands with Danger
REVIEW: NICK SAS
There are times during David Quirk's startling show Shaking Hands with Danger that it could fit comfortably in the "performance art" section of the Fringe.
Layered with monologues addressing existential themes that T.S Eliot would have been proud of, the Melbourne-based comic takes the audience on a journey through various important happenings in his life.
From cheating, to boyhood fantasies of becoming a rock star and his fascination with Guns 'N Roses guitarist Slash; and then over to the daily grind of being a comedian with no money, Quirk does not do set 'em up, knock 'em down punch-line style comedy.
It is something entirely different.
There is an old quote from US humourist and newspaper columnist Erma Bombeck that springs to mind regarding Quirk's comedy. It said: "There is a thin line that separates laughter and pain, comedy and tragedy, humour and hurt."
And Quirk rides that line, hard. But therein lays its appeal.
Quirk is a talented raconteur, and at times his stories are profoundly poignant. Others are downright tragic, and some are bound to make some audience members a little uncomfortable. Yet he is able to mix that obvious talent for storytelling with a sense of playfulness and a genuine witty edge (and for the purists, don't worry, there are a few penis jokes thrown in the middle).
This show isn't for everyone, and, at times, the elongated stories sometimes stretch their welcome. But for those who like their comedy with a thought-provoking edge, Quirk is one to check out.
David Quirk performs until February 8.