Dannish Babar Knows What You’re Thinking

RHONDA NICHOLL really doesn’t know what Dannish Babar’s thinking.

Dannish Babar Pembroke New Cellars Rhonda Nicholl Zygmunt Day

New Cellars, Pembroke, Tuesday 15th  February-19th February, 8pm, £5-6

[Rating: 3/5]

3 Stars. A tad dull, no? Is it not the stance of the lazy fence-sitter, or, heaven-forbid, the one too scared to shelf an opinion? Nay.

Here follows the explanation:

a)    After generating more hatred than Liz Jones for last week’s review, I’m faintly apprehensive about writing anything.

Did Liz Jones quit as soon as she got that first sea of red arrows? No, she laughs as she cashes her cheque each week to spend on cat food and lint rollers.  So, onwards and upwards.

b)    This was the first leg of a 5 night run. I could be crude and just list all his jokes. But that’s a bit dull, not to mention unfair on him.

c)    Mr Babar is difficult to review: he messes things up, knocks things over and drops things… and forgets things. Or does he? The line between feigned and actual incompetence is constantly blurred, but this is what makes him rather brilliant. In my last review, I recommended therapy and a CRB check. Having witnessed his show last night, I stand by that prescription more than ever.

‘Just leave. JUST LEAVE,’ he’d mutter and scream periodically, with slightly manic and/or tear-glazed eyes: Dannish fluctuated between liking and loathing his audience.  His nervously smiling guitar-guy-in-the-corner (aka the brilliant Zygmunt Day) who offered up a range of ‘theme-appropriate’ tunes got the same treatment.

When things got tough for Zygmunt, the yodelling stopped, and the blues would come out.  Then, when the music died, he’d be commanded to recommence, and so, under pressure, he did.

One can’t deny that it’s brave of him to do a solo stand-up show, even braver of him to eke it out for 5 nights.

Dannish is a bit incompetent. “This show is going to change radically by tomorrow”, he’d insist as yet another technological flaw (usually of the wireless mouse variety) made it’s mark on his act.

However, in the face of technological failure, he was able to cope and ab-lib (‘I think it’s getting revenge for all the times I’ve wanked in front of it…’).  The audio-visuals, when functioning, were endearing, and Dannish managed to maintain the attention of his audience like a perverse professor who didn’t really know whether to use Pritt Stick or PowerPoint.

I have yet to decide whether his bipolar nature is charmingly incompetent or just mind-bogglingly strange.

He doesn’t know what you’re thinking. Or maybe he does. I don’t know what he’s thinking. He might (and probably will) follow you home. So I’d say, just go.