Daniel Kitson – the impotent fury of the privileged (FringeTIX)
Daniel Kitson @ Royalty Theatre
9:00pm, Mon 10 Mar 2008
Daniel Kitson is one of my favourite modern comedians, because he comes across as a thinking man’s comedian. His way with words borders on the sublime – after all, this evening he used the phrase “accoutrements of malevolence” – and his experiential tales are often equal parts touching, funny, and worthy of further contemplation.
But I walked away from tonight’s performance a little disappointed, and I can’t nail down why. Because Kitson himself performed in exactly the same manner as in 2004 and 2006, though with maybe a little more introspection and a more detached – and sad – view of the world. And he stopped his act mid-sentence to kindly ask Matt Byrne (my newly-adopted nemesis) to stop taking notes in the front row, which pleased me no end.
But something still irked me… and, reading back over my 2006 notes, maybe it was the fact that there was a Royalty Theatre packed to the brim with people who were gleaning more laughs than I. Maybe my dissatisfaction came from the fact that all these pricks were horning in on my comedian.
Or maybe it’s because Kitson’s message is admirable – though long-winded, and much better summarised in one of his many sidetracks: “do better because you know better.” I’m 100% behind him; I try to care for, show compassion for my fellow man when I can, and it hurts me when those I love fail to do so, fail to consider the (immediate, local) ramifications of their actions upon those around them.
So that’s nice.
But I walked away with a tinge of sadness, knowing that 99% of the 500+ people at The Royalty this night left thinking that they’d been spiritually uplifted, and had a laugh too. And they’ll have forgotten the message tomorrow, and continue being their selfish shitty selves. Ah well. I suppose, as is usually stated regarding such things, if only one person is changed as a result of this show, then it’s still made a difference. It’s the pessimist in me that wants – no, demands – that number be larger.
Or maybe Kitson is still just as brilliant as ever, but my headspace is all fucked up. Aaaaah – now we’re getting somewhere.