David Quirk – Feeling Steve Breathe [FringeTIX]
David Quirk @ The Pod
7:15pm, Sun 22 Feb 2009
David Quirk (his real name, he insists) has a bit of a problem this evening; he’s got a small-but-not-shabby crowd inside The Pod, but just outside – mere metres away – is a thumping huge video screen and sound system playing highlights from TropFest. So there’s a little noise bleed, which I’m guessing would be par for the course for an up-and-coming comedian – but the noise is causing feedback on his stage mike, restricting his roaming to the tiny square of the large stage where the speakers don’t howl.
And that’s a shame – because I think that aimless ambling is an important bit of his act. There’s plenty of opportunity for that, too: there’s oodles of pauses – not pregnant pauses, not thinking-music pauses, just gaps where there’s nothing really going on – where he’d subconciously start wandering, hear the screech, then turn tail and return to his safe nook. Which makes it a touch dull for the audience because, let’s face it, Quirk is no looker: with a decent mullet, he could be king of the bogans, such was his dress sense this evening. And, as I said, there are plenty of pauses, plenty of room to breath.
Let’s face it – David Quirk is dry. And odd. Not “odd” in a surreal way, just odd in style. Some comics are observational – making fun of that which surrounds them. Some comics are experiential – creating mirth from their own actions. Quirk takes a little from Column A and a little from Column B, telling half-stories of his half-experiences. Literally, half-stories – at one stage even stopping the story dead: “I’m not going to tell you the rest, because it’s not funny – it has no comedic content.”
Whilst I applaud him for that, it’s a bit of a jarring technique – you’re entertained, but not satisfied. You get the feeling he’s holding something back, that there’s a punchline after the next pause… but then he casually starts another story.
And, despite revealing a few home truths of comedy – leaning on the mike stand, while looking cool, actually hurts – I didn’t come away trusting Quirk. That’s weird, expecting to trust a comedian; but I think it’s got something to do with the integrity of their performance, their attitude. And I’m not sure I get that from David Quirk – yes, I had a few giggles, and I don’t begrudge the time I felt in this odd performance… but I’m not sure I’d want to see him again. And, whilst he may say he doesn’t care, I’m not sure that’s actually the case.
Mind you, he did use one of the filthiest lines I’ve heard in a comedy show; despite the fact that I’d heard the same joke the night before in Club Cascadeur, it was still as pleasingly rank the second time. Massive props for that :)