Dave Thornton – The Some Of All The Parts [FringeTIX]
Dave Thornton @ Rhino Room – Downstairs
7:45pm, Wed 22 Feb 2012
I think Dave Thornton’s a pretty safe bet – a comfortable style, pleasant jokes. I’ve seen him during Fringe-time, I’ve seen him at the Rhino Room between Fringes… he’s solid. Dependable.
So when he opens with a gag about playing “Penis or Finger” with your bed-partner, I was a little put-off – it felt like a cheap joke, too low-brow… not what I was expecting at all.
The central thread of his show – that he was asked to deliver a motivational speech to a group of twelve-year-old school kids, and was struggling to collate suitable material – is an intriguing one… but the vignettes that Thornton spins off from this thread are only loosely connected. They’re still interesting stories, of course – hearing about his experience sitting in on a sex-ed class delivered by his sixty-two-year-old mum is a treat, even though that tale wraps up abruptly. His divergence into topics of religion quietens the audience – a mixed blessing, as it turned out.
Normally, a quiet comedy crowd would spell death to a comedian – but Thornton was host this evening to a chatty group at the back of the room, and the rowdy Pedro and Monique in the front row. He attempted to engage them all in an attempt to quieten them down, but that only seemed to grant them license to continue their own conversations unabated. Pedro and Monique, in particular, seemed to take great delight in discussing – amongst themselves – every second punchline in depth.
Come on… they were in the front row.
Thornton seemed off his game; maybe it was the noisy elements in the crowd, maybe it was the shaky material. His closing bit – which should have been a touching story regarding the uplifting efforts of his brother, featuring a cute Lego Transformer – fell flat, with a sense of “huh? that’s the end?” falling over the crowd. Thornton may still have a likeable style, and he may still be adept at quick comebacks, but this was – without a doubt – the flattest set I’ve seen him perform.