Darren Bevan, TVNZ.co.nz' On the Verge of Nothing is Billy T nominated - it's a different show than anything else I've seen in the festival from a young comic who's clearly ploughing a totally different route to anyone else out there; it's a refreshing approach and I hope he reaps the rewards that he justly deserves.'open/close
Low key is perhaps the best way to describe this gig for Guy.
I've seen his television stuff before and I've got an idea of how deadpan and dry he can be - but in a stand up situation for Guy, it's a completely different kettle of fish.
The evening kicks off with a longer than expected, ever so slightly rambling introduction which is self deprecating, dry and bemusing. An admission that he's going to thank all of us personally for coming actually translates to him carrying that out - and it's the unpredictable awkwardness which hangs in the air which sets the tone for the next hour.
With a style that could be best described as "hang dog" and "laconic", Guy tackles some truly odd topics with some great comic aplomb. Irony and pauses hang in the air and it takes a real talent to work out how to use these for comedic effect rather than coming off looking like he's bored.
You have to feel for Guy though - that kind of approach may lead some viewing this show to feel that he doesn't have a clue of where he's going or what to do. But it's a smart man who plays down the feel of the comedy and avoids a lot of punchlines to simply carry on an act.
Self-deprecating in the extreme - at one point, he tries talking to the audience before dismissing the idea quickly after two interviewees, muttering that it "was a disaster" before launching into something else.
It's this kind of rambling, random, a propos of nothing, lo-fi approach which truly works for him - the deadpan dispatching of dry comments and throwaway lines is actually so completely unexpected that it takes the funny bone by surprise. He's got some great one liners, some amusing stories and you can't help but feel that when he's name dropping New Zealand "celebrities", it's actually steeped so much in irony that he's mocking himself rather than bragging about who he's seen/ what he's done.
He's a relatively emotionless guy on stage, not once cracking a smile or laughing at his own smarts; he lets the audience do that for him. Sure you could argue that using some blown up pictures for "jokes" (actually, it's probably fairer to call them observations) is nothing new but you can't tell what Guy's about to say or do; it's that kind of refreshing randomness which really was a winner.
On the Verge of Nothing is Billy T nominated - it's a different show than anything else I've seen in the festival from a young comic who's clearly ploughing a totally different route to anyone else out there; it's a refreshing approach and I hope he reaps the rewards that he justly deserves.