Stand-up comedy: Dan Brader 27 July 2018, Paisley Stage, Napier By Ian Thomas
Dan Brader’s style is all about anecdotes. Frequently nasty, dirty anecdotes. Dan confesses to being a horrible human being. On top of that his dad gave him the name for the show. Dan tells us that he and dad spar with each other. Caustic verbal barbs are the foundation of their good-natured exchanges. So Dan has grown up with a very particular style of humour….
The anecdotes are well told. Dan has a talent for voices and acts his stories out proficiently. Too often, however, the build up, which has the audience in his grasp, is followed by a punchline that leaves us bemused rather than amused.
Dan tells us that his comedy isn’t for everyone. That he wants to be a cult performer. That somehow we’re lagging behind the times because we don’t get him. He acknowledges that the $10 door charge is pretty low for a guy that’s been in the business for eleven years. He tells us early on that he’s not a fan of koha, having retrieved $6 from a hat passed around an audience of ninety people in Dunedin. Initially, when he tells us this particular story, I am prepared to smile and agree with Dan that the crowd had been made up of poor students. Having seen Dan’s show I suggest that the crowd was probably made up of comedy fans.
The audience chuckle at Dan’s observation that bogans are like flies, slowly circulating the streets, making an annoying noise. Oh well, we hope the show will become more appealing. It doesn’t. A few more chuckles punctuate set but it’s hard to tell whether the laughter is triggered by amusement or embarrassment. As the anecdotes get even further down and dirty the C bombs are too much for some. As they rain like napalm from the stage the set has become offensive enough for a group of three people to donate their still half-full bottle of wine to another table as they leave.
He tells us that he’s not in it for the money. Nobody appears surprised.
Comedy appreciation is famously subjective. I’ve been a fan of stand-up for as long as I can remember. Clever as well as corny humour floats my boat. I can’t find the cleverness in tonight’s performance. I ask myself whether it’s Confronting? I say, gratuitously vulgar. Alternative? I suggest quite a familiar storytelling style.
“Brader is a comic you will love or hate, but he’s never dull.” (NZ Theatreview).
It isn’t a night for lovers tonight at Paisley Stage.
The highlight of the evening for me is the very comfortable, possibly Parker Knoll, armchair that holds me. The furniture at Paisley Stage is a delight. Sofas and armchairs, formica tables, bookcases, a host of record-playing devices from previous eras. The selection of wines, beers, and soft drinks is good. A mix of mainstream and boutique offerings. The audience also enjoyed the quality of the sound system playing a Bowie album before Dan came on. It’s a great room. James and Lucy Rochester have built a hip, cool, performance and party venue in an unlikely building.
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