This review originally appeared in issue 125 of The Pembrokeshire Herald, published 27 November 2015
Last Friday (Nov 20) saw a packed house at the Carmarthen Lyric, as comedian Dave Gorman’s latest show, Dave Gorman Gets Straight To The Point, rolled into town.
For anyone unfamiliar with Gorman from his previous stand-up shows, or indeed his recent TV series Modern Life Is Goodish and cult books such as Dave Gorman’s Googlewhack Adventure, Dave’s style of comedy takes the form of long, rambling, tangential yet cleverly interconnected discourses on modern life, delighting in all its absurdities with a mixture of amusement, bafflement and biting wit.
Over the years, the cornerstone of his shows has been increasingly elaborate, zany and inventive use of PowerPoint presentations – the Point of the show’s title. It’s a masterstroke on Gorman’s part to take such a familiar, everyday tool of modern life from its usual boring settings (college lecturers, training courses, business presentations) and deploy it to such effective comic effect that it’s become as much his hallmark style as killer heels are for Eddie Izzard or synths & sequencers are for Bill Bailey. Indeed, his persona is basically the cool, geeky, matey lecturer you’ve always wanted.
For this show, Gorman took stock of how the age of instant communication and information has completely and utterly transformed our lives in the past decade, with particular reference to his sixtysomething mother’s attempts to get to grips with Twitter, the inadequacy of emojis as a form of shorthand, our obsession with cataloguing every transient moment with a snap on our phone (pics or it didn’t happen, as they say) and most relevantly, not only the media’s obsession with selfies and photobombs but also how these apparently modern ‘phenomenons’ have, of course, existed since photography was invented – we just didn’t have words for them until now! That’s evolution for you.
We’re all part of the information age, and Gorman’s show allowed us to simultaneously appreciate the luxury of having such sophisticated technology at our fingertips and laugh at ourselves for taking part in this bizarre media-saturated culture that we have come to take for granted so suddenly. Gorman freely confessed that he was as much a part of this as any of us, so this wasn’t a heavy-handed lecture in the form of comedy, more a slightly bemused celebration of the world we now live in, in all its absurdity.