2010 Edinburgh Fringe

Daniel Kitson review

It's Always Right Now, Until It's Later. Daniel Kitson

Every now and again, one reads about a comedy show so apparently wonderful and epic that writing about it just doesn't do it justice. Well I'm going to try and write about such a show now. No pressure then.

So who, you ask (if you haven't already read the title, which I'm presuming you have), could construct a show so enthralling with tears of laughter, moments of hardship, melancholic truth and simplistic innocence that it is impossible to adequately sum up in words? That person is without doubt Daniel Kitson.

The stage alone looks like a piece of modern art. Dimly lit light bulbs hang suspended on the ends of short and long wires scattered across the stage, whilst a wooden chair and stepladder sit in the centre. His narrative compromises solely of the story of one man, one woman and their development and fracture in life. And indeed some of these developments and fractures transmit and relate to us, which makes this story unbelievably realistic... but that is Kitson's skill. He can make the simplest things in life almost poetic with his choice of words, the gestures presented, and the atmosphere in which it is staged.

Kitson is a man of intellect and lexicon and uses them both to a fascinating degree. Each light bulb tells a chapter as, in turn, one shines stronger than the rest. Kitson crosses the stage, one bulb to the next, in order to continue his story. He wraps his hands around some of the bulbs like precious, floating orbs in a fantasy film as he recounts a tale. Only he is fully emerged in the glow of the bulbs, only his hands feel the warmth and only he knows what particular tale the light has to tell.

He announces that our lives within the entire history of the past, present and future of the universe are virtually less than a speck of a speck of a speck of a speck, but nevertheless he makes the audience almost become one. As you sit in that room, at that time, you feel as though you could change the world for the better with just one simple gesture, whether it is a sentence of advice to a friend, or a smile at a stranger in the rain.

Daniel Kitson is not just a festival must-see, he is not just a festival favourite. While he is both these things, he is majorly a celebrated, intelligent, witty funnyman with a library stockpiled with successful, highly acclaimed live comedy.

If you hear of a show that collects up five star reviews, and gets comments like "one of the best shows I've seen", you have two options. You can either believe the hype for what it is and go see it, or be sceptical and argue that something must be up. Overall, you can't really have your say until you actually experienced it for yourself - so go make your own mind up. Personally, if I could give this show a double tick next to the five stars I wouldn't hesitate. Also, those stars would be made of gold bullion and have been dipped in rich Belgian chocolate.

Go see Daniel Kitson's It's Always Right Now, Until It's Later - it is one of the best shows I've ever seen, and it could be the same for you.

It's Always Right Now, Until It's Later listing

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