ADLEAIDE FRINGE FESTIVAL
Dandyman enters the stage with an incredibly long cape trailing and with an attitude that is a cross between inbred royalty and Austin Powers, and with all of Mr Bean’s facial expressions, vocalisations and gestures, making the English language unnecessary. Here is a master of buffoonery at work, with a series of bizarre skits, many with understated physical comedy and circus elements completely misappropriated and some might suggest abused to absurdist comic effect.
There is probably good reason why slinky springs are not usually a part of a physical theatre routine – it’s quite hilarious having this demonstrated. Also a series of sound cuts take him to different characters, bringing to light the stereotypes of our culture(s). Dandyman is holding up a mirror to some parts of our society, but rather than using a barrage of words, he is using mime and character. He has all of the quintessential clown qualities – simplicity, honesty, joy, openness and lightness. At one point his cape has turned into a turban and a little string hanging off it has hypnotised him by mistake – priceless!
Be prepared to be involved, while a few volunteers are requested and used along the way, the finale is all-inconclusive and provides a quite refreshing and amusing twist with the artist giving up all of his power for the finale.
Clayton Werner - CLOTHESLINE 4 1/2 STARS
ADELAIDE FRINGE FESTIVAL
Tucked away in a small intimate tent on a stormy Adelaide night I had the pleasure of meeting the one and only Dandyman.
Drawing from influences like Rowan Atkinson and Jerry Lewis, Daniel Oldaker brings us Dandyman. With barely a word for the whole show, Dandyman masterfully leads the audience from beginning to end. Everything is up for grabs and he uses everything at his disposal to turn the stage into absurdity before flipping everything on its head again and again.
The audience were either busting to get involved and ready to leap on to the stage or refusing to make eye contact terrified of what Dandyman might ask them to do. Some of the crowd were slow to warm to Dandyman but in their defence there really is no telling what’s going to happen next. It can be scary when there’s a chance you will be part of the next spectacle on stage (but really that’s all the more reason to get involved).
The comedy is absurd and a lot of the jokes are pretty uncommon even for physical comedy. It’s certainly worth stretching your comfort zone for and a nice change of pace from the strictly stand up comedy acts.
You can see Dandyman at the Royal Croquet Club everyday for the rest of the fringe.
Sam Talbot - Stories Well Told