COMEDY REVIEW: Dave Gorman – PowerPoint to the People @ Middlesbrough Town Hall (11.11.22) | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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When Covid closed down theatres in 2020, Dave Gorman took to setting cryptic crosswords for newspapers as an outlet for his creativity. Tonight he tells us how this went – and why he’s pleased to be back on the road gigging again after his puzzles led to him acquiring an online nemesis.

The final show in this leg of the tour begins when he tricks us into thinking something has gone wrong with his slides, projected onto the huge screen behind him. We should know better than to doubt the self-styled king of PowerPoint, and it’s soon revealed to be both a joke and a way to immediately win over and bond with the audience.

Over two hours, Gorman whizzes through an abundance of topics, from home-schooling his six year old son in lockdown and lying to him about the old days, to weighing crisps and discussing whether Tom Hanks is really a good guy.

The first half ends with a Found Poem, a staple of his Goodish TV shows where he gently mocks comments left by trolls across the internet. Delivered with the usual mock-seriousness alongside the sounds of a string quartet, it doesn’t disappoint.

Like Ross Noble and Joe Lycett, Gorman is a master at weaving threads throughout a show which he then cleverly returns to later in the evening – a memory test for the crowd which also affords him the opportunity to mock latecomers who won’t get the joke (and rightly so, for there are a lot of them in Middlesbrough).

His questioning of things we take for granted (in this case, the alphabet) is not just funny but also thought-provoking and, because he drills down to the nth degree, regularly mind-blowing. When he ends up corpsing at a text from his mum he simply endears himself to the Teesside audience still further.

Dave Gorman returns to the North East in 2023, with shows at Darlington Hippodrome on 16th March, Tyne Theatre & Opera House on 18th March, and Stockton’s Globe on 20th April.

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