COMEDY REVIEW: Dom Joly @ Gala Theatre, Durham (25.02.20) | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Predicated on the notion of photographic slideshows that document some of our fondest memories, Dom Joly’s Holiday Snaps was all set to be unfailing in its familiarity. But where the comedian excels in the written word and unspoken visual prank, Dom Joly can falter when it comes to effectively orating his experiences.

In this, his first stage show since 2011, Joly attempts to recount every moment of the past couple of decades to an audience who kind of already knows the jist at least half of that time. The half hour dedicated to his TV projects could have been spent on his interesting interesting travelling tales – the most recent of which are found in his latest book, The Hezbollah Hiking Trails. Flicking through my own copy, which had been available to purchase in the foyer, his literary skill is unmatched, and his wit and quick thinking shines through.

Trekking across Lebanon over the course of a month is storytelling gold, especially when it includes a visit to the Hezbollah theme park and gift shop. But on stage, the glimpses we get into the mind behind one of Channel 4’s most iconic comedy shows are, while exceptional, too fleeting. Trying to cram so many anecdotes into one show leaves the overall experience paradoxically lacking, and fails to do justice to any single story. You can see it in his performance too that his brain is processing his thoughts faster than his mouth can say them. A word of advice from one rambler to another, editing is your friend.


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