Rhys Darby: It's Rhys Darby Night, Udderbelly, Edinburgh
Thursday 13 August 2009
The clue to one of this show's weaknesses is already in the title; it's homage time.
Of course it's exciting for fans of the hit US television show Flight of the Conchords to see one of their heroes play live. And it's fair that they should get an introduction not only to his range of skills – from sound effects to characters – but also to his life, now that he has gone from being a Kiwi delight to flavour of the month in the Big Apple and beyond.
But recognising his provincial-boy-made-good status is done in a way that comes over as a bit cocky or, at best, so matter-of-fact as to leave no room for self-deprecation.
A few mildly amusing stories of his new-found life in America and specifically LA, where he now lives, including having trouble with a prosthetic penis on a film set, constitute Darby's stand-up tonight. It's a slight portion of the show in terms of time and laughs and ultimately merely a preamble to his character work.
While the stand-up is muted, the character work is esoteric; a park ranger, a whale-watcher and a ufologist. Despite the obscure nature of his menagerie, Darby inhabits his creations to give them a decent depth.
His park ranger proves to be a buffoonish Luddite who smashed everything that might have a computer in it when YK came. His whale-watcher is equally flawed in his thinking, having only one life-jacket to offer his tourist charges: "if you twelve could just bunny up," he hopefully advises them. His trio of alter egos is completed by camp ufologist Steve Whittle, whose tale of abduction by aliens moves away from the idea that he was probed to the fact that he was manhandled.
From the character work the show progresses to such wheezes as recorded walkie-talkie exchanges of what the contrast between the activities of the LAPD and the New Zealand police might be, from "officer down" to "I've put the sausage rolls under a tea-towel."
Certainly there is plenty of variety here, with even a robot impression to round off the show, and given that you were never going to get a "band meeting" with Darby's Conchords character Murray (though one punter inevitably asks for one), any fan of Darby who is charmed by his line in hapless characters is unlikely to be deterred or disappointed by this show.
To 15 August (0844 545 8252)
game of thrones reviewWarning: spoilers
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Technology company Alibaba posts job advert asking for 'stunning' women with qualities of adult film actress Sora Aoi
- 2 How the language you speak changes your view of the world
- 3 'Fire at every person you see': Israeli soldiers reveal they were ordered to shoot to kill in Gaza – even if the targets may have been civilians
- 4 Italian police 'reveal' what Jesus looked like as a young boy
- 5 Uploading pictures to find out how old you are gives Microsoft the right to post them wherever they want
Top Gear: Jodie Kidd, Philip Glenister and Guy Martin 'in advanced talks' to join show
X-Men Apocalypse: First look at Game of Thrones star Sophie Turner as Jubilee and Jean Grey
American Horror Story season 5: Hotel Angela Bassett set to make 'lots of trouble' with Lady Gaga
Jorge Luis Borges fan brings his infinite library to life online
Fifty Shades of Grey movie shows first sex scene 'after 40 minutes'
In defence of liberal democracy
Over 50,000 families shipped out of London boroughs in the past three years due to welfare cuts and soaring rents
EU asylum policy is 'a direct threat to our civilisation', says Nigel Farage
The Rothschild Libel: Why has it taken 200 years for an anti-Semitic slur that emerged from the Battle of Waterloo to be dismissed?
General Election 2015: UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power, Labour warns
Schools forced to act as 'miniature welfare states' with teachers buying underwear and even haircuts for poor pupils