This Scottish comic’s show, Dark, is aptly named, but it’s dark in ways I didn’t expect, and it had a surprising amount of heart.
Dark is straight stand-up – razor sharp, hilarious, and wildly inappropriate on occasion. Sloss specialises in social commentary that’s often brutal, particularly for those whose views don’t align with his own. I found myself in the lucky, slightly smug position of agreeing with most of the things he said, so the show wasn’t as challenging for me as it clearly was for the stone-faced, silent couple sitting next to me. As a warning, if you believe in a god, go to this show only if your faith is unshakeable and you’re comfortable laughing at yourself and everything you hold dear.
Daniel Sloss is something of a moral Houdini – he spends the hour arguing his way out of traps he sprung upon himself. He excels at material that pushes his audience well out of their collective comfort zone, but he’s even better at explaining why his jokes pose no ethical or moral dilemma. He pitches himself as a truth-telling, no bullshit, asshole of a comic, but Sloss has a redeeming, endearing feature that can’t be escaped: he has a very strong, well-reasoned moral code. And he loves his mum.
The strength of his family relationships do in fact form the framework of the show, and material about his family offer some of the lightest and darkest moments in it, if not the funniest. His upbringing in an intellectual, left-leaning, Scottish family who express love through insults and laughter, gives heart, and even light, to Daniel Sloss’ unique brand of darkness.
Daniel Sloss’ Dark is playing at Q from April 23-30. GET TICKETS >>
R&R: response and recommendation. We only write about shows we’d happily recommend to friends, because, let’s face it, you’re probably one of our friends.