Underbelly (Venue 61)
Feeling jaded? Fed up of the Fringe? This is the show for you…
I first came across Daniel Piper at a Flint and Pitch event, where his comedy poems almost had me on the floor. His show Daniel Piper’s Day off, had the same effect.
As people queued up to get into his venue, Daniel appeared – hanging out of the door with a bottle of Blue WKD in hand, music blasting behind him, asking everyone if they’re having a good night as they file in.
I half expected to walk onto a dancefloor but there were rows of seats and at the front, the stage was set up like a bedroom with washing hanging to dry, a desk and a bed. The bed consisted of a duvet because as Daniel mentioned ‘for the reviewer’ his mattress had been stolen from the dressing room the night before.
He danced about as people took their seats, singing along and encouraging us to sing along with him, jumping on chairs and draping himself over people at random. He gave such a convincing performance that at one point, I was concerned that he might actually be drunk! (I know anything goes at the Fringe, but really?)
The morning after the ‘greatest night ever’, we see Daniel emerge huddled in his duvet to face the consequences of his actions from the night before. Drunk Daniel had sent an email to his boss telling him he wasn’t coming back to work because he was going to live his life instead. (How many of us have dreamed of saying that?)
In the cold light of day with a raging hangover, it didn’t seem like such a genius plan. Panic-stricken he frantically searches his email, and to his relief and ours, discovers that he actually sent it to EE.
Crisis averted, he goes through the agony of deciding whether or not he should go into work. This forms the basis of the rest of the show with his sharp observations and rapid-fire delivery pulling the audience along at break-neck speed as he decides what to do with his day off and the rest of his life.
From the beginning it was a lively, immersive show where I felt I was part of what was happening and not just sitting back and watching. Daniel Piper’s Day Off put me in mind of Peep Show, it’s that style of reality comedy at its best.