David Mills: Shame


Underbelly, George Square (Venue 300)

Aug 3-28 (not 15)



David Mills has survived the closet, the AIDS crisis, The Sugababes and John Barrowman so this year’s Edinburgh Fringe show isn’t going to finish him off! He’s back with his smooth style of storytelling standup, ready to teach the kids about Cher (“a creature from American folklore, half-mermaid, half-drag queen) and offer the insights of a 48 year old undomestic gay man, who identifies as single, although is cohabitating with his boyfriend.

The feel to his one-hour one-man show is less stand-up, more sit-down. Admittedly that’s hard in a black box of a venue in George Square on a blisteringly hot day. There’s a restless atmosphere in the room.

Mills is engaging, witty and catty when the situation calls for it. This feels like “An Audience With” or the evenings Quentin Crisp would sit and answer questions on a stage.  He recommends seeing three shows a day at the Fringe; one Established Act, one Emerging Artist and one Car Crash.

His favourite cringeworthy  is a (fictional) High School revival of The Wiz, “You’ve seen Glee? This is Despair”. He hearkens back to an age when gay men were the arbitors of taste, when (marginally) older members of the community taught others what was bona and what was naff.

I saw David at this show and then later the same night at Dive’s C U Next Tuesday at Summerhall. He was fine in his own show at Underbelly but came alive on a well lit stage as part of a high energy event. What a difference! He really came alive during the later show, much more vibrant and happy.

Overall his show is well worth seeing but I can’t help but picture him as Master of Ceremonies for a wild variety night. His pithy sardonic wit sparkles like a dark jewel in the right light and frankly I think he’s missing a trick.