It can be surprisingly refreshing to see a comic with seemingly no desire to push boundaries or make some profound point, instead fulfilling the simple role of ‘entertainer’. With his new show, Damian Clarke does exactly this, offering an hour of straightforward wholesome and high energy comedy.
Clark’s comedic arsenal never falls back on punchlines or one-liners, instead sticking strictly to storytelling and observation. His topics are also fairly strict, mainly (excluding a short digression into his time on the inside) sticking to discussion of his newborn son. One of the shows finest moments details his newfound understanding of the horrifying life of a baby.
It’s also easy to see how the time spent entertaining his child has infected his approach to comedy, frequently accompanying his stories with shrill vocal sound effects. In fact, the way that Clark warps his voice is easily one of his most defining traits, seemingly always yelling or straining his voice (presumably to the delight of the sound tech trying to minimise the constant clipping) to fit whatever character or scene he is trying to portray.
The easiest criticism that could be fired at Clark is that what he is doing is hardly anything new. But that would entirely miss the fact that ‘Extra Show’ is a fantastically written showcase of Clark’s talents and his personality. In short, it’s fun and it’s comfy and it’s hard to see it offending or disappointing anyone but those with the most elitist and severely avant-garde sensibilities.
★★★ (and a half)
Louis Boyd Madsen