Donald Alexander The Great

For a man who has a very lanky frame work, he throws a lot of shapes during the course of his show, he could easily creep into the dance section of the Fringe brochure. But we’re firmly in the comedy world here and more so, as a very special talent is on display in the Monkey Barrel 3.

Donald carries a lot of different comical traits, he’s a stand-up who can’t stand still, deadpan in delivery, that blends absurdist and fantastical meanderings that are intricate and sometimes devilishly dark. He’s a very fine example of someone who is still young and perhaps shy on life experience, using this for the source of the majority of his material, yet unlike a lot of people in their early careers, he has a magical way of turning a lot of it into gold instead of being formulaic first time writing. Routines about his misogynist friend, squatting pigeons, suicidal practitioners, his distant relationship with his dad and time as a primary school teacher consistently find hits.

If you took David Kay’s deadpan delivery, James Acaster’s physical stage performance along with intricate set-up play and the dark confessions of Nick Helm, then you can probably start to picture what sort of beast Donald Alexander is. These are such wonderful traits and he has the talent to execute them, but it feels a bit uncertain where he sits. A bit too dark and absurdist for traditional stand-up audiences and maybe a bit too stand-up for those a big fan of weird alternative acts. Either or, Donald Alexander is one of the most exciting talents I’ve seen in a long time. The more I think about him, the more I come to admire his act. Donald Alexander is more than great and I hope to be around for years to come.

★★★★1/2

Chris Aitken

Donald Alexander: The Great Monkey Barrel 5 23:15

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