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Review: Dave Hughes – Sweet

Adelaide Fringe

In a Fringe festival renowned for its richness of comedic offerings, Dave Hughes’ promotional notes tout him as having “one of the highest laugh rates per minute you will ever experience at a stand-up comedy show”. ★★★★

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There is little to discount this claim as he stands and delivers in The Vagabond at the Garden of Unearthly Delights, drawing upon his breadth of experience to entertain the audience.

Conversational and at times controversial, Hughes’ “worse start to a show ever” is simply another avenue for humour – and one we’re happy to walk along with him.

You can’t hide as a stand-up comic, and certainly the naked stage offers no distraction. Hughesy does what all good comics do: he laughs, too. And why wouldn’t you?

What he offers is pretty funny and often hilarious; for some, the 60-minute show places the notion of “I laughed so hard I almost wet myself” into a scarily real realm.

With significant commitments beyond the festival arena (several of which are worked into his material), Hughes is totally comfortable in his own skin. The audience is treated to a successfully practised formula in which he pokes fun at local characteristics, targets those in the front row (be late at your own risk), and shares laughs about relationships, the human body, family and pets.

The comedy is interspersed generously with acclamations such as “I love you guys” and “You’re the best audience ever”. Of course, this could be a calculated strategy, a way to create thinking time among the fast-paced routine. As Hughesy says: “whatever”.

This show is all about keeping it real, and the versions of life woven with selective innuendo and plays on words are worth the ticket price. If you don’t mind the cramped front-row seats or the fact that there appears to be no connection with the show title, then this is an opportunity to see a genuine exponent of this art … sweet!

Four stars

Sweet is being presented in The Vagabond every night until February 28.


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