This is Larry Dean’s third full-length solo show as part of the Melbourne International Comedy Festival and things have changed a lot in that time. The young man who first told us about the boyfriend he’d found in Melbourne, and then went on describe his relationship bliss, was planning to tell us about the next level of romantic love he’d found with his partner in this year’s show, but things have since taken a turn.
This change of circumstances delivers us a routine that’s decidedly more personally reflective as Dean almost self-therapises trying to work out just where things went wrong. It could be just the kind of self-realisation that age brings to us all, but the Glaswegian comedian seems to have clearly identified one potential character flaw that can befall all comics: a rapier wit and the desire to use it to have the last word. For partners of those with the skill to win an argument via an insult joke, it must surely be testing. But Dean isn’t without remorse.
In fact, he’s as self-deprecating as ever – this is also his third show with a self-insulting title; Bampot being Scots slang for an idiot, an objectionable fool. Yet foolish is something he’s definitely not. This story is full of wicked wit and observations on relationships, dating, self-confidence and family.
Dean has a great rapport with his audience and makes everyone feel welcome, but it does feel like this show isn’t truly aimed at us. Rather it’s a letter of apology and perhaps a plea for reconciliation with his former boyfriend. Even if it’s not, we’re all left hoping that he’ll find his love – whether that be in Melbourne or at home – just so long as he keeps coming back to deliver his special brand of charming and dirty humour each year.