Glaswegian comedian Larry Dean likes to defy expectations. He’s a gay man who doesn’t fit the model of what many would assume of him: he’s more wide-boy than campy queen, he’s emotionally detached and by his own admission, considered sexually selfish. Yet, for someone who claims to be all these things, in Farcissist he proves quite adept at affected posturing and even showing off his emotional underbelly.
In his second time at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival, after appearing in last year’s New Order program (a showcase of the UK’s hottest new talent), Larry Dean returns with a different outlook. He’s found a love in Melbourne and naturally now refers to the city with a romantic affection. It’s heartening to hear that even after being at the receiving end of our city’s often brutally unforgiving tram ticket inspectors, he has a positive feeling about Melbourne, thanks to the kindness of an elderly stranger.
Dean’s set is full of surprising and darkly funny stories of misadventure, both here and at home in Scotland, intertwined with affectionate family tales that are rendered asunder with cuttingly black barbs to dampen the emotional impact – a Dean family trait. However, it’s the way he weaves these stories together that makes Farcissist such a brilliantly entertaining work of comedy. Stories of criminal activity are linked by punch line to stories of ex-boyfriends. Calling out presumptive bias and what that means about the person who presumes is brought back regularly to amplify the hilarity.
This is a show that everyone should be able to identify with and while on the surface it seems somewhat outrageous, in truth it’s entirely inclusive. Larry Dean spends much time calling out his own misgivings first, before anyone else can, but the hard nut he identifies himself to be belies a soft heart. Get your tickets before they’re all sold out.