If you don’t know or haven’t heard of Daniel Sloss, stop reading and get Netflix running. The young Scottish man has been promising great things since his late teens, when he was the youngest comedian to perform a solo season in London’s West End at 19. Now, at 28 he has several successful shows, two of which are on Netflix.
DARK and jigsaw are two brilliant, hour long episodes from his comedy special on Netflix, full of very dark humour. Each of them follow a pattern of jokes around a current issue in society and then a short monologue about the issue that generally brings the crowd to silence, and then one or two jokes to lift the mood at the end.
The serious discussion he has about love and society in ‘Jigsaw’ has broken up over 10,000 couples, cancelled 40 engagements and caused 54 divorces, according to his Twitter. “All I’m doing is asking you uncomfortable questions that you don’t have the courage to ask yourself,” he says.
He performed his new show ‘X’ in the Tivoli theatre just off Vicar’s Street in Dublin on Friday, November 2nd. The show did not sell out, I managed to get a last minute ticket that day for €20 and there were plenty of empty seats. The size of the venue, the Tivoli, that seats 700, added to the overall intimacy of the show.
As in his Netflix shows, the stage was simply set up with a mic, a stand and a table with two pints perched on top. He came strolling on confidently and dressed down in a black t-shirt and jeans. The show followed his usual format and the issues he was concerned with this time were children, his experience with them and how being a man he wasn’t allowed to coo in fear of being called a paedophile. He also discussed toxic masculinity and the #metoo movement in a dark and humorous way.
Three-quarters of the way into the show he talked about rape in a serious manner, and how one of his friends had been raped by one of his long-term friends after he introduced them. He said he hoped that if his show did one thing that it would be to reach out to men and help stunt rape culture by getting them to notice these behaviours in people they interact with and to not turn a blind eye.
It was a powerful performance that had left the large majority of the audience in tears. He rounded off the end of the night with another few dark jokes to lift the mood. He has previously defended his use of dark humour, as laughter helps make a situation “more humane”.
It didn’t hit home the same way that his show ‘Jigaw’ did as that was a broader issue but it was a more moving and inspiring show. Speaking out on the topic was a great use of the spotlight and the humour made it very memorable and engaging. With any luck it will come out on Netflix in the next year.
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