18th June 2013 – Exeter Phoenix – Daniel Kitson – After The Beginning, Before The End
Anagram – A Insolent Kid
I have waited a long time to see Daniel Kitson, a man whose independence in the comedy world, leads everyone to have an opinion largely based on rumours. And this is one of many themes of the show. How disjointed peoples memories are, and how contradictory their views can be of certain events being other points. This was also a show of introspection and reflection of where Daniel is in his own life. A mid life review, of sorts, and painfully Daniel tears into his own character faults and the reasons why he is not in a relationship. And into his interactions with friends and even strangers. What was real? What was for comedic effect. I do not know Daniel outside of this show, so cannot tell. Perhaps that was the part of the point and the show was designed to further expound the myths surrounding him. His dissection of idioms was a great piece of comedy in itself.
What I can say with certainty is the wordcraft shown was beyond anyone else I have seen. And despite it being nearly 2 hours long, it felt like a normal club headlining set, that enthralled was I. Despite the sometimes painful self-dissection at times, I was still laughing regularly.
It was interesting to eavesdrop on other people afterwards. A couple of lone voices seemed to think it was overly self-indulgent, others thought it was genius. I am firmly in the genius camp. Carole, enjoyed it too, but not to the same extent. Our biggest difference was interestingly not over anything said, but with the accompanying soundtrack, which Carole found distracted from being able to hear the words, whereas I found enhanced the experience and gave an additional aura.
It was an absolute pleasure to be there, wherever his comedic journey takes him next, I want to be along for the ride.
Before we went we were told by several friends that Daniel would not autograph our comedy book, I guess based on their perceptions of the rumoured recluse, far from it he was really pleasant and was happy to do that and let us get a picture. Don’t believe what others tell you, make your own opinions based on your own experiences.