Dave Gorman, Weston-Super-Mare Playhouse and touring

THOSE who love to place people in little boxes and categorise them would have difficulty in pinning a label on Dave Gorman. For two stints of 75 minuets, either side of a short interval, he kept a capacity audience informed and entertained. It would be inaccurate to describe him as a stand-up comic, and although he delves into some serious matters from many angles, this was nowhere near a lecture on social or political matters.

However you want to describe it, this was an entertaining, informative and at times thought-provoking couple of hours in the company of a man who had done his homework thoroughly and moved seamlessly from a discussion of the foibles of some well-known TV presenters, so-called celebrities right to have a star on Hollywood’s walk of fame, claims of billionaires about their involvement in space travel and a visit to a themed hotel, to personal attacks on his style of question-setting for cryptic crossword puzzles.

With only the aid of a video screen on which facts and figures were displayed, and no personal props, armed only with knowledge and, unlike the lady who regularly complains that his quirky crossword clues have lewd content, his in-depth examinations of the personalities involved was never vicious or personally unkind and always entertaining and informative.

Did you know that all you have to do nowadays to have your name added to the 2,752 names already on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, is to apply to the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce and agree, if accepted, to pay a $50,000 fee (inflation has raised that fee from $15.000 twenty years ago). As a result Dave Gorman, with a great deal of logic to back him, declares some very low grade dodgy names now appear alongside some of the names of Hollywood greats that originally graced the Walk of Fame.

As someone who was once admonished by the station’s programme organiser for using the same phrase six times during a two hour presentation ­slot on Radio, I had more than a little sympathy for the TV presenter who Dave pointed out had used one particular phrase in almost all of the around 200 episodes of his successful TV series. But unlike so many snide stand -up comics who set out to use such knowledge to hurt and humiliate, Mr Gorman presented these facts in such a way that you warmed to both him and the “victim.”

As for the contribution to and participation in the space race of messers Branson, Musk and Bezos, there are indeed certain inconsistencies between the contributions as released by their public relation teams and the proven facts. Having done his research, Gorman has a little fun, which he conveys with immaculate comic timing to the audience, at their expense.

Other high profile names like Barrack Obama and Donald Trump come in for some attention, and there are some lovely insights into Dave Gorman’s personal life.

There also was some genuine concern for a comparatively newly opened themed hotel he recently visited. The idea obviously appealed to him, the way in which they had only half-heartedly embraced this opportunity obviously distressed him. Again as he took his audience through, among others, the David Bowie and Ken Dodd rooms, he created plenty of fun at the hotel’s expense – hopefully in a way which will not cause offence but make the proprietors think hard about what, at the moment, looks like a great opportunity going begging.

What ever tag you put on him, Dave Gorman’s style of entertainment appeals to a wide variety of audiences, who can also catch him at the Everyman Theatre at Cheltenham on 26th March, Cardiff’s New Theatre on 8th June or Basingstoke’s Anvil Arts on 16th June.


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