Darren Harriott @ Pleasance Courtyard

Darren Harriott delivers a charmingly observed hour that goes universal by staying personal

Review by Thomas Hamill | 26 Aug 2019
  • Darren Harriott

Harriott, with a fantastic friendly energy, swiftly charms his audience by bringing us into his personal life and background in a cleverly observed and entertaining fashion. He explains early on that he’s never truly been in love and uses this as a springboard to cover many subjects tangential to this fact; his upbringing, his relationship with his mum and R Kelly all have a place in this hour that picks its topics well. It brings us not just closer to Harriott’s personal afflictions but observes more broadly a society that is increasingly shallow in attitude.

The set is a nice mix of personal anecdotes and societal observations, the two styles complementing each other and giving stock to the emotional disenfranchisement that Harriot has experienced. The joy of the hour is that he does so with great comedic ability, so it never feels like he’s peddling ideas or generalisations. His material is enough to give the audience ideas to think about while keeping the laughs coming with occasional pockets of philosophical insight.

It’s an engaging hour. Harriott is a wonderful performer to be in a room with, displaying real passion with the words that he speaks. For anyone who has grown up feeling similarly to Harriott, not only will it give you plenty to laugh about but it will provide a clarity of context for the world that we’re in.

Darren Harriott: Good Heart Yute, Pleasance Courtyard (Beneath), until 25th Aug, 8.15pm, £9.50-£10.50