Demi Lardner @ Gilded Balloon, Teviot

Frenzied funny from Aussie absurdist Demi Lardner

Review by Polly Glynn | 26 Aug 2019
  • Demi Lardner

Loosely based on the 2001 hit Shrek, Demi Lardner aims to envelope us in their dirty little world through what is essentially the best one person sketch show around. Ditch Witch 800 teems with strangeness, but there’s barely time to breathe between one joke and the next.

There’s a huge dose of visual gags ranging from a tutorial on the best way to hold a cup to a sickeningly cringeworthy home video, as well as things that appear more like straight-up sketches: a demented version of Wife Swap and a press conference for a man who did bad things whilst hooked on soap. Lardner’s energy never falters, even transitioning between bits with stupid dances and tuneful nuggets.You can also tell that Lardner shares lexicon and mannerisms with those pesky Aunty Donna boys, growling oddities at empty jars and swinging arms like a loose Tyrannosaur.

Also, everyone should be issued with a personal space alarm and a sense of danger. No longer is the audience staring at a tank in an aquarium – unless it’s a shark tank, with the shark on the outside (where is the water? How can it breathe?). There’s birth, nearly death and a whole lot more, all within touching distance.

Ditch Witch 800 is an hour of harmless glee from which ideas explode and penetrate even the most stoic of hearts. Ultimately, Lardner’s style of comedy will be impenetrable for some, but for those who like their comedy strange and cranked up to 11, it’s a must see. Tremendously physical, utterly bonkers and most importantly, gut bustingly hilarious.

Demi Lardner: Ditch Witch 800Gilded Balloon Teviot (Sportsmans), until 26 Aug, 9.15 pm, £9.50-11.50