Dandy Darkly's Trigger Happy!

A mesmerising storyteller and rock-poet dismantles the American dream

music review (edinburgh) | Read in About 2 minutes
Published 11 Aug 2015

Nothing beats the all-American smile – Americans are happy! But the toothpaste commercial turns into a sour grin when New York-based teller of tales and rock-poet Dandy Darkly gives the USA a raunchy root canal treatment – without anaesthetic.

His perfectly-timed narrative is a rollercoaster ride through the hidden pain and panic of American society. Dandy Darkly is absolutely adept at almost absurd alliterations. They acquire ample attention from the audience, but it's well rewarded by the wonderful wordplay he exhibits.

He gives us a warning at the beginning of the show: this is cabaret, but it's not exactly Liza Minnelli. Dressed as a rodeo clown he criticises celebrity culture, big corporations, internalised homophobia and the Grindr generation. The faint-hearted might not like the high death toll or abundant bodily fluids—semen squirts out of discarded used condoms like mayonnaise out of a sachet—but the scenes that fold out on stage before us are simply mesmerising in their rawness and realism. 

Much is due to prerecorded soundscape that sweeps us along with it – it's Darkly's third Fringe and he has clearly mastered his own unique style. At one unfortunate moment, his iPod stops working when his snake skin cowboy boots get tangled up in its wire. But even without the soundtrack, Darkly's personality is potent enough to conjure us away across the Pond. His critique keeps resonating long after the show is over. If you want to watch a wicked wordsmith at work, this is your show.