Pleasance, Edinburgh
August, 2000

Two years ago, Dave Gorman spent his entire show explaining the lyrics to Ian Dury's "Reasons To Be Cheerful". Last year, he put small ads in dozens of local papers inviting ideas to make the world a better place, and tried to realise several of the suggestions he received. This year, he has travelled Britain, Europe and as far afield as New York to simply to meet, and record his meetings with, other Dave Gormans. The result, as Fringe comedy continues to veer away from straight stand-up into narrative and thematic areas, is a hoot.

Gorman is both affable and acute, and much of his comedy arises from treating the premise and events with almost obsessive detail; as well as pictures of Dave with his namesakes and recordings of them, he documents his travels with maps, slides of his areoplane boarding cards "in case you don't believe me", and graphs which plot his attempts to stay within what he considers a respectable average of "m.p.d.g." miles per Dave Gorman. He offers money to anyone who will change their name to Dave Gorman, or name their child after him. This is not a prank; it's a quite different kind of practical joking on a grand and glorious scale. And Dave Gorman from Royal Leamington Spa, who wouldn't agree to meet, is a marked man.

Written for the Financial Times Web site,

Copyright Ian Shuttleworth; all rights reserved.

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