Pleasance, Edinburgh
August, 2002

***** Last year's big comedy discovery confirms his worth

The beard has gone, but the endearing awkwardness of manner and sharp, freewheeling insight remain. Kitson is a comic to cherish.

Ten years or so ago, I saw the then fifteen-year-old Daniel Kitson do a stand-up spot in a student drama festival cabaret. He stormed the place; for someone so young, his sense of his own personality and the craft of his material were incredible. Now the rest of the world has caught up, and is taking this "overweight, asthmatic, bespectacled, stuttering filth-hound" his own description to its heart.

Kitson's awkwardness isn't a phoney persona; what you see is what you get. It's the fact that he's so obviously a terrific bloke as well smart, cheeky and in his modest way oddly principled - that makes the package work. On the one hand he can casually but repeatedly hitch up his bad flared pants or pick the wax from his ear while he talks, and it neither distracts nor repels; on the other, he can launch off into wild improvised riffs of staggering dirty-mindedness before coming back to serious, warming emotional points. And you just can't help sitting there the whole time with a big grin plastered all over your face. It remains to be seen whether the TV camera will love him, but the rest of us already do.

Written for divento.com

Copyright © Ian Shuttleworth; all rights reserved.

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