list.co.uk/comedy PREVIEWS | COMEDY
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STAND-UP HARRIET DYER Gilded Balloon Basement at Rose Theatre, Edinburgh, Wed 27 Nov
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‘I’ve always loved dinosaurs,’ says Harriet Dyer. ‘My dad took me to see Jurassic Park when I was a kid and I was beside myself with how exciting it was.’ Weetabix once had an offer for a set of plastic dinosaurs, which the dedicated cereal consumer could win by collecting coupons off their boxes.’ So I’d refuse to eat anything else, which is no way to live.’ Now as an adult, Dyer can purchase her own dinosaur paraphernalia, which populates the stage of The Dinosaur Show, most notably in the inflatable costume she gamely performs in for nearly the whole set. Though things did get rather warm during its Fringe run, her dedication was handsomely rewarded with a clutch of glowing reviews. Despite its name, The Dinosaur Show is less about our ancient forebears, and more a no-holds- barred ride through the chaos of Dyer’s consciousness, replete with video art and hand puppetry. ‘It was an absolute mess at previews,’ admits Dyer. ‘At one point there was a Siamese dinosaur twin called Tallulah that loved death metal. I find the show hard to look at with fresh eyes when I’m in it, but luckily a friend of mine went through it saying simple things like “it needs to have a beginning, middle and end” and “if there’s no point of something to the story, it’s probably best not being there”.’
So of all the dinosaurs, which is Dyer’s favourite? ‘Dilophosaurus,’ she says. ‘Hands down. Anything that spits venom is fine by me. As long as it doesn’t wilt my flowers.’ (Deborah Chu)
MY COMEDY HERO MAISIE ADAM Gilded Balloon Basement at Rose Theatre, Edinburgh, Tue 21 Jan; The Stand, Glasgow, Wed 22 Jan
When you were 12 years old, if someone pointed at a stack of DVDs and said ‘you can watch any of them . . . except the yellow one’, then let’s face it, there’d only be one that you’d really want to watch. That yellow DVD – and finding a way to watch it – became the sole focus for my younger brother Danny and I. What did it contain that was so abhorrent? The film was called Guest House Paradiso. I smuggled it out by putting the disc inside the case of The Secret Garden and taking it upstairs to watch on our mum’s chunky laptop. What followed was 89 minutes of the most outrageous, rude, hilarious, disgusting, foul-mouthed, sexually inappropriate slapstick comedy that Danny and I – with a combined age of 20 – had ever seen.
Dad soon clocked that Danny and I were quoting the film around the house, but as the damage had already been done, he told us the film was a spin-off from a series called Bottom. Thus began a relentless marathon of finding every episode of that show, and then The Young Ones and New Statesman, watching them intently in order to try and emulate the physicality of this brilliant and stupidly silly clown. I love Rik Mayall, because he was so clever about being so silly. For me, that’s what comedy is all about. (As told to Brian Donaldson)
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1 Nov 2019–31 Jan 2020 THE LIST 89