Words by: Freya Hall
Do you like comedy, men who vaguely resemble Vikings, and dancing? If your answer to all of these is yes, then, as Dave Callan explained with the assistance of a Venn diagram, you will like his show. Even if this trifecta of skills doesn’t particularly entice you, or if you’re worried because you haven’t seen the first instalment of ‘A Little Less Conversation’, fear not, the chances are you will like the show anyway – everyone in the audience did.
Dave has a number of digs at himself throughout the show; he concedes that many of his routines are funny simply because it is him who is performing them. The majority of routines Dave performs are intended to be danced by young, fit, pint-sized, pop princesses. Dave, on the other hand, is a burly, not-necessarily-fit, towering man, with unruly hair and an Irish accent. He was not the intended performer of these works and he knows it.
Honestly, when I read that this was a ‘dance comedy show’ I expected to see Dave Callan flailing around like a Magikarp using ‘splash’, as his back up dancers ran rings around him. However, what I did behold was far more spectacular: Dave kept up with his dancers. In this sense the show is not just comical, it is also a physical testament to the strength and perseverance of one man who is determined to dance. It’s kind of like watching Billy Elliott, if Billy hadn’t realised he wanted to dance until he was a grown man with a mortgage and a beard.
The show exploded open with a rendition of ‘… Baby One More Time’ by Britney Spears – every kick, every hip flick, every wrist twirl, every spin, every batting of an eyelash, was perfectly timed and executed with the precision of a true Britney super-fan. Other dance highlights include wuthering heights, aerobics, and techno-goth, which were all executed while maintaining a stoic expression. Because, after all, comedy is serious business.
But this show wasn’t all dance. Despite the title’s insinuation, there was good conversation too. I was never bored, probably due to Callan’s ability to balance stand-up, impromptu gags, internet memes, audience participation, and dance performances harmoniously.
I saw old ladies blushing; I saw dads (who admitted to being dragged along by their children) whooping and hollering in unbridled ecstasy; I saw young men coming of age as they learned to twerk; I saw others behold Dave with a twinkle of awe in their eye; and I saw people of all descriptions crying with laughter. What I didn’t see was anyone having a bad time.
You can catch A Little Less Conversation 2 on February 5-6 and 9-13 at The Gold Digger tent, situated at The State Theatre Centre of WA.