Review – Dandy Darkly’s “Trigger Happy” – CC Blooms, Edinburgh

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My preparation for Dandy Darkly consisted of seeing a really cool photograph – like a disco juggalo version of Annie Oakley (the original Webcowgirl) – and the promise of an “all-American selection of satiric, horrific, homoerotic, patriotic tales of sex and death!” As an expat, I thought Dandy – whoever he was – sounded damned likely to be able to provide an entertaining evening, especially with a good dose of “good ole American sodomy” (his quote, my belief) sprinkled on top. I really had so little idea that if he had ridden in on an animatronic T-rex with a pack of pastel poodles doing circus tricks at his command, it might have all seemed quite commonplace, but instead I got a much rarer bird: the unexpectedly entertaining one person show which did not leave me with the desire to slap the performer until their brains rattled inside their head and their sense of self-importance deflated to merely the size of the solar system. No, Dandy Darkly would only get a smack from me in a fully consensual atmosphere in which safe words had been prenegotiated. Instead, it was drinks from the bar and luvvie promises to catch him the next time he was in town. Couldn’t you just get sick at the thought? I’d lost hope for the genre. He even alliterated.

But, really, there was something about the charming style of our glitterized celebutante with his gentle drawl and feeling of near iconic outsiderism that pulled me in right from the start. He knew as well as I do what a charming pile of lies hold up American culture and the American people, and he was going to aim his pop gun right between the eyes – BANG BANG! – and there goes another fine myth. The evening was, in fact, a series of short stories, told near-campfire style (“draw on up, kiddies, something wicked this way comes …”), each one creating its own dark world – world of reality and absurdity, clear fiction and near misses, drag queen rats mixing with broken celebrities and closet-case werewolf army assassins – a tossed salad of so many reconfigured metaphors that only the narrative provided the reality. I was absolutely locked in place as our fearsome conductor drove us out of the station into parts unknown, barely conscious of the extremely potent drink in my hands – and only when he stopped between stories to take a sip of water and have the merest of chats did I briefly come back down to earth, impatiently waiting for the voyage to recommence. I was hooked. And apparently he’s going to be doing this for the entirety of the Edinburgh fringe festival for free. You people don’t even know how lucky you are. Get on your brontosauri and get your asses over to CC Blooms – it’s time to let words blossom like corpse flowers in your fringe addled heads.

(This review is for the opening night performance on August 8th. Dandy Darkly’s Trigger Happy continues through August 30th.)

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