Daniel Cainer’s show opens on a bright note: we are all going on a journey to who knows where. The rest of his show is eclectic accordingly, but through family stories and personal recollections he brings out the silly, the reassuring and the poignant from his life in a series of catchy songs.
For a comedian, Cainer liberally uses a license to touch other nerves. His first song focuses on a forbidden love between his grandfather and family friend, using her guidance in his dreams to inform him on the finer details of the sad tale.
Even his more comedic songs can have sad or even dark sides. One of his most verbose songs casts his father’s affair in a humorous light with a jaunty tune. Nostalgia underlines even his most lighthearted pieces, limiting the show’s accessibility to those whose memory can’t quite stretch to his references but heightening the compelling personal authenticity bolstered by family photographs and wisdom.
At times, the show can come across as too casual. Mid-show self promotion takes you out of the moment and songs about bagels only need so many verses. His verbosity about said bagels might be forgivable, but the 70th Fringe is a bit late to be describing women as frigid or for straight white males to wax poetic about bikini-clad carnival volunteers without an appropriate dose of sarcasm.
Nevertheless, Cainer’s More Gefilte Fish and Chips uses all of the bells and whistles to dress up an hour of audience-included jocular songs. If you’re lucky, he might even throw a bagel at you.
Words: Emily Hall
Daniel Cainer: More Gefilte Fish and Chips, Underbelly George Square, Aug 25-28, 12pm