He takes a while to warm up but the wait is worth it with Harriott. A true millennial performance, for those who want some easy comedy or just the average 20-something who wants to breathe a sigh of relief listening in solidarity, Harriott is a haven. A down-to-earth and passive cynic, Darren reflects a fed-up age-group.
A chunk of the show is dedicated to how we are all too PC for Harriott’s taste, and true to form he doesn’t pull away from the hard-hitters. He deals with tough subjects with ease, touching on sore points including his alcoholic, drug abusing dad, but carries on with a persevering nerve. Harriot manages to place focus on police brutality and internet racism in a cheeky style and a knowing glint in his eye. “I’m not the best black person around” he teases, “.. I don’t even like Barack Obama” Cue a single emphatic gasp from a tipsy Glaswegian beside me.
A couple of shaky punchlines could easily have gone awry but were fortunately received by a warm audience. There were times which felt more like test-bed gags rather than solid, rehearsed material, and there were a few moments which seemed more like space fillers simply to keep up the tempo, however, the performance at large was still a success.
For a show that is filled with anecdotes and a side-order of exhausted millennial disapproval, Defiance fulfils its ambitions.
Words: Mikey Glancy
Darren Harriott: Defiant, Pleasance Courtyard, Aug 6-27 (not 16), 9:30pm