Review: Demi Lardner - Ditch With 800 - Gilded Balloon Teviot Sportsmans

Demi Lardner doesn’t understand why her show has won awards. She keeps apologising to the front row, and is seemingly shocked that anyone has turned up at all. But Ditch Witch 800 is a one-woman tour-de-force of bonkers comedy. It’s certainly not for everyone, but for those who share her off-kilter sense of humour, it’s a delightfully bizarre show. 

The show jumps from surreal sketch to even more surreal sketch with slideshows and video clips thrown in: first it’s a very un-calming yoga meditation session, then a press conference with a sports personality who went on a spree after eating Lush bath bombs; then a witch starts to systematically curse the audience. Lardner knows exactly how to handle her audience, for all of her self-deprecation, and each joke builds the hysteria as the collective acid trip gets stranger and darker.

It feels like Lardner is wanting to explore the strangeness of her own personal history more than she does, that there could be a deeper meaning to the inane sketches, but Lardner doesn’t go there. In fact, it’s the same kangaroo kidnapping story which was featured in her last show at the Fringe, I Love Skeleton. Compared to Skeleton, Ditch Witch doesn’t seem as well structured, and Lardner herself is more relaxed, less hyper. Lardner still has so much energy it’s a rollercoaster just to watch her. Lardner revels in the silliness and it’s this which makes her brand of Aussie comedy so entertaining: Ditch Witch 800 is a sketch show on the edge of sanity with no cynicism or how-clever-am-I winks – just a brilliantly funny hour of weirdness.

Demi Launder is at Gilded Balloon Teviot – Sportsmans 9.15 pm until the 26th

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