Review: Roisin Conaty: Destiny’s Dickhead – Pleasance Courtyard, Edinburgh
Roisin Conaty begins her show, Destiny’s Dickhead, by gauging the age group in the room. You suspect it’s a segue into a routine about her age but then nothing. A small comment about a pensioner at her last gig, but that’s it. It’s a continuing pattern throughout her show – she asks the crowd mundane questions as a way into a new routine…which then employs none of the information given by the crowd.
It’s clumsy, but typical of this year’s show – a mismatch of ideas shared with loose, often fragmented, language that’s the wrong side of natural performance. Conaty seems incredibly nervous – quite surprising from this Best Newcomer 2010 – though she may have been distracted by the technical difficulties at the start of the show or the fact she’s in such a warm room.
Her inconsistency is the most infuriating thing, though. One minute she bumbles through a clichéd comment about racist grandmothers and the next she employs a stunning metaphor or visits an interesting angle, like the five nicknames you don’t know about or the romantic date sacrificing a goat. There’s some good imagery here, too, like her rollercoaster routine that arrives from a great gag about hen weekends, and the reference to Grindr (‘Find local gay, bi and curious guys for dating or friends for free on Grindr’) actually opens up useful banter with the crowd.
But Conaty’s theme – ‘one woman’s fight against her fate’, she explains at the top of the show – is loose at best and is rarely visited. In fact, the first mention of fate is forty five minutes in, and the material itself feels like a ‘best of’ club set. It’s certainly not a bad show, but ‘not as advertised’ is the best way to describe Destiny’s Dickhead.
Date of live review: Sunday 14th August 2011.