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Kevin Dewsbury Out Now – The Kings Arms, Salford

Reviewer: Stephen M Hornby

[Rating: 3.0]

kevin dewsburyKevin Dewsbury’s show Out Now is a candid, clever and funny exploration of his unique experience of being what he terms a “blokey gay man”. It’s a solid combination of self-deprecating humour, comic songs and blunt one-liners. Especially effective are Dewsbury’s single entendres designed to allow to audience to laugh at its own smutty-mindedness, while he knowingly raises an eyebrow and protests his innocence.

Dewsbury opens awkwardly with an audience ‘hand in the air’ poll of sexuality which doesn’t really lead to punch line. Lea Dealria was doing the same thing a decade ago but built to a hilarious exploration of the motivation of the few straight men in her audience. Dewsbury quickly settles in to a series of observations about modern gay life and the opponents to marriage equality. He neatly parodies “the homosexual agenda” and notions that sexuality is merely a preference that one chooses, concluding this section of the show with his own take on ‘Going Loco Down In Acapulco’ called “Going Homo Down At The Gay Local’.

Dewsbury’s show is personal and he discloses painful parts of his journey to being out involving treatment for a psychotic episode and the breakdown of his relationship with his wife. He is, however, skilful enough to move swiftly through the human cost of these experiences and find the humour in them, ending this section of his performance with what one hopes is the imaginary sequence of him coming out to his wife in a gay version of Beauty School Drop Out. With same sex marriage having been made legal on the opening night, his material could not be more on trend.

Dewsbury is candid that these are warm-up session prior to performing at the Edinburgh Fringe in August, and at times he seems to lack full confidence in his material. He also seemed wrong-footed early on by an animated heckler and dealt with their interruption heavy-handedly loosing the audience. Heckling is to be expected and the response to it is an opportunity for a comedian to show their spontaneity and natural wit. Dewsbury failed to do this initially, but did come back with some better responses later in the show, which build to a hilarious parody of Adele.

Out Now is a highly topical and enjoyable exploration of the modern complexity of being gay and a touching and funny insight into one man’s journey from the closet to acceptance.

Runs until 18 July

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