Defiant – Darren Harriott
Star rating: ****
Review Date: Friday 19th January 2018
19th – 27th January 2018
7.15p.m. Daily. Information and tickets
It’s always a delight to discover new acts on the scene. One such person came to my attention via a recent appearance on Live at the Apollo. Mr Darren Harriott who hails from Birmingham. I was quite impressed and duly went to watch the first night of a run of shows at Soho Theatre.
In a show covering a wide range of themes he certainly revealed a lot of information about himself and his views on the world he grew up in. On political matters, we heard that he wasn’t such a huge fan of President Obama – a rarity for a Black man he admitted, as in his own words, “Black people usually give Obama a free pass.” Whilst it’s undoubtedly true that many Black people do give Obama a free pass so to speak, I don’t believe all of it is uncritical. Many will have scrutinised him carefully and based their opinion on that. For starters, if you just compare how he was received and what he achieved, compared to his predecessor George W Bush and the man who followed him as the 45th President of the USA, President Donald Trump, I think most political commentators will say Obama did pretty well during his 8 years in office. President Obama’s tenure was discussed in some detail at a Reach Society President Obama: Tributes, Legacy & Reflections discussion last January 2017.
Defiant is a vibrant, high energy show, full of wickedly surprising punch lines and highly amusing stories. Darren’s personal life, or rather that of the family around him was pretty dramatic to say the least, with many unfortunately caught up on the wrong side of the law. His father met an untimely end (I wont’ say how as you’ll discover that in the show) leaving Darren fatherless at just aged 18 years old. He revealed that as a result he could do with therapy. That’s a bold and frank admission, one of many in the show. I wonder if and when Darren will do so. He joked, as comedians are won’t to do, that he was using the show as therapy. I guess he has found it comforting to find the comedic silver lining to tragic circumstances. Plus he’s utilising some of the experiences which have shaped and impacted his world view to showcase his comedic talent as a Comedian. A case of stand up and carry on or allow circumstances to lead to your downfall.
His personal experience of being a #metoo victim was supportive of the cause, yet pretty hilarious in a self-depracating way.
This ex-doorman turned Comedian put on a super show. It was refreshing to see a fine, young talent from the Midlands making it on the London comedy scene and breaking onto the national scene thanks to his wonderful performance on BBC’s Live at the Apollo.
I don’t know if Darren’s getting many good reviews, but on the strength of this and his TV appearance I suspect he is. I just hope his mum’s cheek’s aren’t too sore from all the “slaps of appreciation” she’s getting! Her son has granted permission to ‘thank her’ for those giving him good reviews. Crickey. If good reviewers are allowed one free slap, the mind boggles as to what bad reviewers are allowed to do. I think Mr Harriott might be in for a few slaps himself when he next goes home to Mum
I suspect though that Darren himself will be getting mainly backslaps of appreciation from his mum and those who’ve seen his show.
© Tiemo Talk of the Town
Darren Harriott’s ‘Defiant’ runs at Soho Theatre 19th – 27th January 2018.