Previously dubbed one of the top 50 global thinkers, even if he does not believe it’s true. Darren McGarvey is bringing his successes in writing, music and television to the stage with his deeply analytical, and at times comedic, spoken word show.
“The Social Distance Between Us” is a recent book by McGarvey which he is now bringing to live audiences. He delves into societal problems in Scotland such as the vastly growing disparity between classes, the nature of social media, the mismanagement of the drug death crisis and mental health issues. As he states in the beginning of the show, the views and ideologies he shares are his, and were formed by his experiences in life such as living on the street, so if the issues in the show do not resonate with you, it’s your problem. This is no doubt part of the reason he has a reputation of being confrontational and arrogant, but you can see there is a certain level of vulnerability behind it all. Even if you do not agree with his stance, the problems of which he speaks about are impossible to avoid in this country. His poetry is eloquent in its truth, more so than its beauty, the truth may be universal but the interpretations of it are not, and whether or not you agree with his opinions, they are certainly unwavering.
Darren McGarvey is able to cover many different topics in his time slot, such as politics, culture, societal inequality and the struggles of fatherhood. The variety and the comedy he is able to unearth in each section gives the audience the opportunity to laugh at the pain. This is not the only opportunity he affords the audience, there is also a brief period in which people can ask questions, which can potentially dictate the direction of the show. However, if you try to get one over on him with your question, you may be fighting a losing battle.
This hour of poetry, comedy and Q&A is nothing short of a masterful autopsy of Scottish life. It is dark and gritty, but there is still faint light at the end of the tunnel for the audience to grab on to. Not to mention, it is delivered with brilliant Scottish humour.