Dave Chawner has had to deal with some mental health problems in the past, now he wants to change the narrative. While acknowledging that these problems are very important, he wants to get people talking about mental health, and why it’s different from mental illness.
Despite the topics of the show being quite heavy, Dave Chawner produces a delightfully entertaining and wholly hilarious hour of standup. The Free Fringe has always been a great source of talent at the festival, and this is one of their shows that you should definitely go and see.
“Mental” mainly focuses on Dave’s struggle with anorexia, and the stigma that came attached to it for him as restrictive eating disorders are normally more associated with women. But throughout the show, he addresses what he went through, how he learned to deal with it and how people going through tough times can learn to feel better and accept themselves. But, the way he chooses to teach people about how to cope with mental illness is through comedy, something he is clearly qualified to teach. His material is funny, his delivery is well thought out and his experience and storytelling make for an interesting show.
Dave Chawner has the comedic talent to go far, and the basis of his show is also an important social issue. There are few comics at the festival who are both able to joke about a subject and be a reliable authority on said subject. The Free Festival is very extensive, with a great variety of shows on offer to cater to all audiences, but Dave Chawner’s “Mental” could be one of the highlights.
Dave Chawner: Mental, 17.00 Laughing Horse@Cabaret Voltaire, August 7-28