David Ian sets out to tell us why he wants to be the perfect gay. He comes to the conclusion that Cher is in fact, the perfect gay. Her characteristics and milestones in her life determined the measure of one’s perfect gayness. However, while David Ian can make up the rules about being the perfect gay, he unfortunately cannot make them up about humour, or entertainment in general.
It slowly becomes apparent that he is going to tell us about his entire life. Trudging through the milieu of information coming my way, apart from being completely lost, I constantly wonder when a punchline is coming. Instead, Ian awarded himself a badge for being the perfect gay more rapidly than punchlines arrived. One badge was awarded because he once left his door unlocked, and he figured Cher must leave her hotel room unlocked, during her tours, for unexpected sex. Forget not being funny, a lot of it just didn’t make sense.
I’m afraid the performer could not uphold a level of gravitas that convinces an audience member of their attention. I did not feel taken care of as an audience member, instead weary of the next mishap on its way.
To be fair to Ian, there were a few mishaps that are beyond his control. Like when the venue next door was erupting with loud music and laughter, to which he admits he is extremely thrown off by and complains to a staff member to sort out. When his tech hand is struggling to hit her cues, and he couldn’t contain his annoyance at her. Or like when his audience happened to be more straight than it was queer, coming to the conclusion that the majority just wouldn’t get it.
But hey that’s the Fringe. Technical and unforeseen difficulties happen in abundance, and straight people actually do watch shows put on by LGBTQ+ performers. All things a performer would most definitely encounter, but the mighty are separated from the weak very quickly in the way they respond. Rolling with the punches is a craft not everyone has honed, but then again not anyone can be a performer.
To be clear, the content was not the issue, It was simply the way it was delivered. There are things straight people won’t get, and he did get a few laughs from some inside jokes. But I don’t mind having things go over my head, and I do laugh when getting the piss taken out of me for being straight. I’m at the Fringe!
A lot of things this show wanted to pull off, indeed can be pulled off. But only if the performer performs, and to put it plainly, is funny. David Ian made it pretty clear that he came to the Fringe expecting an LGBTQ+ audience as the rest ‘just wouldn’t get it’. He was right, I didn’t get why one would waste the opportunity to perform their story.
Everyone’s story deserves to be heard, but some go that extra mile to tell it. Unfortunately, Ian did not go that extra mile to do justice to his story.
David Ian: (Just a) Perfect Gay
21:05 @ Just the Tonic at The Caves – Just Up the Stairs
Aug 5-13, 15-27