Saturday, December 17, 2011

Drop the boy - review of Daniel Sloss

Daniel Sloss at Arlington Arts, Snelsmore, on Friday, November 25

I WOULD have such a crush on Daniel Sloss if I was 20 years younger. He’s good looking, funny, has cool hair (young men should always enjoy it while they’ve got it), a lovely Scottish accent, smells nice (I can verify that), and he gives good hugs (I can verify that as well). Having made his comedy club debut aged 16 after a two-day workshop, and crammed so much live, television and writing work into the four years since then that at an age where most stand-ups haven’t even considered their first open mic spot, he’s already a veteran comedian at just 21.

His current show, The Joker, is the result of the curious combination of worldly experience and insularity that the comedy circuit provides   - Sloss has a style and professionalism honed over his years of performing, but beneath that he is still a very young man, with all the verve and enthusiasm for the simple experiences in life (moving out of home, first major relationship, and still being able to jump - grrr) that belong to youth alone.

I don’t think he needed to swear quite so much (it’s not really shocking, just a bit annoying) as it grates with his generally sweet demeanour, but Sloss is no precocious child performer; his material is often adult in nature, although the older generation in his life (parents and grandmother) still loom large, and he is a long way from delving into the new dad land beloved of comedians who have settled down and started families. His world is still one where potentially emotional relationship endings turn into a race to “win” the break-up by changing your status on Facebook to “single” before your ex-girlfriend does.

Sloss is probably looking forward to the day when his reviews don’t mention his age, but the current schtick that makes him stand out from the crowd is his youth. However, his slick confidence and good-quality material transcends the generational gap, with his gentle teasing of his elders and betters often working on both sides of the coin. I therefore have no fear that he will continue to craft and hone his skill and material to mark his mark on the comedy world well into the future, and still be around in many years to come (although he may find that his hair is not).

  • First published in Newbury Weekly News on Thursday, December 8, 2011

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