David Trent: Spontaneous Comedian ★★★

Mark Monahan - The Telegraph, 10th August 2012

David Trent: Spontaneous Comedian

When, just days into the Fringe, the audience of a midweek show in a pokey little furnace of a venue contains a first-rate sketch troupe (Pappy’s), at least one other fast-rising comedian, and the chair of this year’s Foster’s Comedy Awards, it means there is no little buzz about him. So: deserved or not?

A Fringe debutant, David Trent is, as he well knows, the opposite of “spontaneous”. Not only does this primary-school teacher’s label-filled show play out with the help of a preprogrammed laptop, one of his main preoccupations is the very lack of true spontaneity in contemporary, X-Factor- and Facebook-dominated culture.

This lively, tightly constructed set has flashes of inspiration, yet is frequently outgunned on its own terms by others. Pappy’s themselves have a superior musical-cues skit, Claudia O’Doherty reveals how mid-show computer meltdown is really done, and virtually turning into Nick Helm at the end is just silly — Nick Helm does it better.

Not bad, then, but lower on originality – and on charm – than I’d hoped.