David Trent: Spontaneous Comedian ★★★★

Tony Makos - The Skinny, 14th August 2012

Everything object in David Trent’s show is labelled. This is a screen. This is a projector. And so on. As a result, when Trent bursts into the stage to explain the thinking behind ‘Spontaneous Comedian’ as every word he says is telegraphed on the screen behind him, the audience are already well ahead of him in terms of understanding the irony. This is perhaps the only time they will be in that position.

Trent’s show is, contrary to its title, meticulously constructed – each seemingly throwaway line has been carefully put together to serve the whole, and the technical excellence he shows in manipulating every video clip, every anecdote and every audience interaction belies the fact this is his debut Edinburgh show. His use of video can sometimes be reminiscent of Chris Morris’s hallucinatory Jam, only with a different game in mind.

While at times the individual jigsaw pieces aren’t always that successful on their own – in particular some borderline onscreen obscenity can come across as needlessly excessive – as sections of the whole they add up to much more. Trent bluffs and double-bluffs the audience, delighting all and yet bewildering many, to the ludicrous extent that as people file out of the venue it is unclear whether the show is actually over. An intelligent force to be reckoned with – next year Trent is likely to be a household name.