Dave Gorman at The Hexagon
June 14, 2012
Comedian Dave Gorman’s new show is either a stand-up gig with a difference or a PowerPoint presentation with a difference, depending on how you look at it.
For most people PowerPoint is an ingredient for boring business meetings or tedious school lessons, but Dave sees things differently.
He says Dave Gorman’s PowerPoint Presentation, which has been touring the country since its debut at the Edinburgh Fringe last year, is “almost a double act”, but you don’t need to have any experience of the polarising slide-based computer program to enjoy it.
“It is a PowerPoint presentation,” says Dave, “not a parody of a business PowerPoint presentation, though, or anything like that – I’ve never seen a business PowerPoint presentation, that’s not really a world I live in, so I couldn’t really do that.
“I just see it as a useful way of putting information in front of your eyes. You aren’t only able to talk about things the audience doesn’t know, you can show them as well and that’s a good way to create jokes.
“PowerPoint is just the medium. You don’t need any previous knowledge, you just need to be able to be good and sit in a theatre for a little while with your phone off.
“The medium isn’t important, really. It’s what’s said that’s important and PowerPoint helps in the same way as a microphone helps – what I’m saying and what the audience is looking at combines to make the funny.
“Sometimes it’s what I’m saying making what’s on the screen funny, sometimes it’s the screen making what I’m saying funny.”
Apparently, the average PowerPoint presentation includes around 30 slides in an hour. Dave’s show includes around 800 and they range from illustrations of a Twitter conversation with Jim Davidson to pictures of celebrities he’s supposed to look like.
“It’s not a gimmick,” adds Dave. “It’s like a double act between myself and the screen.”
This is only the comedian’s second stand-up tour since he came to mainstream fame with his Are You Dave Gorman? in 2000, where he went around meeting people with the same name as him.
He said: “I stopped stand-up because I got bored and it wasn’t exciting anymore.
“Part of how a comedian gets good is by being excited about it yourself, by enjoying what you’re doing.
“If you get lazy and slack and bored then you don’t write as well and you don’t pay your audience the respect they deserve for parting with their money to come out and see you.
“I got bored and the best thing I could do was go out and do things that excited me.”
It turned out that the things that excited him – finding people with his name, his Googlewhack Adventure where he sought out internet search terms which returned just one result and his Important Astrology Experiment – excited other people too, and he achieved considerable acclaim.
In 2010 he returned to stand-up by doing a tour which involved him cycling the length of the country between venues. He wrote his new show with his interest in touring and doing stand-up rekindled.
“I’m really enjoying what I’m doing,” he says. “It’s not like I’m out doing this just to make a DVD or anything like that.
“This is a show that couldn’t be put on DVD, it exists for its own sake. In fact, legally I couldn’t make a DVD of it, but it’s not like a lawyer came to me and said ‘Dave, this has all been a waste of time – we can't put it on DVD’.
“I don’t think the industry’s like that. You don’t come up with an idea and not follow it through because you don’t think you’ll be able to capitalise on it. You just do the best show you can do on the night.
“To me it’s just about doing something I enjoy and I hope the audiences do too.”
Dave Gorman’s PowerPoint Presentation is at The Hexagon on Friday, June 22. Call 0118 9606060 or visit www.readingarts.com