Stuart Daulman is an Absolute Credit

By Elyce Phillips

Stuart Daulman (of Wizard Sandwiches and Fancy Boy) returns to the Melbourne Fringe this year with his second solo show. Stuart Daulman is an Absolute Credit sees the comic in familiar character-acting territory while he performs his stand-up, however, a twist towards more personal storytelling provides an interesting counterpoint to the usual chaos.

With his bumbling delivery and cheesy gags, Daulman’s stand-up persona lies somewhere between the pub jokester and the regular comedy act down at the local RSL. His jokes walk a wonderful line between cliché and absurd, and are punctuated with a scattering of one-man sketches. Daulman is truly in his element. His disheveled suit and slightly-off-time sound effects make him as endearing as he is hilarious. The pacing of Daulman’s stand-up is impeccable. With the repetition of a few key phrases, he works up a rhythm that has the audience laughing with every introduction of a new anecdote.

The second half of the show is marked by an abrupt change of mood. Daulman sits down and tells us a very personal boy-meets-girl story, the painful ending of which will be familiar to many. Here, the jokes slow down. For the most part, the story is presented as a blow-by-blow recounting of events. There’s not a lot of delving into why this particular girl was so special or why the relationship failed. As Daulman gets further into the story, it appears that the events are still quite raw, and it doesn’t always feel appropriate to laugh.

There are some highlights, however – Daulman’s description of anxiety is really insightful, and a slideshow of photos is dark and hilarious. Whilst this section of the show wasn’t as strong as the opening half, it’s certainly brave of Daulman to engage with such personal material, and it’s great to see him pushing his performance range by doing comedy that’s such a departure from the outright silliness of his work with Wizard Sandwiches.

Shows like ‘Stuart Daulman is an Absolute Credit’ are what the Fringe is about. It’s funny, engaging and it’s trying something a little different. Daulman is a wonderful comedic talent and this show is well worth your time.

Stuart Daulman is an Absolute Credit is at The Imperial Hotel at 9pm until 28 September