REVIEW: Dave Gorman – Powerpoint for the People

As fans of the comedian, presenter, and now professional cryptic crossword compiler know, Dave Gorman is a long-time gamer.

From pranks to ongoing research and especially during its broadcasts, one of its characteristics is the reminder of ideas and suggestions that you have probably forgotten in passing and that have been brought up earlier.

He does so with gleeful delight, catching the near-full audience in Aberdeen’s Music Hall off guard.

Covering a plethora of topics, his show tackles topics as diverse as embarrassing self-harm, which became lockdown obsessions and which, in his case, led him to teach phonics to his school-aged son, and his mother’s love for Elon Musk.

This in turn led to the ‘found poem’ performance which is taken from comments on the internet that fans of her TV show Modern Life Is Goodish will recognize and her mother’s misunderstanding of what a Sliding moment is. Doors which brought the biggest laugh of the night and actual tears of laughter to Gorman’s face as he tried to pull himself together.

His forensic mind is always on the lookout for means of production and we are treated to an investigation into Salt ‘n’ Shake chips and a wonderfully illustrated and rigorously researched piece on the “ready-to-use salty snack” that might just alter their sales nationwide as the tour continues. .

One of the biggest segments takes a look at the Holywood Walk of Fame, not what one would normally consider a comedy topic per se, but using Tom Hanks photo-bombing a wedding in Central Park, we’re led on the path to the garden of ties and connections that winds wonderfully wondering why Harrison Ford bothered and comparing the “drug dealer model” to his modern day functioning.

We also learn about Dave’s online nemesis, a cryptic crossword reviewer who brings out the “bad boy” in the host, as he reveals through his now second job which started in lockdown as that cryptic crossword compiler for broadsheets.

Writing under the name Bluth, Django, or Fed pen names his occasional toilet or bio references irritates one particular reviewer called Jane, and things escalate in a way that only Gorman can pull off (much to the delight of the audience) .

And that long game is, as always, the heart of the slow-burning prank that’s still going on and about which we’ve all sworn to secrecy lest we spoil the ruse.

It’s not a punchline gag and although the stakes are low, it works with genuine love and affection for the people and places involved.

All in all, it’s a fine visit from Gorman, showcasing his distinctive comedy and where thoughtful analysis can lead you down some unusual rabbit holes.

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