By Suzanne Tate
A very common theme for comedians recently has, of course, been the pandemic. I suspect most of the shows at the festival this year have touched upon it in some way. Danny Bhoy’s show title, Now is Not a Good Time, refers to covid and other negative things such as recent events in Britain, and climate change. Bhoy’s style is warmly conversational and friendly (while its never a good idea to be late to a comedy show when you have front row tickets, he was even kind to the latecomers) and brought consistent laughs. Despite his easy-going manner, however, Now is Not a Good Time at times felt a fraction contrived, with ongoing ‘bits’ about him living in a castle and often laughing at his own jokes, and an extended skit with him impersonating animals at the zoo discussing lockdown, which culminated in a painful pun. For the most part, Bhoy presented a relaxed storytelling style, covering eminently relatable content about the pandemic, panic buying and family holidays. Stories such as the difficulties of living through lockdown (which Melbournites can certainly empathise with) and how climate change has brought Scotland to produce the world’s worst wine. But the content and style jumped around, from personal ‘observational’ anecdotes to impersonations of animals and the Four Horseman of the Apocalypse, and uncomfortable jokes about random reference such as Mother Theresa dying on the same day as Princess Dianna. Overall, the lack of a common narrative left the show feeling a bit disjointed.
Regardless, despite self-deprecating jokes about new material and not having performed for two years, Bhoy is a professional who can be relied upon to consistently entertain, and there were no shortage of laughs from Now is Not a Good Time. The audience left smiling, feeling entertained and positive despite arriving soggy from the terrible weather. One young audience member Xavier will certainly treasure great memories of the night, as an ongoing (but always positive) example of the younger generation (although he may need someone to explain a few Gen X references). Dhanny Bhoy’s comedy is positive and empathetic, and generates a feel-good mood, even with the potentially dark subject matter, and Now is Not a Good Time was well worth the trip out in the pouring rain.