Awkward, bumbling and fantastically dorky, the Perth comedian’s performance walks a fine line between too painful to watch and crying-with-laughter funny.
It’s difficult to wander out of a Dayne Rathbone comedy show without pondering: what the hell just happened?
Rathbone is the Napoleon Dynamite of stand-up comedy. Awkward, bumbling and fantastically dorky, the Perth comedian’s performance walks a fine line between too painful to watch and crying-with-laughter funny. No part of his Fringe World show, It’s Me Dayne, panders to traditional comedy styling. There’s no spiel of jokes, and no real rehearsed show, but rather a series of short stories, hilariously awkward poems, and a whole lot of audience interaction – including games, and a play at the end which somehow culminated in audience members pretending to be cats, and Rathbone wearing half a miniskirt.
Though the show itself was utterly brilliant, perhaps the biggest feat was the way Rathbone dealt with an utterly abominable audience member, who refused to participate and shouted general and homophobic insults at the comedian. The comedian dealt with it with great aplomb, ignoring him for the majority of the show and then, when wearing only a small strip of denim, which absolutely did not cover his genitals, walking up to the man and dancing suggestively. The man retaliated by yelling and pouring his beer on Rathbone – so the comedian grabbed the beer, and poured it all over himself while gyrating. The audience member walked out to cheers. Kudos, Rathbone, well played.
Dayne Rathbone is not going to appeal to everyone – and indeed, if you can’t stand awkward situations, don’t want to see genitals without prior warning, and are very much into political correctness – avoid this show. But if you are ready for something new and completely left of field, buy a ticket and embrace the crazy. Just try not to analyse it too much when you leave the show – your brain might just explode. Rathbone rules.
Rating: 4 stars out of 5
It’s Me Dayne
Noodle Palace, Mount Lawley
25 January – 3 February
Fringe World 2013
25 January – 24 February
First published on
What the stars mean?
- Five stars: Exceptional, unforgettable, a must see
- Four and a half stars: Excellent, definitely worth seeing
- Four stars: Accomplished and engrossing but not the best of its kind
- Three and a half stars: Good, clever, well made, but not brilliant
- Three stars: Solid, enjoyable, but unremarkable or flawed
- Two and half stars: Neither good nor bad, just adequate
- Two stars: Not without its moments, but ultimately unsuccessful
- One star: Awful, to be avoided
- Zero stars: Genuinely dreadful, bad on every level