Daphna Baram – Something to Declare
Here’s the way I’d deal with immigration at The Fringe – I’d definitely limit the influx of white blokes in their 30s going on about not getting a girlfriend/domestic life does the funniest things. Instead I’d welcome with open arms savvy, ballsy, wonderfully witty women like Daphna Baram.
People who’ve seen the Divine Miss D before will have already checked and passed her comedy credentials. What’s great is that she never tries to smuggle in any dodgy old material. What she’s declaring this year is her take on becoming a British Citizen and taking the required test. Cue extracts from the test and doing a Q&A with the audience which is good fun and pretty eye-opening as far as the questions go. The whole exploration of British-ness thing is hackneyed-free with a really good routine about comparing a typically inept social invitation from an Englishman (‘did he actually invite me… ?’) to a no-doubt-about-it demand from a Jewish momma (‘you will come to dinner’).
We also get something in the way of personal disclosure with a very intriguing tale – about a potential marriage of convenience with a feckless, floppy-haired member of the English upper class – which has a jaw-dropping denoument. If it’s true – and I have no reason to doubt Daphna – it’s staggering stuff. Also heart-rending and blackly comic is her recollection of her very first client as a human rights lawyer in Israel – an inept terrorist who repeatedly failed in his attempts to blow up a bus-stop.
Well paced and well balanced – with the Q&A’s serving as light to the darker humour shade. Not that Daphna ever lets it stray into a laughter-free zone. On the basis of my visit I would stamp Daphna’s passport comedy approved with unlimited leave to stay!