FRINGE REVIEW: Ben Darsow Off The Cuff
Ben Darsow is a comedian with absolutely no direction. I mean that in the best way possible. After being nominated for Best Comedy at last year’s Perth Fringe World, Ben has returned with his new show, entitled “Off the Cuff”. As its title suggests, the majority of the show is completely improvised, relying solely on punter interaction to drive the show forward. It’s this kind of acrobat-on-a-tightrope type comedy show that makes proceedings all the more thrilling to watch. Things could potentially go so wrong, so easily, yet Darsow seems to be able to effortlessly traverse the inherent uncertainty of his show.
Although, it’s not entirely surprising that Darsow has this innate ability to bounce off crowds. Unlike some local comedians that I have had the displeasure of watching, Darsow doesn’t, for lack of a better term, “put on an act”. Instead, Darsow opts to be completely genuine and true in his performance, thus amassing a much more visceral reaction from his audience. Furthermore, Darsow is completely devoid of pretentious tendencies, which accounts for the crowd being much more lenient when things go astray (not to say that happens very often).
What became apparent, especially after a brief chat with him after the show, is that Darsow is an artist that cares deeply about his craft – searching for avenues to better his act, asking what we thought he could improve on, and being completely earnest (and somewhat harsh) on what he thought his shortcomings where. If Darsow remains this hungry for betterment, I have no doubt that we’ll see Darsow in the same league as contemporary greats such as Louie CK or Jim Jefferies.