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Adelaide Fringe

Review: The Walking Dreads

Adelaide Fringe

Fabien Clark’s show The Walking Dreads is one stand-up comedy act you shouldn’t dread. ★★★★★

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In fact, go out and buy tickets now because this local up-and-comer delivers 50 minutes of value-for-money hilarity.

Clark demonstrated his ability to remain funny while up-close and intimate with the audience in the tiny, 20-seater room of the Producers Hotel Cranny. It was a good choice of venue because the tightly-packed crowd created the atmosphere that The Walking Dreads deserved.

The promo poster features a zombie-like Clark, and his explanation for the dramatic make-up is that it represents how a recently divorced guy feels on the inside. His show goes on to explore themes of love, relationships, marriage and kids.

He tells stories about his imaginary relationships with “check-out chicks”, the agony of running the gauntlet of the “women’s products aisle”, and of how a jeweller ruined his marriage proposal. Clark also talks about the divorce that inspired his war-paint and his adventures as a single man on Tinder. In fact, there isn’t much about relationships and being a young father of three that doesn’t form fodder for his witty and insightful life observations.

Clark was winner of the 2013 Adelaide Comedian of the Year Award, and it’s easy to see why audiences love this self-deprecating laughter master. The lens was on him and his life for the whole of this show, yet there were no nasty aspersions about others; even the swearing was kept to a minimum.

While not quite suitable for kids, it’s definitely one for teenagers, those who think they’re still teenagers, and other adults. The Walking Dreads is a great example of why it pays to support smaller acts during Fringe – it was better than many headline acts I’ve seen this year.

Just give this guy time. In several years, he’ll be a headliner, too – he’s that good.

Five stars

The Walking Dreads is playing at The Producers Cranny almost every night until March 13.

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