D.I.V.O.R.C.E, The Home Game!
05/12/2018 - 06/12/2018
Hot off sold out shows in Palmy Fringe is D.I.V.O.R.C.E, The Home Game!
Join Award Winning Comedian Dylan Stewart as he journeys through married life and desperately tries to avoid being dumped. Plus one couple will play D.I.V.O.R.C.E, the home game!
Nominated for Best Emerging Talent 2018 Palmy Fringe Awards. Winner of Best Male Comedian 2017 Comedy Hub Awards.
Theatre , Comedy ,
Not even the tiniest bit funny
Review by Jan-Maree Franicevic 06th Dec 2018
I love good comedy and I love The Meteor Theatre, which is a great black box style theatre with raked seating, that gives comedians the opportunity to really draw their audience in, while affording every audience member (save perhaps the front row) the safety to giggle and guffaw in the shadows.
Dylan Stewart talks a big game; in the Fringe programme I learn that this show was a sell out at the Palmy (Palmerston North) Fringe, and that he was nominated for said festival’s Best Emerging Talent Award. The show listing also goes on to inform that Dylan was the winner of the 2017 Best Male Comedian gong at the Comedy Hub Awards (which I am led to believe is a Palmerston North based awards). The show itself is described as Dylan’s journey through married life, trying desperately to avoid being dumped. There will also be some audience participation, in that one couple will get to play DIVORCE, The Home Game.
Having cut my teeth in the New Zealand comedy scene in the 90s I know that a great many of our hottest comedy properties (Jon Bridges, David Downs, Paul Yates, Nigel and Jeremy Corbett) came out of Palmerston North, so while I sip on my frosty Waikato Draught, nestled in amongst the modest number of audience members, I am excited for the show to start.
Dylan enters to introduce his opening act: Hamilton’s own Dan Sage. Dan mines his life as a solo dad. He is clearly nervous and refers to the notes he has etched on his wrist a couple of times, but generally gives us a complete performance. Dan is raw, and clearly could do with more stage time. If he gives some time and attention to his timing and delivery he could go far. His material is fairly puerile, but then he is a rookie, and often baseline humour is the easiest to dredge up.
Dan’s exit prompts the return of our main attraction and the host of D.I.V.O.R.C.E, The Home Game: Dylan Stewart.
After opening with a punchline-less dig at road works on his six hour drive from Palmerston North today, Dylan proceeds to take a couple of poor swings at Hamilton. Rich that someone from Palmy would travel six hours to have a go at the Tron – the saying about people in glasshouses throwing stones comes to mind. It’s disappointing too, because it breaks the rule that if you are going to mock something you had better be bloody funny about it. I expect he might try to save himself by busting a common line at Palmy, and try to make himself and his town the butt of the joke, but no.
Moving on, we learn of the premise for his show name. Like when you are a child and play catch with a group of pals; when you drop the ball, you earn a letter (his example was H.O.R.S.E, in my youth it was D.O.N.K.E.Y), and when you spell the word you have to sit out. Similarly in his relationship; the game is D.I.V.O.R.C.E, and when either he or his wife make a relationship boo-boo, they earn a letter and so it goes on – I get the picture.
Dylan tells us he has stuffed up a lot since they started playing D.I.V.O.R.C.E at his house. He has been married for nearly eleven years. He has three children, and he and his wife are foster parents to three more. Six kids is a big family to be raising – hats off to Dylan and his wife.
Then things go horribly wrong for me. Dylan explains that he and his wife butt heads more often than your usual couple with troubles. I am heartily expecting him to deliver some sharp laughs as he reflects on the pressure that makes his relationship hard work, while seamlessly intertwining the parody of the childhood ball game into his marital mishaps.
Dylan explains that his wife is a bitch. He avoids arguments with her by vacuuming. He has had enough of her arguing and more than once has thought, “I’m out of here.” But he doesn’t leave. The line he uses to explain why he doesn’t leave is nauseatingly offensive and I will not lower myself to repeat it in print.
He got married and gave up being romantic. He got married and went to the cheese shop and got fat; he was thin when he met his wife – which is online, and I expect a good couple of gags here but get none.
So, Dylan Stewart used to be thin and romantic, and from what I see and hear he is currently an overweight chauvinist who particularly hates his wife.
For a sell-out show from another Fringe Festival Dylan looks at his notes a lot. He stumbles from idea to idea with a sympathetic smattering of laughs from what feels like an embarrassed audience. The vibe is not good. No audience members are called up to play D.I.V.O.R.C.E, and I note as I look at my watch for the umpteenth time, that he is running out of time to do so.
A split-second later, at 6.50pm he stops to ask the audience how long he has left to go.
“Ten minutes,” comes out of the darkness.
Dylan asks if that means ten minutes to his half hour.
“Ten to 7,” comes out of the darkness.
“Fuck,” says Dylan, for what must be the thousandth time.
An audience member says she has to go to the bathroom. As soon as she is gone he suggests that the audience should all go and hide. As the small audience starts to shuffle about in a kind of hesitant compliance, I seize the opportunity to leave this altogether awful show.
I take care to warn front of house that Dylan is not wearing a watch and may go over his allocated time, which is not a good look in a festival environment where shows are programmed in back to back timeslots with scant wiggle room.
Dylan Stewart does not strike me as particularly professional, neither is he smart. He certainly is not even the tiniest bit funny. If he wishes to carve out a career for himself in comedy he would do well to get a wrist watch, seek some mentoring on joke writing and put in some hours of rehearsal.
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