Review: The D.D.C

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By Dina Ustovic

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This review was written for mindshare, a creative community and online mental health publication. Reflections are by mindshare writers with lived experience of mental illness, specifically critiquing through a mental health lens. Content may contain triggering themes.

 Dead dads and comedy shouldn’t really mix but The D.D.C somehow makes it work. With its interesting premise, this stand-up comedy show hosted by Eliza Thomas promises to deliver a night of dark humour and enough crude jokes that it will make you wish you were a part of the dead dad’s club.

Thomas is a charismatic host as she introduces each act onto the stage. Filled with enough self-awareness, her quirky charm bounces off and radiates around the room. Alongside her quick wits and dry sense of humour, she is not afraid to say something outrageous or something that could be construed as awkward but simply comes off as ironic charm.

The rest of the acts on stage are hilarious in their own right. Each person brings a new story that leaves the audience laughing but also worried if they should be. Truly sticking to the premise of the show. The level of self-awareness, irony and dark humour creates an opportunity for each act to truly revel in telling the audience a fascinating and entertaining story with each punchline packing an extra punch.

However, it is the way that the premise is executed that truly is memorable. Each comedian in length discusses the death of their fathers. Whilst they do make fun of their fathers, there is also a sense of coming to terms with grief that is presented within each story. It becomes a safe space for the comedians to allow their grief to show whilst also honouring the memories. It feels like a collective therapy session. A moment of quiet bonding between the audience and comedian that allows us to reflect on our own fathers and memories.

It would have been nice to hear more about how these events affected the mental health of the acts on stage. Sadly, these moments are few and far between in the show as most acts opted to keep it as light-hearted as you could whilst discussing death. However, in a way by paying homage to their fathers, Thomas & Co show how humour can be used to deal with extreme grief and sorrow.  

Overall, The D.D.C is as morbid and fascinating as the premise suggests. Thomas has created an entertaining show that allows us to explore grief by using humour to honour one’s memory. The D.D.C could have benefited more by exploring mental health in a more nuanced and deeper way yet its cursory gaze at this topic still allows for a discussion on grief to be formed. Three stars. 

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