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If you received a threatening letter from a powerful law firm, what would you do? Immediately stop whatever they were asking you to? Apologise profusely? Shit your pants?
Not Dave Griffiths. When French Connection sent its lawyers after him for printing parody ‘CNUT’ t-shirts (see what he did there?), the determined comedian decided to fight back and make the company’s life as difficult as possible.
This true Dave and Goliath story is remarkable in its foolhardiness. Despite no funds for his own intimidating lawyers, Griffiths became obsessed with finding legal holes in FC’s arguments when they told him he was infringing their copyright.
To begin with, the story feels fairly mundane, despite Griffiths’s attempts to make it sound epic. A few letters are exchanged that don’t lead anywhere interesting. But by the end of this show it’s hard not to admire Griffiths’s tenacity as he becomes increasingly fixated.
Griffiths isn’t the most natural storyteller. He fumbles over words, often when he get overexcited by his own triumphs, and the story does get a little repetitive – French Connection bring out a t-shirt, Griffiths rings up a company, the t-shirt is withdrawn; repeat…
It’s also not that funny. The jokes are few and far between, and when they do come they’re gigglers rather than belly laughs.
But you have to admire the comic’s determination with what initially looks like an unbeatable battle. But next time you see someone wearing an ‘FCUK’ t-shirt, try not to call them a ‘Cnut’.
See 'Dave Griffiths – C U in Court' at the Edinburgh Fringe