Joel Dommett: Conquer

Comedy, Stand Up
4 out of 5 stars
Joel Dommett, comedian

Witness the narrative brilliance of this UK comedian

UK comedian Joel Dommett is more juggler than stand up; he has an uncanny ability to throw multiple narrative details into the air only to see them drop from the sky all at once. His new show, Conquer, is a masterclass in storytelling, and riotously funny.

Ostensibly detailing his attempt to reconnect with a stranger on a train, Dommett allows his story to meander eloquently, ranging over his disastrous experiments with Tinder, his pubescent attempts as a diarist, and his oddly quotidian imaginary friends. Like all great stand-up, it’s caustic and confessional, as self-flagellating as it is sharply observed.

One section has Dommett reading directly from the diary of his youth and, despite some occasional gems involving a close call with homosexuality, is the weakest part of the show. It feels dangerously like padding, and could be excised at no great loss.

That said, this is one hour of comedy worth seeing, with a brilliant opening in silhouette and the best use of a confetti machine you are ever likely to see. Dommett is charming, avuncular company, and makes a tightly written monologue feel like a real conversation. It’s a juggling act that leaves no balls on the floor.

By: Tim Byrne

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