Daniel Downie: There’s Something about Mary

Scottish Comedy Festival – the Beehive Inn
Aug 18 – 28, 14.00

Round the back of the Edinburgh castle the crowds were basking in the atmosphere. I had made my way round for a comedy hour titled ‘There’s Something about Mary’. A man was handing out flyers for his show, and to a decent success he turned out to be Daniel Downie who had written and was to perform this act.

All of this part of town (Grassmarket) is ye olden buildings giving it its charm and crowds were soaking it up. I stepped inside the Beehive bar to make my way upstairs to the attic gig. On comes the most confident man you’re likely to meet.

Soon (after some sharp and very wise cracking jokes) he mentioned an 11 year career as a teacher of History, I was slightly surprised because he didn’t come across as old enough to have done this. But I should have guessed from the power point presentation he played with and also from his use of tactic (an informed and precise story about his favourite Historic character Mary Queen of Scots).

So Mary from the title was the Queen of Scots, it was also an unspoken reference to the film with Cameron Diaz and Ben Stiller and it was how he felt about his love of her. He was very delightfully risky slating Dundonians, from so far north, and picking on his audience with testing that without comedy would have been surprising.

On show were all of his capabilities and he graceful took us through the unbelievable life of the Queen. I too have read a couple of books about it but that didn’t matter; his was a guide for those who knew nothing as well. He had the sense at times of anger and rage as he cleverly created his jokes to fit mammoth proportions that were a way of bigging up his tale, the room, and everyone on the street listening through the large open windows (with hot air supplied by the summers day).

With his personality very well received and as he said himself his ego at the right size (as big as possible!) his comedic romp of excitement that filled his performance space (no stage but a big enough room) he composed himself for the stories about Mary; her positions, duty’s, tragedies and loving freedom he contested ever so well as a great promoter of the woman. I wondered if she would have approved and I’ll Say I’d like to think she would, come and see what you think?

Daniel Donnelly

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