It’s easy to see why Dave Thornton has become a familiar face on Channel 10’s The Project – he’s the kind of flannelette-wearing, well-coiffed, skinny-leg-jeans wearing fresh ‘personality’ who bounces up on screen and gets things moving. He is the archetypal early-30s Australian man, evidenced by his comedy show The Some of All the Parts, which has that somewhat ubiquitous adult-male phenomenon of being obsessed with the dorky toys you loved as a kid.
The opening of his performance is a tip-of-the-hat to effort, as Thornton takes a ‘phone call’ before the start of the show and uses it as an excuse to mess with some audience members. It’s a strong opening aided by Thornton’s bullet-quick quips and snappy retorts. You really can’t catch him out for too long; sooner rather than later he bounces straight back at you faster than a squash ball.
Thornton’s material is consistently strong, with a decent range and a hefty amount of audience ribbing – pity the fools who sit in the front row. As with many comedy shows, Thornton’s sex-based material is the strongest. It’s even stronger when the materials includes one particularly hilarious story about his mum, a sexual health nurse, dealing with a recalcitrant teenage student who was trying to explain a slang word for ‘semen’ by gesturing to his crotch.
Hearing about Thornton making a fool of himself is also an oft-recurring theme in this show. It’s a routine that seems to suit this guy down to a tee, since he’s got the goofball attitude tempered by the semi-hipster trendy exterior. This inoffensive blend makes it easy for him to appeal to a wide target audience and still hit the mark with stories about hitting on ‘hot’ school teachers and hating the idealistic young kid who heads off to build schools in Uganda for a year.
Overall, it’s a show that demonstrates Thornton’s skill, his fast-but-bearable pace, and his lightning quick ability to make any situation work in his favour.
Dave Thornton in The Some of All the Parts is on Tuesday – Saturday 9:30pm and Sunday 8:30pm in the Swiss Club, from 29th March – 22 April.
Siobhan Argent has her own blog called ReviewMania.