The journey from parking the car to the venue was very enjoyable this evening, along the Torrens river for a stretch where art was afoot aboard a junk style boat. Sitting on the bank of the river we watched as visuals were projected onto the sails of the boat and a variety of sounds wafted across the river. It was pleasant enough and would make a lovely surprise if you came across it by accident, but wasnt something that held the attention long.
Along one of the main streets as part of the Arts Festival some of the fine buildings were illuminated by projections which toggled through different options if you stopped and waited a while. My partner Lyndall loved this and it certainly was atmospheric. Its always nice to see people feeling relaxed in public spaces and it certainly enhanced my appreciation of the architecture.
And so to the venue – our first visit to the Rhino Room, a regular all year round comedy venue. Daniel Townes was appearing in the downstairs room which reminded me a lot of the Stand 2 venue at my favourite Edinburgh venue and like it is a Fringe addition to the regular year round venue.
Townes is an amiable guy and is good company for the hour, but didn’t seem to have a tremendous amount more material in this hour show than he was able to fit into the short set we had seen him do the night before, suggesting that he can trim down his material when he needs to and his hour show may well benefit if he did (providing he has enough additional material to add in).
His manner is friendly and engaging – matey and genial, but marred a little by a tendency to look down or to the side a lot. When he did wind up to deliver a big line – gesticulating a bit and looking up to the back of the room you could feel the effect of the additional energy.
Townes made a couple of strong points – one about the responsibility (or lack of) of corporate advertising and also touching on the politics underlying his brush with American customs – so clearly under that slacker-esque exterior there’s an intelligent and engaged mind hinting at a future when he may be able further anchor his material to his beliefs.
An hour set in a festival is a big step for an act, and Townes still has some of that air of self-deprecating newness about him, but he succeeds in entertaining the room for the allotted time and if he continues to grow in confidence and hone his material, needn’t keep that slightly sheepish feel for long.