Who Is Daniel King review at Assembly Rooms, Edinburgh – ‘quirky comedy’
Daniel King isn’t satisfied. He’s comfortably off and he’s recently become a father, but he still feels there’s something missing in his life. Then he wakes up one morning and realises what it is: he wants to be a dancer.
Ed Eales-White’s quirky comedy is about some men’s ability to put their own needs above everyone else’s and place themselves at the centre of every story. It never even occurs to Daniel that his wife may want some time to herself after the birth of their child, so fixated is he on following his dream.
It’s a neat premise and Eales-White’s writing is wryly humorous. As Daniel, he grasps how to get the most comic mileage out of his lines. This is also true of Lorna Shaw, as both Daniel’s wife and the choreographer whose advice Daniel chooses to ignore, because why would he need a teacher when he’s a born dancer?
Ed Coleman is also very entertaining, playing multiple roles as Daniel’s bemused colleague and an earnest marriage counsellor. Sarah April Lamb’s movement direction has all three performing dance steps as they deliver their lines, adding to the offbeat feel of the piece.
The play is consistently amusing in a low-key way and quite insightful about the division of care between some parents, with Daniel’s wife shouldering most of childcare duties, while he remains oblivious.
But it feels quite slight in its current form and in need of considerable development. The ending is also abrupt; despite breaking out the spandex, its big finish falls flat.
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