Larry Dean: Fandan
Larry Dean is currently touring the country in his show ‘Fandan’ containing all the comic talent now associated with this growing Scottish performer. He walks to the stage without pretension, no bottled beer in hand (like others), immediately displaying his down to earth credentials in a Glaswegian accent, with rapid fire delivery only stopping half through his first story to remind us ‘I’m gay by the way’. At this, his keen followers fall about laughing – as if we didn’t know. But as a newcomer to the Dean series, this helps set the plot.
The heart of Larry’s ability is the gift of making his real life anecdotes into hilarious comic routines, allowing us in to see his failings and insecurities, with honest analysis of situations he has found himself in, brought to life through humour. He actually sends up comics who observe things, he just tells the tale. Never do you hear him say ‘Have you ever noticed … ?’
His stories stretch from incidents while working in Dubai to adventures in Pret a manger alongside two murderers. All true, but only a skilled artiste can find the comedy in what sometimes appear dark episodes in his life. The tools Dean uses to lighten such moments are excellent comedic voices alongside his bright blue eyes used to wonderful effect. We get introduced to his Mum who apparently is coming to see him do stand up for the first-time next week. Also, online relationships and being ‘ghosted’ on Facebook, which for those of you that don’t know what that means (like me) Larry explains. An educational show for those wanting to enter the 21st century world of dating.
Dean is not afraid to go off on a comedic tangent when telling these tales or dealing with hecklers which he looks completely comfortable with and handles the situation with so much charm and innocence, the mothers want to tuck him up in bed with a glass of milk and a cookie. Even when a female got up from the front row to give him a loving hug, the shocked Dean managed to get us laughing even though for a moment he looked startled.
Off stage Larry is one of those comics who says little, an introverted mouse. Those not in the business would say ‘What ? … you a comedian’? But as soon as his foot hits a stage the ultra-ego takes over and we are introduced to a natural performer, who just loves stand-up and showing off.
Larry Dean’s continual growing improvement makes you wonder what he can achieve? His attitude has always been first class, indeed when someone shouted out ‘what you doing after the show’?’ Larry politely said ‘Well I’m off to my bed, I have to be up at 7:00am to get to Nottingham’. In other words, he wouldn’t be in the bar, staying up to all hours, listening to sycophantic chat and continual complements which over time have often destroyed many a comedian through actually believing in it all. Trains are missed and TV studio staff kept waiting. Dean already has several awards and nominations, toured much of the world receiving the same accolades abroad as he has in Britain. The challenge for him is to become Scotland’s leading comedian. He has the personality to stretch generations if not always at present the material.
Geordie comic Ric Warton supporting Larry, shows the same promise he did ten years ago, but lacks the changes of gear and material which would move him up another level. One hopes he can discover these gifts so essential to the development of any act.
Matthew Willetts MA is the Director of Comicus who has over 35 years experience in television, film, theatre, and comedy club/cabaret entertainment, working as a performer, screenwriter, producer and agent. He lectured at Southampton Solent University in Comedy, Screenwriting, Television, Theatre & Radio. Matthew can sometimes be seen and heard on TV & Radio and often quoted in the national press and media publications. As well as speaking regularly at festivals and industry conferences, he has been a judge at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and the Montreux Television Festival.