Entertainment / Arts And Books

Genevieve Vieira
2 minute read
21 Nov 2013
6:00 am

Darren Maule’s missing spark

Genevieve Vieira

As a child, I used to watch Darren Maule daily alongside co-host Pabi Moloi on the children's interactive television game show PlayTV.

Darren Maule. Picture supplied

It was a ritual, coming home from school (homework in lap) and sitting in front of the screen to see what the duo were up to. Maule then had a tiny physique and square-rimmed glasses. He seemed awkward, but he was very funny. As corny as his jokes may have been, they were always age appropriate for the show. And with that image fixed in my mind, it’s difficult to imagine him any other way.

Maule went on to pursue a career in mime, trained theatrics, MCing and stand-up comedy. All of these helped to shape him into the performer he is today and after 19 years in the industry, he has decided to put on his first one-man show. It disappoints.

Maule’s comedy sees him narrate his way through all his ups and downs, seeking to show that no matter what troubles you may have, there is always space for humour in life. That’s a great outlook. And there is no doubt that Maule has the gift of the gab and is armed with a vast repository of knowledge to adequately support his ramblings.

However, he tends to get so excited about what he wants to say that he manages to talk himself in circles. He certainly hasn’t had a boring life, but there’s a sense of seriousness to his stories (authenticity unknown) that make you feel guilty for laughing, even though he does. There are random skits, bunny costumes and forced applause that suggest Maule has more fun than his audience. He says he’s survived a lifestyle of sex, drugs and rock ‘n roll and emerged stronger, though cruder.

He’s a brave performer. He is also versatile, combining his skills in acting, comedy and physical performance and getting his sound effects spot on.

The most interesting part of the show involves Maule displaying a number of blooper headlines, such as “one-armed man applauds the kindness of strangers.”

A balloon and confetti drop makes for a grand finale, but it’s not enough to make up for the show’s shortfalls.