Review: Dave Gorman, With Great PowerPoint Comes Great ResponsibilityPoint, York Barbican, October 10

DAVE Gorman is not your standard stand-up comedian.

He is more scientist than artist, he loves the minutest minutiae, theories and statistics and he conducts experiments rather than explorations. He doesn’t so much tell jokes as tell home truths, drawn from highly detailed, even forensic stories, and rather than being a showman, he is the brainy, bearded nerd from next door with a love of tech and check shirts.

He made his name with Are You Dave Gorman?, invented his own alternative computer game in Googlewhack Adventure and penetrated deepest with this 2013 to 2017 television show, Modern Life Is Goodish.

Now comes his latest live show, With Great PowerPoint Comes Great ResponsibilityPoint...and a laptop and projector screen that will be in constant playful use, so vital that it forms the electronic partner in Gorman’s “double act”.

Gorman’s schtick this time is to “deliver detailed analysis of those parts of life you’ve never stopped to think about before”...and in truth may never think about again. He is discussing off-work, sickbed, stuck-at-home, rainy-day, pulling-a-sickie daytime TV, no less. Frankly, a cultural desert, a magnolia wasteland, depressing as the last biscuit in the tin.

Not so for Dave Gorman, who is never happier than when becoming vexatious over what passes blithely over the rest of us in the drudge of a day of pottering. In the tradition of comedians and psychologists, he plays the outsider, spotting the loops and the loopholes in patterns of behaviour.

He has asked expressly that no-one should mention the precise content of his show, to avoid spoiling it for those still to see it (he plays a second show in York tonight). However, Gorman disciples won't be surprised to learn that favourite themes from Modern Life Is Goodish come to the fore: online behaviour; celebrity click-baits; family matters; and the troubling interaction of technology and the rapidly changing media.

Here is the nub of With Great Power. Alarmed by what he perceives as the online media's descent into tittle tattle and entrapment to make you click that mouse, he makes a plea for a return to honesty. Out must go all that "stuff", the fake news, the tricks and downright lies, the exaggerations, the misinformation and the disinformation.

That, however, is down to us, we of the twitchy fingers and lust for gossip, not knowledge. "Put it away, you d**k", he scalded someone with their mobile phone out. That sentiment would apply to his overall philosophy, but Gorman has a more discursive way of making his point. If you like his effervescent style, you will laugh with him; if not, you may find him a hectoring lecturer.

Smart, dry-witted. unpredictable support act Nick Doody joined him at the piano for the second of two Found Poems, a kind of greatest hit of Gorman's shows, and I must mention his now notorious Giraffe gag. I thought it went on a bit long.

Charles Hutchinson