We saw Danielle Ward perform her Lies stand up show for the first time in the dark upstairs confines of Dempsey’s pub in Cardiff (side note… it’s the same place that Los Campesinos are talking about when they sing “everybody’s twisted by design” by the way). She was funny, but it was obviously a work in progress at the time. She was just beginning her warm up to performing the show at the Edinburgh Festival, so she was still experimenting with the jokes and the order of the set.
However, we saw her again a few weeks later at Kings Place, just North of Kings Cross Station in London, by which time her set had changed a hell of a lot, condensing down into a ball of burning comedy. Despite the fact that her telephone prop sound link-up didn’t work, she put on a frenetic show that combined eye socket buggery, Thai politicians and a story about how her first sexual experience had been a late bloomer University fumble in which she had tugged a chap off into a bin. Who said romance is dead.
The highlight of the show, however, had been building throughout everything else and it was the comedy equivalent of the twist at the end of The Sixth Sense where you find out that Bruce Willis had in fact been dead for some time and sinisterly haunting poor Haley Joel Osment on the sly (we saw it coming to be honest – that scene where he’s sexing up Demi Moore at the pottery wheel was a dead give-away).
Amongst all of the stories she had been spinning she kept coming back to one about her friend in the Sea Cadets; how she had trained with him and secretly loved up, how they had taken flying lessons together and finally how he had died sadly at sea trying to save her. It isn’t until the very end of the show that the penny drops when Danielle slips on a pair of aviators to the tune of Top Gun‘s theme song and you realise the sheer genius of the show.
You will probably never get a chance to see Lies for yourself, as it has now finished (we wish we’d had the opportunity to see it at the Edinburgh festival for a hat trick). However, if you ever get a chance to see one of Danielle Ward’s future performances, it’ll be well worth the homo-erotically charged, misdirectional, mixed-up journey.
Danielle Ward, Lies stand-up show review: 4/5