darran griffiths review

Darran Griffiths review | Masculinity, race and male fertility with a smile

★★★★☆ Darran Griffiths' Inconceivable demonstrates natural charm, tackling serious topics in a light-hearted manner from start to finish. 


Darran Griffiths is making his Fringe debut with Inconceivable, a show that demonstrates natural charm and an ability to weave a story, tackling serious topics in a light-hearted manner from start to finish. 

Don’t let the surname fool you; Darran Griffiths is an Essex lad. He might have left the Essex behind and now exists in a plane of middle-class comfort (he’s having arguments over fences and making Dad jokes somewhere in Hertfordshire), but the boisterous, laddish Essex charm still shines through. 

For the show’s opening portion, Griffiths tackles race in Essex, family dynamics, masculinity and what it was like being a black man dating women of other races. While it’s all seemingly serious topics, Griffiths’s lightheartedness means it never really gets too heavy. It’s playful.

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However, these subjects are only the preamble to what Griffiths is really here to talk about. The crux of the show is male fertility – or lack thereof. Masculinity and race in modern Britain are both undercurrents present in Griffiths’ day-to-day life and, therefore present in each story he tells. Still, it is fertility that gives Inconceivable its name, and it is this topic that Griffiths devotes the majority of the hour-long slot towards discussing. 

A comedy show should not be a lecture, and Inconceivable never is, but it is lovely to come away from a show and feel like you’ve learned something. In this case, unless you’ve been through the bureaucratic rigamarole and emotional turmoil of trying to conceive, you learn a lot. Griffiths remains funny and just when the subject matter is beginning to get too intense, Griffiths delivers a gag or references something from back in the show. 

Oftentimes this works, keeping the crowd guessing, but on occasion, you can sense what Griffiths is doing: wanting to break the tension rather than letting it fester and then harnessing it. As he performs more and writes more hour-long shows like this one, the fluidity between “story time” and “joke time” will improve. Nonetheless, Griffiths is always engaging and informative, with an emotional intelligence that ensures the story never seems overly insular or personal. It is tender and revealing but nationwide in its scope. 

Darran Griffiths: Inconceivable is playing at Pleasance Courtyard at 16:45 until 27 August. You can view our comprehensive guide to the entire Fringe here.

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