Prufrock and Me
The Canon’s Gait, Venue 78, 232 Canongate
6th-11th, 13th -23rd August 13.15-14.15
Review: Kyle Cooper
Self- proclaimed ‘attendant comedian’ Dave Williams presents an hour discussing Eliot’s ‘The Love Song of Alfred J. Prufrock’. ‘Attendant’ as in ‘not Prince Hamlet’ – Williams talks about that teenage awkwardness and shyness which never quite leaves: the gut-wrenching fear of addressing the opposite sex, imagining yourself as part of Genesis, and the feeling that there’s a party going on to which you haven’t been invited. Williams relays how ‘Prufrock’ has been a compassionate touchstone when negotiating this mire of social awkwardness and self-doubt, finding in the titular character a protagonist from the same mould as himself. While the show is very personal, the situations he presents are general enough to be understandable by most people – summoning the courage to stand up in front of people, choosing how to present yourself and overthinking the minutiae of social situations; how do you set your face in a photograph? Williams ties this in with a mini biography, relating his entrance into the comedy scene and how ‘Prufrock’ continues with him in this.
Gently self-deprecating and quietly witty, Williams presents an intimate show which says something about why we read poetry and how we engage with it. Williams quotes directly from the poem, so knowledge of it won’t be required, although at fifty five minutes the show is perhaps a little lengthy. If you have an interest in poetry, people, and the link between the two, it’s an enjoyable way to spend an hour.