Edinburgh Fringe Review: Dominic Holland, Voodoo Rooms

There were plenty of young turks at the Edinburgh Fringe this year, but it was good to see that there were some, how shall we put this, more mature performers reminding us that form is temporary, class is permanent. Mark Steel was there showing his son, fellow stand-up Elliot, a thing or two, with a show about his recent marriage split that was highly personal and highly pithy. Doug Anthony Allstars confronted mortalist and multiple sclerosis. Meanwhile Dominic Holland's son Tom has decided not to follow in his father's footsteps and is now a film star best known as Spider-Man. Smart move on Holland Junior's part opting for a different career - he'd have to be pretty good to be a better stand-up than his dad, whose show was one of the finest displays of classic observational comedy I witnessed this August. A version of this review first appeared in the Evening Standard here.




Dominic Holland’s Fringe return after a decade is a family affair, with his wife and sons ushering in the audience. There is one son missing though. Tom Holland is filming in Montreal with Star Wars' Daisy Ridley. He is also Spider-Man.

Eclipsed is essentially an account of how a quite successful father was overtaken in the fame game by his superstar son. It is a hilarious tale of good things happening to nice people. Protective dad Dominic kept taking his son aside to prepare him for disappointment. Tom kept triumphing. 

Holland senior tells his story with an engaging mix of high status and self-deprecation. He points out that he was once hot too, being crowned Best Newcomer in Edinburgh in 1993. "Happy days," he grimaces, before adding that this is a free gig and he will be standing at the back after the show with a bucket and asking for donations. 

He is being modest. The room is rammed and the non-stop laughs underline how fickle comedy can be. Holland, now 50, never made it big yet his skilfully delivered routines about painful prostates, school run calamities and men not dressing their age would fit snugly onto Live at the Apollo.

Maybe not cutting edge but he deserves a second act. No TV producer can say he is past it. He is younger than John Bishop and Micky Flanagan. And as funny.


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