DEB Talks consists of “D-Displaying E-Exceptional B-Bullshit” by a group of unqualified experts with some very bad ideas. It’s a lampooning of TED Talks, if you haven’t figured that much out, through a series of solo character sketches with no narrative purpose but to make you laugh. Which it does well.
Written and performed by Deborah Ring, who breaks out new hair and a few accesories for each character, succeeds in cracking her audience up from the opening powerpoint presentation introduction. No, I mean it, from beginning to end. Laughs. Lots and lots of laughs. Lots of them. I’m not kidding.
Tastes are going to vary wildly as to which of the character sketches hit hardest. For me, I was less into Ring’s “hot topic” characters (which counted about half) and was far more entertained by the characters who veered away from the controversial topic du jour. Those are the ones with a broader, more evergreen appeal. Personal highlights include the 1920s flapper looking to land herself a man any way she can and the Canada Park Ranger roped into speaking at the last minute.
The show could use a bit of tightening here and there to make it really slam, but it’s certainly no slouch now. If I had one hope for future development, it would be to see slightly more varied characterization. Nearly all the characters had a similar energy within a narrow block, the big exception being Lil Ging, the world’s only ginger rapper (another favourite).
DEB Talks may bill itself as having ideas not worth spreading but they’re packaged in a show well worth seeing if you just want to sit back and laugh for an hour.
But that’s just my opinion and I’d love to hear what you thought. Who was your favourite speaker? Who didn’t do it for you? Join the discussion and let me know in the comments below.