PRESS for Brainchild


★★★★  "an evening of discovery and laughter."



"a very funny production...He (Lees) can hold a look that gets giggles just from a slight twitch of his face. There were whoops, guffaws, feet stamping and plenty of deliciously bemused silent curiosity.. Lees plays with the normal, gives it a spiritual-origami fold, a twist and a turn and suddenly a move or a mundane sentence is an act of comedy genius.  Here less becomes more and Lees is a master of simplicity, of bare minimal clown. It's warm hearted, not cruel. The audience involvement is inclusive.. Lees plays silent comedy with ease and skill, tinkers with verbal timing and makes a phrase into an effective, longer routine.. It goes for the funny bone that doesn't always know what has tickled it. Lees makes members of the audience laugh in spite of themselves. That's impressive comedy."



"I was delighted to fall into an hour of utter foolishness masterminded by a mad genius named Dan Lees.  Why a genius?  Well who else can play jazz like Dizzy Gillespie, do mime like Marcel Marceau and explain the universe like Carl Sagan.  And all within an hour!  Why mad?  Because he is quite obviously crazy as a loon.  You will laugh and you will laugh again.  You will groan.  You will cheer.  And you will laugh once again.  It was obvious that every member of the audience was having just as good a time as I was and as Dan was.  I don’t want to give anything away about the holy cheese or the stand-up horse or the country and western mega-star (who attended last night’s show!).  Just go see this if you like your humour broad and twisted.  A delight from start to finish."



‘Play’ is a marvellous thing that, once past a certain age, tends to be dismissed and diminished. Thank you to Dan Lees who, in true clownish tradition, brought back ‘play’ for an hour to his entire audience. Mixing gentle interactivity with sounds, mime, shape and costume, Lees tenderly tickles and lightly wrong-foots us into a place of unselfconscious playfulness and laughter, using – amongst other things – mime building blocks and nonsense jazz language. An engaging hour reacquainting us with the sweeter side of fun.



"It all starts so… normally:..looking charmingly eccentric and sounding soothingly British. He starts juggling character-filled hats and wigs (a la plate spinning). Something about the surety of his actions makes me immediately think that he’s not just a comedian, but also a(nother) Gaulier-trained clown.. His absurdist comedy is gentle enough to be universally approachable, but odd enough to be uproariously funny; Lees’ characters are completely barmy (without being abstract to the point of nonsense), his audience manipulation a joy to behold (and be part of)… Brainchild was one of the discoveries of the Fringe for me."

Pete Muller, Festival Freak


PRESS for The Honky Bonk Comrades:


"Honky Bonk Comrades are harnessing a fine history of absurdity in this near-wordless hour..

The trio, bedecked in ramshackle army attire that parodies the slick military machine, all foster a beguiling, wide-eyed innocence which welcomes the audience into their warped world..

Between them, they adopt three archetypes. The innocent idiot (Neil Frost), the mischievous idiot (Ben Whitehead) and the nominally-in-charge idiot (Dan Lees), and laughs come from the interplay between them, from the low-budget ingenuity with which they perform their sketches, and the way they convey their meaning through their gestures – and meaningless language – alone.

It’s done with charm and patience, and the punter is never the butt of the joke..

their best sketches demonstrate the imagination of children rummaging around with household items. Their outer-space adventure, a loose spoof of Gravity done with absolutely no gravity at all, is a special delight. Their valiant but futile attempts to sustain the suspension of disbelief, despite the cheap malfunctioning props (one of them even dressing up as a cardboard meteorite) is irresistibly funny. 

Several attempts at a ‘grand finale’ evoke messy slapstick – shaving foam and all – before settling on a silly game that again welcomes the whole audience in on the fun.. could have them snapping at the heels of Dr Brown or The Boy With Tape On His Face."

Steve Bennett, CHORTLE









TWEETS for Brainchild