March 01, 2004

Comedy Notes

Filed under: Archive,Comedy

Adelaide Fringe March 2004

Murray Bramwell

There is nothing like a visit to a psychic to give your brain a tweak and that is exactly what Michael Santos is here to do. Or maybe he will just do your head in. With Sidekick Bernard and not-very-subtle audience plant, Raymond, Santos (aka David Sant) is the Mindbender, reaching into the audience to tell us – Raymond’s radio mike permitting – our names, addresses and our deepest thoughts. It is hilariously cheesy with mime gags, palm readings, lounge music and big jewellery.

However, when Michael accidentally crosses over in a heart-stopping stunt gone horribly wrong, he is guided back by angels and for a short time now has… real powers. He can guess words taken at random from books, do card tricks – is this guy for real ? In the end he can’t even stay in his chair despite his handcuffs. Peepolykus have a great little show under the Umbrella Revolution. And don’t forget to look out for the bit about Bonko, the gypsy bear.

Dave Hughes’ career might be High Voltage with his TV, radio and live appearances but thankfully his stand-up persona is still the same laconic, socially disreputable slacker from Warnoombool who first played the Fringe as an unknown comic six years ago.

Hughes lays out his jokes like penny bangers with long fuses. He has a soporific drawl and a querulous manner – what’s that all about ? he intones conspiratorially. The heat, water restrictions, Lleyton, Adelaide as a city, Guy Sebastian, collecting trolleys for Coles, his new found celebrity, girls. Standard stuff apparently, but Hughes makes seamless comedy with his endearing scepticism and his underdog intelligence. No wonder an extra show has been added on 6 March. His comedy is a sure thing.

Commissioned by The Adelaide Review but not published

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