“If people start saying ‘You can’t do that in comedy’ and you don’t then it ceases to be an art form.”
This is the profound quote in Brendhan’s finale that incites a huge round of applause, right before he closes the show with a hilarious un-politically correct joke about his physically disabled friend.
“The Wild Blue Yonder” takes the audience through a mix of anecdotes and gags, and the laughs start from the moment we walked into the theatre to take our seats. There is a rocket ride on stage; the kind you see outside a supermarket trying to up its game. Brendhan is already on stage filling his water glass, thanking the audience for attending, and pointing to his stage to inform us, “That’s a rocket”. The crowd files in and I start to hear laughter as I write these notes. The show hasn’t even started?! I look up to see a member of the audience riding in the rocket and having a chat to Brendhan while space themed music such as “Ground Control to Major Tom” and “Rocket Man” plays.
Brendhan is well-known for his sharp wit and cutting gags which he demonstrates brilliantly in this show, along with a new approach for him; storytelling. The anecdotes about his fear of flying, dating and break-ups, and the perils of flatting in your forties are loosely based on his life but delivered for the purpose of comedy, not to inform. The audience calling him out on contradicting points of anecdotes told twenty minutes apart prompted Brendhan to explain this – not surprisingly, in a witty manner (“The facts don’t add up because it’s a joke!”).
But that was the thing about this show; the audience as a whole could engage in a loose dialogue with Brendhan throughout the entire show. And even though ruthless hecklers and late-comers are not encouraged, Brendhan’s familiarity with debatable hindrances made him include them in his set and weave in sharp comments (for example, about Glassons and the North Shore) that would unexpectedly become call-backs. Brendhan is quick-thinking and good-natured, even when a heckler busts a punch line just five minutes into the show. Actually, when he speaks of his teenage daughter having her first physical relationship with her current boyfriend and a woman yells out, “Are you sure [it’s her first]?” the audience loses it, he loses it in distressed laughter and gives her a round of applause.
The most innovative of all gags in his act was perhaps his acting of sports (initiated by his habit of occasionally miming cricket strokes when walking). An audience member suggests sailing, which he mimics amazingly, but the most impressive is when a second person suggests sailing too and he creates a completely different mime for it with only a couple of seconds to prepare. Brendhan is a comedian that doesn’t back down and the audience goes wild for it.
I didn’t even realise an hour had passed by the end – in fact, we went five minutes overtime. And those are the best kind of acts, I think, when you are laughing so much the time just flies by. Simply brilliant, is the show summed up in two words. Without a doubt, Brendhan is truly in his own league of comedy.
Who: Brendhan Lovegrove
What: “The Wild Blue Yonder”
Where: Vault at Q Theatre and Loft at Q Theatre
Dates: 10th – 14th May 2016
Show Times: 5:30pm and 8:45pm
Tickets: $22.40 – $28. Book tickets here.
- Unexpected call-backs
- Audience interaction
- Comedic timing
- That one heckler, just stop