|Mandaddy | Yon|
|Written by Val McFarlane|
|Saturday, 01 September 2012 14:11|
Sex may not be the first thing you think of when you look at Yon – aka Simon Hall, member of musical comedy group Tripod. He freely admits he's no Brad Pitt or George Clooney. It's clear from the start that he knows he's asking a lot when he requests that the audience watch Mandaddy "through the prism of sexy thoughts".
But there is plenty of sex in this, Yon's first show as an individual after 20 years with Tripod, though not generally of the type Pitt and Clooney tend to enjoy on screen.
Through stories and songs, Yon unpicks the tricky business of relationships, from the daily interactions with women that might just lead to something more, to the perils of seducing athletically-built women when you're, well, not that tall.
And he knows that once you've found the woman of your dreams, it doesn't mean an end to awkward moments or anxiety. Can talking dirty keep the spark alive for long-term couples? What do you do when you're both depressed? And how do you cope when your children aren't the delightful little angels you'd hoped they'd be and the tedium of parenthood is driving you mad?
It's all very, very funny and occasionally, extremely poignant.
This might be Yon's first solo show, but old habits must die hard – he still shares the stage with two others, musicians SJ Wentzki and Naomune Anzai. This gives the impression – he says – that Tripod have suddenly become "more beautiful and more Asian". SJ and Nao provide the perfect musical accompaniment in this electronic cabaret.
The small venue is ideal for a show with such a focus on intimacy, with Yon using the proximity to his audience to his advantage. He really engages with those watching, both as part of the script and in response to interjections from individual audience members. Latecomers are welcomed and personally escorted to their seats by the star of the show. Those who duck out – presumably to the toilet or the bar – are asked if all is OK when they return. If Yon was annoyed by what seemed to me to be an unusually high number of interruptions, he didn't show it.
Despite Mandaddy being pretty crude at times (and requiring a language warning on the theatre door), Yon never displays the misogyny so often seen in other male comedians. He might mock some of the absurd things we do for love (and sex) but it's all underpinned by a warmth and affection for the opposite sex.
Yon doesn't have the chiselled jawline or broad shoulders of your average Hollywood heartthrob, but he is funny – very funny – and that is certainly attractive. And he takes being centre stage in his stride, managing perfectly well without the other two thirds of Tripod by his side.
YON (from Tripod)
Co-written and Directed by Fiona Scott-Norman
Venue: Chapel Off Chapel | 12 Little Chapel Street, Prahran VIC
Dates: 28 August – 16 September, 2012
Times: Mon-Sat 7:30pm, Sun 6:30pm
Bookings: (03) 8290 7000
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