It took a bit of research to find out who is actually behind the purple puppet. Heath McIver is the unsung name that had an audience gasping with disbelief at the audacity of the material and heaving with laughter at the witty, politically incorrect statements forthcoming from Randy.
The stalls were full and the banquette seating around the perimeter of the Spiegeltent had scattered occupants. I will take any coming bets that by tomorrow morning this four show season will be a sell out. Perth is a talking town and this is a cracker of a show.
The audience was gobsmacked at the level of professional showmanship. They roared their approval.
At the banquette I sat in were two short blokes and a jolly, very tall sheila, none of whom had probably ever set foot inside a performance venue. They had encountered Randy on you tube. What a fabulous thing is the Fringe; introducing new and younger audiences to theatre, music and shows. There are dozens of young, eager volunteers in Fringe T-shirts helping and directing patrons around the ever increasing venues for the 450 shows this month in Perth. This will ensure we have a future fulsome supply of arts interested audiences. People who will be open to theatre experiences, as audience members and some even as performers.
But back to the bumptious, irrepressible Randy. Transported to Palaeolithic times we meet caveman Gavin, who after a futile hunting expedition, sits down under an ancient fig tree and eats an elderly fermented fig. The first alcoholic experience in the history of time! It’s downhill from here on in. After a clever lightning tour of drink history we arrive at the present, and sobriety. The jibes of drinking pals to “just have one”, the name-calling, the difficulties of touring sober lead to an hilarious comparison of Australian cities and their differences. Perth (“Why did we not follow through with secession? We could have charged people anything we liked. $6.50 for a latte. No problemo!!)
It was interesting to see how different topics went down with the local audience; shark baiting lines, airport queues and delays, supermarket self-checking lines. All were greeted with joyous recognition. References to “How would Jesus deal with this?” were cleverly exploited. Randy is a non-believer it seems, but it didn’t deter his audience one iota. This is an extraordinary tour-de-force by a brilliant performer. An hour of brilliant, witty, stagecraft. See it before he decides it’s too hard to keep going!
Laughing Stock Productions presents
RANDY IS SOBER
Venue: The West Australian Spiegeltent – The Pleasure Garden | James Street, Northbridge, Western Australia
Dates: 24 – 27 January, 2014
Part of Perth Fringe World 2014