Last year when I reviewed Leung’s Comedy Festival offering Lawrence Lueng Wants a Jetpack, l had a call from his agent requesting that I not reveal the ending of his very clever show. It was essentially a one joke show, embroidered with many layers and anecdotes, the denouement being the creation and testing of the said jetpack.
This year Leung has taken on another burning ambition; to be a private detective! In what he describes as a journey of “hardcore whimsy” he leads us on an intensely personal trip to achieve this career ambition.
Along the way Leung reveals himself as the one of the nerdiest schoolboys/young men/adults ever, using his trademark slide shows to brilliantly illustrate his point. He roams from advertising on Gumtree for a case to solve, to observations about television detectives and their brutish names, to a Sherlock Holmes inspired study of body language. Here he sweetly coerces Maisie and Jarrod from the front row to play a body language game called “Steal my Car.” Risking his own little red Hyundai as the prize should he forfeit, Leung attempts to predict which of their clenched fists is holding the car key. First Maisie and Jarrod hold out one clenched hand each in a second round both hold out two gripped fists. Amazingly, Leung explains the techniques involved, scores correctly, wins and saves his Hyundai. “Only three more nights to go!”
Next, Leung requires a victim, a culprit and a mystery to solve. Turning to a dreadful incident at his own twenty first birthday party, he attempts to find the author of the dreadful raspberry cordial bucket on the door prank. Here we are introduced to his gang of four best student friends, Adam, Andy, Nick and Yianni. Initially we see them as rather gormless twenty one year olds with a fetish for pranks, indeed they are involved in a “Prank War.”
After an hilarious re-enactment of the cordial crime, Leung resorts to interviewing the prime suspects. They appear onscreen as Leung takes us through “giveaway micro facial expressions”, clueing us into their guilt or innocence. Useful Lance Armstrong information is evidenced here. Some sixteen years later they all seem to have watertight alibis. After all the evidence is revealed the audience is invited to expose the perpetrator by clap-o-meter. Who can tell? We certainly can’t!
Cue violin thinking music. What does Sherlock Holmes have in common with Lawrence Leung? They both have over ambitious Asian parents.
I will not reveal the perpetrators of the dastardly deed that was the raspberry cordial prank. You will have to go along to one of Leung’s shows to find out.
Suffice it to say, the answer lies closer to home than I expected and the retribution is swift and inordinately amusing.
A charming, gentle yet incisive, very funny entertainment.
Australian Comedy Management presents
Part-Time Detective Agency
Venue: Mt Lawley Bowling Club
Dates: 14 – 17 May, 2014
Part of the 2014 Perth International Comedy Festival