It was 42 degrees today in Perth so any kind of a showing at a Sunday night performance was a compliment to the artist in question. The smallish tent was relatively cool and two thirds full.
Damian Power had more than a few good comedic moments, however his super relaxed manner often came across as under rehearsed, even ill-prepared. It really surprises me to see an experienced comedian refer to notes.
An ironic opening remark about stand-up comedy in an oil-sponsored tent hit the mark with the largely younger male audience. They were also au fait with references to the Gillette ad, (“Be the best you can be”) but there were some uncomprehending faces proving that it is unwise to introduce material “cold” to a mixed age audience. Perth Fringe is the 3rd largest in the world so audiences are bound to be various in years.
The well-read Power spoke about differing political regimes including absolute Communism and the ideals of Noam Chomsky’s regime. He dropped politics like a hot potato when a young man shouted that it had been a 50 year disaster for his native Poland.
Power is a clever mimic and went on to portray his father and grandfather in sharp detail. His grandfather bottling up his war experiences and his father racing through life ticking off experiences, cowed by their consequences.
His brother, Will, (yes, that really is his name!) is the winning driver of the Indi 500 so you can imagine who was the centre of attention at family barbecues.
Power’s themes which he bounced back into from time to time were “toxic masculinity”; passed on from generation to generation, the notion that women were more socially adjusted than males and that a matriarchy was not a bad thing.
These ideas were well illustrated but it would have been a better show if there had been an organized sequence of ideas and stories.
2019 Fringe World Festival presents
Man Puts His Dreams in a Sock
Venue: The Shambles | The Woodside Pleasure Garden, Russell Square, James St, Northbridge, WA
Dates: 18 – 25 January 2019