Fans of the Mighty Boosh and The Young Ones should make sure to catch this wonderful piece of absurdist comedy from Australian comic Demi Lardner. Telling the story of Gavin a forty six year old man trapped in his basement and his developing relationship with a customer service assistant. This description makes the show sound relatively normal, but thankfully isn’t representative of the lunacy Lardner has in store.
As you ease into the demented world of Gavin, which suitably gets weirder the longer he’s isolated from the real world. There are demented dreamscapes, eccentric musical numbers and some very hands on audience interaction. Demi literally invades the aisles, climbing over seats to reach the target she wants to draw into Gavin’s surroundings. She’s obviously having a lot of fun doing the show, her relaxed delivery complimenting the surrounding weirdness perfectly. As the show gets progressively stranger she advances into self referential comedy perfectly, choosing just the right moment to remind the audience that it’s won two awards previously.
However, the start has some real issues in the form of just how jarring it is. A sign held high by Lardner with “No Refunds” feeling more like a threat rather than a playful joke. This isn’t helped by repetition of cheap puerile jokes that don’t land with the audience in any way, and makes the first instances of audience interaction where she high fives individual members more awkward than inclusive. This does pass though, and soon gives way for a charming bombardment of fully fleshed out weirdness. When Lardner’s friend Michelle Braiser (star of Double Denim) joins her on stage the results are hilarious, the two have a natural chemistry that flows perfectly in the mania. In short, it’s hard to not recommend this show, the first few minutes are bumpy but after that it’s weird, charming and excessively fun.
★★★★ and a half