A Curious Day [FringeTIX]
Justin Sane @ Bosco Theater
11:30am, Sat 13 Feb 2010
It’s a pleasantly warm day – but the Bosco is sweltering inside at 11:30am as we wait for the performance to start (to the tune of a country version of Devo’s “Secret Agent Man”). The crowd of ten – only three children in that lot, much to the surprise of performer Justin Sane – sweat profusely… well, I do, anyway, and I was near the sole source of cooling for the space. Luckily, the children were (a) cheerful, and (2) the friendly, participating type.
Justin appears, and jovially takes the small crowd in his stride. Targeting the children, he explains that his dog Trevor has gone missing – have we seen him? – and then uses Trevor’s love of playing ball as an excuse to launch into some juggling, his love of music to play some piano, and his love of magic to… perform some magic. So – there’s some juggling, some stumbling physical humour (including a great zit-squeezing surprise), a bit of juggling (three balls & his hat), and some magic (a few rope tricks, and some great cup & ball decoys).
When Trevor, his canine friend who’d been missing for most of the show, finally appears, he’s a cute puppet – and Justin’s ventriloquism is as bumbling as his general demeanour, but he still manages to charm us with his ventriloquism trips (“oooh, that was the wrong voice,” said Justin. Trevor turned his head to him and retorted “they’re onto you, mate.”) And Trevor’s wry delivery was pitched perfectly; as a character, he was perfectly used, and a great spark to the programme.
If I had to use one word to describe this show, it would have to be “charming”. With a child-targeted show such as this, there’s every chance that the delivery would be pitched too low for adults; but the majority of the crowd were in this elder category, and seemed to enjoy it immensely. I certainly did, anyway; Justin’s charm and humility (and innate sense of humour – when his smoke machine failed to function in the heat of the Bosco, he managed to get out of it with great faux fluster) was especially endearing, and he certainly has talent and a cohesive show to work within. Great fun, criminally underseen.