Marcel Lucont Etc. – A Chat Show [FringeTIX]
10:00pm, Fri 18 Feb 2011
OK – so, yet again, I don’t read the Guide properly… I get as far as “Marcel Lucont”, and I scribbled a big star on the page and tapped all the relevant times into my spreadsheet, completely ignoring the “Chat Show” part of the show title.
And it’s an important part of the title, because Marcel Lucont Etc. is – indeed – a chat show, with two guests each night (and, hopefully, a cabaret snippet to round out the evening).
Marcel Lucont is his usual haughty self, mocking the crowd in general for their lack of verbal engagement, reading a snippet of his poetry, and pulling out the same old Marcel Lucont jokes before introducing Mark Trenwith.
Trenwith, as the very first of Lucont’s guests for the year, looked completely out of place in the interviewee’s chair. Lucont’s questions – targeting the most embarrassing thing you’ve put in your mouth, or the most bizarre sexual experience, that sort of thing – didn’t really to offer Trenwith much to work with, though once he admitted to being a bit of a pornophobe the conversation (and mockery) loosened up a bit and everyone seemed a little more at ease. A few plugs for Mark’s shows – Ghost Sharks! and Mr Snot-Bottom’s Stinky Silly Show – allowed additional humour, with mention made of the recent local shark attacks (“any publicity is good publicity,” quipped Lucont) along with accusations of potential paedophilia. Fun stuff indeed, and rounded off with a stare-off between Lucont and Trenwith – Mark lasted a mere 25 seconds.
Abigoliah Schaumaun seemed much more at home sitting across from Lucont, stealing his wine and drinking from the bottle, performing back stretches in her real-life Bikram instructor guise (as also portrayed in her show, Fabulous Abs). Completely unfazed by Lucont’s questions, even managing to cause his normally aloof demeanour to break a little with the mention of a little menstrual blood episode, she was an absolute delight – and hopefully convinced a few people to check out her show. Her attempt in the stare-off also lasted 25 seconds.
Finally, Miss Tinkle and Mr Plonk from Circus Trick Tease performed a snippet of balance and strength work – which was absolutely bloody amazing within the confined space of the Blue Room, with Plonk unable to lift Tinkle to maximum extension due to the roof. Brilliant stuff, and a wonderful end to the show.
This format is utterly perfect for the Marcel Lucont character – his thirty-minute show was absolutely magnificent, but the stretch to a full hour of solo material felt a little bit forced. Here, though, the quick-witted Dubus can play with the character, mixing the mannerisms which make Lucont such a delicious proposition with the personalities of his guests – and that makes for addictive viewing.
It’s pretty easy to tell that this will be one of the go-to shows of the Fringe; the type of show where I’d be happy to see a gap in that 10pm timeslot, in order to sneak in another glimpse of Marcel’s interviewing (and staring) action. And, given the near-capacity crowd tonight (thirty-ish – nearly all of them Marcel Lucont virgins), it’s going to be a pretty hot ticket – Saturday night’s show was sold out. And I would’ve given an arm and a leg to see Sunday night’s show (with Dave Callan and Stevl Shefn & Fatima).
Guest lineups are published here.