Brasch House @ Belgian Beer Café
8:00pm, Wed 15 Mar 2006
I read the description for Diablo in the Fringe Guide…
We at Diablo refuse to describe our show in fifty words. However we will take this opportunity to voice our opinion of Chickens. We think they're stupid.
How could you not want to see a show that describes itself like that?
Diablo turned out to be a dual-standup gig featuring Chris Wainhouse and Paul Brasch (this team was known as "Diablo 2" - "Diablo 1" being Paul Brasch and (the enigmatically-named) Davo). As far as standup goes, it covered a the usual topics - how crap Adelaide is, et al - and also chased a few unusual threads… the recurring cavemen jokes (mobile phones, pigs) were… odd.
The thing that differentiated this performance from other standup was the attitude, the venom. The lads weren't afraid of making enemies or alienating the audience… when they decided to rip into Quentin, they really tore into him, good taste and political correctness be damned. Wainhouse, in particular, took this approach to the extreme - he was all piss and bitterness, no sugar.
Well, bugger all people found a reason to see Diablo in action; the few stragglers from the previous event in the Belgian Beer Café who hung around to see this show gratis soon left in disgust. In fact, by the time the guys onstage asked for the house lights to be raised, there was no-one sitting in front of Wainhouse - which actually seemed to spur him on.
As for me… I fucking loved this show. The groan-worthy bits (mostly Brasch) were more than eclipsed by the sheer nasty diggery of Wainhouse's "Smiling Nazi" comedy-fu. Some of the jokes broke through the boundaries of good taste and went roaming into areas of maybe-free-speech-isn't-all-it's-cracked-up-to-be, but it never stopped being funny. Sure, you felt guilty as hell for laughing, but… you were still laughing.
Post-gig, I bumped into Wainhouse and congratulated him on what I thought was a great show. He grinned, genuinely gentle in person, and proceeded to explain how Diablo was essentially an experiment to see whether the three of them (Diablans?) could work together. All I can say to that is: yes. Yes, you can.