The West

Pat Burtscher's Breaking Even
Bok Choy Ballroom
Review: Ella Bennett

Pat Burtscher doesn't want to be in the red anymore, and Breaking Even is his shot at a comedy hour that doesn't leave him in debt simply for his love of telling jokes.

It's also an honest, off-kilter and solidly hilarious presentation of unique solutions to the problems of the world, from an energetic and highly imaginative mind.

Originally Canadian, but out from the UK for Fringe World, Burtscher shared the theory that you should be able to dress your government representative so they truly reflect your values.

That was a joke he improvised along the way to logically breaking down reasons why a rebel alliance wouldn’t work in present-day society; he’s almost tripping over himself to share his ideas and they’ll come at you, hysterical and slightly askew, from all angles.

Even if he doesn't turn a profit, he genuinely wants to connect with his audience.

Burtscher is sharply observational - riffing on facial expressions and walking styles – anything that catches his eye gets a comic spin.

In his head, that spin is as rapid as the cycle on your washing machine; the jokes come out close to dry, if not for his beaming grin. You’re laughing – he’s happy. He seems content to make a bad decision just so he can tell it as a joke later.

He made a good point of sharing, not only by demonstrating but also by encouraging others – repeatedly – to try it out themselves.

He gets a little fresh, but Pat Burtscher has heart.

These others responded at the end by throwing handfuls of coins on the stage, because, evidently, this is the kind of comedian that you want to see break even.

Breaking Even runs January 26-27, January 30-31, and February 1-3 and is part of Fringe World 2013. Tickets are available from

The West Australian

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