Randy is Sober
The West Australian Spiegeltent
Review: Samuel J. Cox
Randy has sown his wild oats and decided to grow sage. Doing away with the witty quick-fire banter and musical comedy of those performances he shares with Sammy J (comedian Sam McMillan), Victorian Heath McIvor’s newest offering is a stripped back stand-up about sobriety. Kind of.
Randy’s teetotalism does not dominate the discussion, but is touched upon just enough to keep the title relevant.
The decadent venue packs the crowd tightly together, but, while the knees of the person behind you may be firmly lodged in your back, by some miracle the temperature is kept pleasantly cool.
An understated set saw black curtains conceal the Puppet Master General McIvor, whose remarkable talents injected the well-constructed, felt-faced, purple puppet Randy with charisma, character and life.
The enjoyable, hour-long performance did not induce side-splitting hysterics, but the crowd responded well, showering McIvor with laughter and applause.
Beginning with an elaborate story about Gavin, the Palaeolithic hunter who mistakenly discovers alcohol, McIvor goes on to playfully tease vegetarians and vegans, mock WA’s ridiculous propensity for charging significantly higher prices than our East Coast sibling cities, and lambast the media’s shark fear-mongering (which received the heartiest cheers of the night!). He declared fog the most adorable of natural disasters and highlighted the humour in ‘queue rage’.
McIvor’s attempts at injecting gravitas into the performance when musing upon life felt amiss because the transitions away from the comic material would be sudden and grating.
A few obnoxious punters forgot their manners and derailed the show by interrupting McIvor’s flow but he professionally remained in character. Although this was the opening night of this show’s Perth debut, McIvor has toured this before, which meant the fact he frequently forgot his place was bemusing.
He eventually declared the show a (fun) train wreck, but I disagree. It was apparent that his material was out of order and it sometimes lacked punch, yet it seemed he eventually got all his jokes out and these hiccups will be a distant memory by his next performance.
Randy is Sober ends on January 27