Josh Ladgrove aka Dr Professor Neal Portenza. Picture: Supplied

COMEDY
Dr Professor Neal Portenza's Interactive Goat Hour
4 stars
Midlandia - Square Space
Review: Craig McKeough

Neal Portenza is a bit of an idiot, as he'd be the first to admit. His show is silly, silly, silly with a liberal dose of stupid.

The Melbourne performer careers through a chaotic hour of bad jokes, poor props and malfunctioning technical aids, all without the benefit of any sort of narrative flow.

He argues with the audience, shouts at his techie and at himself as he stumbles around the stage and fights with the microphone.

Yes, this is probably some of the best fun and outright insanity you'll experience at this Fringe.

It seems like chaos, but underneath it all, there must be a plan, surely?

The title suggests interaction with the audience and there is plenty of that. It also suggests goats, but thankfully there are not so many of them.

The interactivity is what keeps the show bouncing along. Portenza rushes among the tables, seeking out someone to chat to, to tease, perhaps provide a shoulder massage, or steal a handbag.

Of course, a couple of people have to get up on stage to help out, something that strikes fear into many an audience member's heart.

But the opening night crowd at Midland entered into the spirit of the event with such gusto, there was little sense of discomfort or embarrassment.

It was all good, unpredictable fun and the audience gave back as good as they got, especially when hit with a deluge of plastic balls, or asked to rate the performance so far.

The interactivity also involves the audience being handed electronic remote control devices which allow them to vote on the course of the show - interactive and democratic.

At other times, Portenza prances around the stage like a horse wearing not much more than his red underwear, undergoing "amazing" costume changes right in front of us and doing his best, but not very convincing, Sean Connery impersonation.

And then he has the nerve to demand that we don't applaud because it just wastes time.

The whole thing may well seem like a waste of time but the best advice I can offer is to give it a try. Just strap yourself in and enjoy the madness.

Neal Portenza runs until February 9 at Midlandia and then from February 12-16 at Noodle Palace, Piccadilly Arcade.

The West Australian

Popular videos

Compare & Save

Our Picks

Follow Us

More from The West