The Great Hall, The Arts Centre, Christchurch
23/01/2018 - 27/01/2018
Randy has been busy this past year traversing the globe, getting nominated for awards and making appearances on various online streaming networks.
Now he’s decided to take his entertaining and unapologetic opinions on the road again and peddle them at any venue he’s still allowed access to. If you’re looking for pure, unrefined Randy, look no further than Randy: Live.
“The Script for this show is so razor-sharp and so sublimely funny.” The Scotsman
The Great Hall at the Arts Centre
23 – 27 January 2018
Theatre , Solo , Puppetry , Comedy ,
Spontaneous wit adds to ‘razor-sharp’ script
Review by Tony Ryan 24th Jan 2018
Another night, another show. It’s just not possible to get to everything that Christchurch’s World Buskers Festival has to offer, but tonight it’s Randy Live for the first of his five-night season, and what a comic highlight he proves to be!
Randy is a purple-headed, bulging-eyed stand-up comic. I’m reluctant to call him a puppet, so realistic and convincing is his animation, and so totally human is his body language and spontaneous physical reflexes. Even if he makes it pretty clear from the start, that he can’t actually see us, so convinced are we by his reality that, on one or two occasions, when audience members try to visually ‘show’ or point to something as part of our interaction with him, his reminders (by waving his hand mockingly in front of his face) that his bulbous eyes can’t see, are side-splittingly hilarious. And if anyone is so spoiler-inclined to believe he actually has an ‘operator’, it’s clear that he can’t see us either – Now that’s what I call a challenge, however self-imposed!
Probably Sam Milligan is a very funny stand-up in his own right, but Randy adds so much to the humour and inventiveness of this act that it becomes exceptionally and even more comically effective.
He proves a master of improvised repartee; so much so that fifteen minutes into the act, I think the whole show is going to be based on his audience interaction. Tonight we have Graeme, Vicky (along with an old boyfriend and her husband Craig) and Casper. Graeme, in the front row, provides material for the first chaotically funny ten minutes, but Vicky, further back in the theatre, takes over when her phone rings and Randy insists on knowing who it is – all so brilliantly and comically managed! I hope that subsequent audiences are able to provide equally successful source material, but Graeme and Vicky are only on tonight – so glad I’m here!
Randy has only just flown in from Melbourne today and, while he has clearly done a bit of homework about Christchurch and New Zealand, there’s a running theme throughout the act, of becoming familiar with some quirky differences between Oz and NZ. The starting point for this is a couple of anecdotes from his Air New Zealand flight today; these have tears of laughter running down my cheeks! (Note to self: Must stop using exclamation marks at the end of every paragraph; it’s just that they seem to help reinforce my reactions to this show.)
There is other prepared material, of course, and the story of Morgan is such a far-fetched tragicomedy that its apparent truth and reality have us laughing with abandon and cringing with disbelief. But even here, references to Graeme and Vicky remain ongoing gags that add immeasurably to our amusement.
When the show reaches its end, it seems impossible that an hour has already passed. And even the way Randy handles the matter of collecting tips at the end of the show becomes a delightful part of the comedy.
The thing that remains most astonishing is his ability to create top-drawer humour on the fly, both in content and delivery. A promotional quote in the festival publicity from a review in The Scotsman states: “The script for this show is so razor-sharp and so sublimely funny”, but ‘script’ is hardly the right word for the spontaneous wit that makes this show so special.
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