Cavern Club, 22 Allen St, Te Aro, Wellington

28/02/2017 - 03/03/2017

NZ Fringe Festival 2017 [reviewing supported by WCC]

Production Details

The Man is an intellectual vigilante, whose domain is Speaker’s Corner in Hyde Park, London. His show is a ballsy mixture of theatre and standup; a manic, breathless but nuanced rant on modern hypocrisy in a stream-of-consciousness style.

Preposterous. Outrageous. Hilarious. In the one place where the fool is king.

“5 STARS – Nothing short of astounding.” (The Mumble, Edinburgh)
“5 STARS – This is not only one of the most unique shows at The Fringe, it is probably one of the most important, and has to be seen by all.” (Adam Wilson, EdFest Mag)

“5 STARS – The Man has produced an outstanding hour of introspection that no one was expecting, but leave appreciating. A five star journey.” (Paul Hyland, The Edinburgh Reporter)
“Somewhere between The Joker and a 21st Century Facebook Oscar Wilde.” (Kate Copstic, Top UK Comedy Reviewer)

The Cavern Club
28 Feb-3 March 2017
TICKETS: $20/$12.50

Theatre , Stand-up comedy ,

1 hr

A show of substance to check your moral compass against

Review by Patrick Davies 01st Mar 2017

This show absolutely lives up to its blurb in the Fringe programme. ‘The Man’ (who wishes to remain anonymous) is the love child of a piece of lego and Batman’s Joker: anarchic, playful, soul-destroyingly funny.

If you’ve seen the poster around you won’t be surprised that The Man appears in full yellow face, a grim black line for a mouth which by the end seems to creepily bleed down his chin as if his subject matter has corroded his mouth as his ideas have corroded our reason. His fantastic black pvc tails are set off by a bowler hat and jester’s stick: a yellow smiley-faced ball, and constant companion whether to converse with or beat the air like an agit(ated) prop.

The place is Speakers’ Corner, legendary meeting place for ideas and conversation since 1886. The Man has one foot there and the other with us in the Cavern Club which is easy as The Man is actually a god.  Far be it from me to give out why this is so, as it is heavily interwoven into his topics.

As he explicates his ideas which cover the usual suspects – religion, television, technology, war and our social structure; this is Speakers’ Corner after all – his manner is part jester, part ringmaster, part provocateur.

The show is a very well-constructed agitation of the ways we live, bringing our hypocrisies and idiosyncrasies of ‘modern, civilized life’ into focus and skewering our belief in them. The Man delights in raising these ideas before us but never in a smug way; as he says, “Questions are better than answers, because they lead to more questions,” and this is what Crellin does so well.

He places questions in front of us that are simple and honest and highlight our lack or laziness of hindsight and foresight. Our compliance and complacency are put on display. What makes this a clever deal is that The Man is never smug, just mugging at us, and not with a political zealot’s rant but with bubble-popping humour. The use of reincorporation and the mashing together of subjects bring new perspectives to old ideas. Each sly jape sets up and delivers some sometimes unexpected laughs that have a raw edge you can cut yourself on.

Crellin’s performance is worthy of the stars this show garnered overseas. Constantly talking, moving, wheeling and dealing his way through stories, he bounces in and out of accents clearly. He also maintains our focus and, as he has much experience under his smiley buckled belt, can vamp to great effect when needed.

This is a show of substance and one worth checking your moral compass against – especially if you have an iPhone.


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