Melbourne’s infamous Fringe Festival is notoriously left of centre, frequenters know to expect the unexpected. I was a little nervous before the lights dimmed (for him and myself) on Willem Richards’ one-man comedy outing Full Metal Jacket and other impractical fashions, we were an intimate gathering and they can be tough.
As Willem began my awareness of the crowd dissipated, his opening was a simple piece of comedic lip-syncing to Calvin Harris’ My Way; now a song I will never hear again without seeing his bouncing grin and explosively emotive face.
The closeness of the crowd proved a testament to the show’s ability to entertain regardless of audience response. All who attended laughed and Willem used the small audience to his advantage, taking moments throughout his performance to address every member at least once. He flashed between scenes and skits, drawing on topics like Brexit, and a deep-seated love for his Nutribullet.
The venue – a perfectly hipster underground function room in North Melbourne’s Metropolitan Hotel – was suited for a show like this and allowed the performance to remain personable.
Willem Richards’ contribution to the Fringe is joyously entertaining and his use of audience participation was the highlight of his act for me. Be prepared to offer coy judgment on his bird impressions, take an object from his box of feels… and don’t be too surprised if he asks you to remove your clothes - don’t worry, the joke still works if you keep them on!
VENUE: The Metropolitan Hotel, 36 Courtney St, North Melbourne
DATES: Monday 25 Sept – Saturday 30 Sept (6x shows)
TIMES: 7:15pm (50min)
TICKETS: Full $18 / Conc $15 (17-30 Sept), purchased online from Melbourne Fringe.
Check our event calendar for full event info.