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Adelaide Fringe '19 Review: Canapés and Cocktails


Adelaide Fringe '19 Review: Canapés and Cocktails

Chelsea Griffith

Evidently highly trained clown and improviser Jeromaiah Detto packs 50 minutes with skillfully embodied caricatures physically and vocally, slick mime, clever improvisation and innovative methods of audience participation in Canapés and Cocktails.


The light which frequently illuminates the audience as brightly as is the stage, establishes the union between audience and performer from early on. Don’t attend if you like hiding behind the fourth wall; Detto shatters it as he bounces off the audience stand-up comedy style, using suggestions for (astoundingly slick and witty) improvised slam poetry and phone calling crowd members within unfortunately truthful telemarketer skits.


Detto’s humour is silly and absurdist, but with piercing cleverness which shines through a variety of characters that range from self-deprecating clowns, to primadonnas who call out audience members with his sharp wit. Jumping on zeitgeists, Canapés is the perfect show for all those between 8 and 28. Older audience members appreciate clever word play and quickness, but the young ones get the most out of pop culture references and the absurd brand of humour critical of institutions of power, that infects YouTube, meme culture and shows like Rick and Morty.


The pace and tightness of the show sometimes falls in the space between performer’s offer for audience participation and audience response; Canapes and Cocktails is best suited to a full, high-energy crowd. When word gets around about this Sydney-based performer however, primary school kids with their families, and millennial uni students unwinding on the weekends, alike, should be packing out this performance for a silver service serving of giggles.


Detto clowns artfully and generously; in a way that shines light on humans, the ridiculousness of the roles we adopt, and our silly interactions, honestly. He improvises vulnerably, frequently plunging himself into the unknown of improvisation and usually bouncing back with an organic quip that stirs the audience. He plays the bashful jester with a wholesome warmth that melts the heart and sends you out of the show on a high, as you leave with the parting gift of a Lindt chocolate…

 …which turns out to be plastic-wrapped cotton ball. Somehow, this symbolises Detto’s humour and smiling-assassin nature in his relationship to the audience. A harmless, fumbling fool with an unpredictably cutting wit.

Performed at the Tandanya Arts Cafe.

Keep up with this up and coming clown and improviser:

3.5/5 stars