Superstar disc-jockey Juan Vesuvius brings his turntables to Auckland to deliver the greatest and strangest DJ set you've ever experienced.
Explore the history of dance music with a bona fide musical legend. But why does he need so much towelling? And what really happened between him and David Guetta? Vesuvius is an eruption that cannot be plugged.
The hit show of the 2017 Edinburgh Fringe arrives in Auckland this May for 2 nights only after sell-out seasons in London and Bristol.
Created and performed by ex-Auckland actor and comedian Barnie Duncan, now living in Melbourne, this show about club music is going to be making its Auckland debut in an actual club - the infamous Whammy Bar on K'rd.
Walking out of the venue at the media showing, I messaged my friends a series of quick messages that provided an overview of the show:
"COMEDY/DJ SET. COVERING THE HISTORY OF HOUSE MUSIC"
"HEAVILY INVOLVES THE GAY LIBERATION MOVEMENT AND FULL FRONTAL NUDITY"
"A LOT OF AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION"
Looking back over those messages, that provides the wrong impression of the show, but at the same time provides the right impression too. Unlike other stand-up comedy shows, that take place in theatres with proper lighting and seating, Juan Vesuvias' show takes place at Auckland's underground K' Rd concert venue, with a ragtag mixture of seating. Seating around 80 people, the shows are intimate; with the entire audience within 10 metres of the stage. This will be either a good or bad thing depending on whether you consider a high level of audience participation to be good or not.
"I Am Your Deejay" is a mixed set, combining an audial history of House music, (shown through a DJ set on the turntables, with Vesuvias displaying a selection of house music and artists throughout history) with a series of practical, energetic, exaggerated recreations of the events (late in the set, the introduction of ecstasy is significant to the history of House music, and is where full frontal nudity is involved in the performance).
The mix of audial and visual performances keeps the set interesting, but will mean a good vantage spot is required. There is a lot of action going on at the floor level, but the closer you are to the front, the higher the risk of being called out on stage to take part. The evolution of the music itself is rather interesting and in itself was enjoyable and educational. But this is a comedy show, and the music history on its own does not qualify as comedic, thus the introduction of the exaggerated sexualised anecdotes.
A performance full of sexual innuendo, music, and loosely related practical gags. If you are not comfortable with the over-the-top bold personalities that are often associated with the LGBTQ communities, then this show may be more awkward and uncomfortable than enjoyable. But if you are comfortable with your sexuality and the ways of the LGBTQ community, then this is a lively event that provides an interesting change to the usual stand-up. With 3 out of 4 shows already sold out, all that remains is the encore performance 10pm on Thursday.
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