Barry Morgan’s act rests heavily on double entendre. If you don’t find puns on the word ‘organ’ funny, his hour slot won’t be your thing. Weirdly however, that doesn’t mean you won’t find yourself laughing.
Barry himself seems in a state of permanent delight throughout. It’s hard to say which brings him more delight, playing the organ or playing on the word ‘organ’. While we watched his bejeweled fingers lovingly caress the keys of his Hammond Aurora Classic on the projector behind him, his face contorted into an open-mouthed grin. Occasionally blowing kisses at the audience, Barry invited us to be as enraptured by the music as he is. The attempt is strangely compelling. With his chirping Australian accent and unquenchable enthusiasm, Barry buttonholed the audience. It’s impossible to take your mind or eyes off him.
The sunshine continues when Barry stood up from the organ for some organ-themed stand-up. Barry’s breed of Southern Australian humour is at times outrageously unsubtle. In the slideshow used to illustrate Barry’s choice childhood memories, photos of sausages rudely adorned with pineapple slices weren’t the only squirm-worthy feature. This, however, is the only aspect of the show that could be called clichéd. Barry himself is unlike any other performer I’ve seen. His moustache, sideburns, and memorably healthy head of hair, combined with a faux naivete reminiscent of Johnny Depp’s Willy Wonka make him irresistibly memorable. He is also fantastically camp: organ playing is occasionally put on hold for a spot of modeling. There was giggling all round.
Though amused, the atmosphere never particularly relaxed. Some shoppers were even sufficiently weirded-out to actually walk out, catalyzing a moment of discomfort from our seemingly unfluffable host. Barry did, however, quickly recover, - ‘Come on Barry, get it together, darling!’ - and mostly, the audience’s unease was slickly exploited. The reaction of Barry’s victims to the question, ‘What’s your postcode?’ is, I suspect, a guaranteed source of laughs night in, night out.
Barry Morgan’s show is grotesque but undeniably funny. When he lifted up the ‘organ cam’ to his face, granting us something akin to an oversized Skype with his nostrils, teeth and ‘tache, I laughed uncontrollably. Barry’s world of organs is an unlikely niche, but one he fills expertly.