At first it’s almost as if George Dimarelos has chosen to counter any preconceptions about loud Australians by opting for the least dramatic stage entrance possible; he’s already positioned by the mic stand as his audience find their seats, saying hello to anyone he recognises from that day’s flyer distribution. This is just a ruse, though; he asks for permission to sneak behind the black curtains to provide his own wrestling-announcer build-up in an attempt to generate some energy in the room. Which, sometimes, he even gets first time round, if the audience is willing enough not to disappoint.
Dimarelos has an genuine eye for everyday ironies, and a nuanced way of putting them into words
Dimarelos’ comedy is largely self-observational in subject matter and conversational in tone; that, presumably, is why he’s so keen to form a fleeting connection with some front-row audience members, by either asking them for ‘fun facts’ about where they come from, or for interesting details about how they met their partners. It’s a risky strategy, though, relying on the audience so early on: nondescript material saps the show of its initial buzz, while potential comedy gold (such as, on the day of this review, the man who was forced to sack his future wife because relationships weren’t allowed within the company they both worked for) easily shifts the audience’s attention away from the man with the microphone.
So, to be honest, this show only really starts to build momentum once Dimarelos’ focus switches to himself: on being an ‘Aussie’ abroad; about his conservative Greek parents; on him being a ‘late bloomer’, at least as far as an interest in girls was concerned; and what happened when he first got drunk at the age of 15. This is when he explains what he believes to be his biggest problem; the fact that he tends to overthink things – whether it's how to respond to a text message (especially from a woman) or the social etiquette in male changing rooms.
At least when it comes to his onstage persona, Dimarelos is precisely the kind of handsome, dark stranger that most people wouldn't mind chatting with in the bar. Once he finds his stride, our only potential worry as an audience is that he might trip over the mic flex coiled around the floor beneath his feet. Dimarelos has an genuine eye for everyday ironies, and a nuanced way of putting them into words – even if his habit of always giving three increasingly bizarre metaphorical examples to explain a particular point can get a tad predictable. That said, he undoubtedly ends his show with a very well placed callback, which not only gives a proper full stop to proceedings but also confirms just how well thought-out everything's actually been.