The John Conway Tonight show is an oddball comedy night that could be called A Comedian’s Descent into Madness. Conway asks a lot of questions of his audience and delivers a number of non-jokes. From his awkward ‘cat show’, to firing a toy laser gun at someone in the audience, to the three walkouts that happened during his set, (each of which happened in simply hilarious ways) – it’s hard to know what to say about the Australian comedian’s first night at the fringe. Only that it was a very odd and irreverent.
Conway has an electric and infectious mad energy that creates a brilliantly wacky vibe in the Pleasance Dome’s small studio space.
Conway’s anti-comedy routine clearly doesn’t appeal to everyone. But this just makes it funnier for those on-board. In fact the walkouts made it so funny that Conway should hope for them every night. It’s an unusual show, as smart as it is silly and eccentric. Conway has an electric and infectious mad energy that creates a brilliantly wacky vibe in the Pleasance Dome’s small studio space. It’s clear that the larger the audience, the wilder and livelier the night can get.
Partner in crime with John Conway on his ‘journey through Hell’ is the hilarious Ben Russell, the hidden commentator whose gloriously cheesy style amps up the ridiculous nature of the show. Russell revels in the antics as things go from bad to worse, ad libbing jokes as the set goes on. His impersonations are also brilliant. Together the two play an odd tennis match of laughs where your head is the ball.
As the show goes on a sort of nervous mad laughter consumes the audience as everyone begins to wonder just where the whole thing is going. The humour is fresh and lively and so appropriate for the fringe, even if not everyone gets it. Conway says his act is ‘an experience’ and that’s the best way to describe it. Highly recommended.