New Zealand’s Barnie Duncan has created a perfect comedy persona; he’s believable enough as a character but ridiculous in so many perfectly pitched ways. Using a brilliant blend of wordplay, confused translations and some sublime physical comedy, Duncan shows that he’s deserving of comedy superstar status. However, this review isn’t about the very talented Duncan; it’s about his living, breathing, God of Clubbing creation, Juan Vesuvius.
One of the most entertaining shows I’ve seen and I’m gutted that I didn’t have any cash on me to buy his mixtape.
Inviting us to join him in an exploration of the history of house music, Vesuvius has brought the vinyl, set up his decks and has many, many soft towels. But, most importantly, he has managed to distil the joy of music down to an hilarious and genuinely enlightening hour of music and dance.
Regardless of music taste, the tunes are great and our DJ flies through the set with ease. There’s many a comedy aside, interesting backstory and a great deal of dancing throughout, and Vesuvius includes the audience from the outset. Not in a way that feels forced or uncomfortable, he just invites us to have a dance, get involved and experience the thrill of a smooth transition between tracks. He also teaches us to appreciate the complex and fascinating history of a genre of music that is often disregarded as being just for drugged up ravers.
On more than one occasion, I’m standing at my seat, throwing some shapes to the beat and laughing at the onstage antics of Vesuvius. It’s a stand-out performance and his commitment to the role is award-worthy.
If you’re a fan of comedy, music or history then this show has all three so you can’t lose. Juan Vesuvius: I am your Deejay is one of the most entertaining shows I’ve seen and I’m gutted that I didn’t have any cash on me to buy his mixtape.