Reviewed by: The Clothesline
Review by David Cronin | 18 February 2024

[Comedy/Clown ~ VIC]

The Bally at Gluttony, Sat 17 Feb, 2024.

Clowning is a universal language, and it is even more powerful when silent. Jeromaia Detto is well into his show before he speaks, and then it is mostly with sounds and gibberish. Detto has us totally entranced with just the raising of an eyebrow, or the twitch of his nose – no red nose here! A series of characters emerge from the mush of Detto’s mind, including the brief dance of a butterfly’s life.

Many of his hilarious sketches involve audience members as willing participants. At several stages the whole crowd accompany the frivolity. He keeps to the core themes of hunger, love and power, and plays with our basic emotions with obvious relish, The music enhances the flow. Quick-fire improvisation peppers the funny scenes, showcasing his lively wit and complete vulnerability.

The comedy is pure and simple, family-friendly silliness. And I am reminded always that the root of the word ‘silly’ is selig, meaning holy. Like all great clowning, Detto dares to make fun of some of our sacred institutions, and he’s happy to take things to the extreme. For life, that means death.

Making the audience part of the show is also taken to the limit, when they become the stars, and Detto disappears. Such intimate dependency on his audience creates a trusting bond, so when he invites us into his playground we freely enter. There we can share the laughter, as he exposes our common human frailties and foibles.