Playing the Fool: Joey Page Pretty Boy!

4 ½ stars

Sometimes, reality is simultaneously all too much and not enough. Sometimes, we need to see the world in distorted segments before we can rediscover the wonder of it all.

Sometimes, we need the bizarre perspective of a masterful idiot to remind us how to grasp joy, consume it, and feel it pulsing through our veins. Seeing Joey Page Pretty Boy! gives us the chance to do this.

Image courtesy of Joey Page

Image courtesy of Joey Page

Having fooled the audience before he’s even stepped on stage, Joey Page has the room in the palm of his hand from the outset.

He’s relaxed, playful, and not at all the mysteriously unprepared flake he pretends to be.

Page is an expert in wild extrapolations and ludicrous imagery. He warps comedic devices almost beyond recognition, crafts surreal and glorious stories, and promises a speedboat (experience) to the winning audience member of the night.

Embodying anthropomorphised food, astronauts, and cartoon characters, Page weaves observational humour with improvised comedy and a healthy dose of oddball thinking.

Joey Page Pretty Boy! is a show that takes a mainstream comedic genre and turns it inside out. It’s refreshing and exciting. We’re as equally enthralled during fast-paced flights of fancy as we are in moments when Page is wilfully laconic. Reeling us in and massaging our minds into a state of childlike delight, he takes on even simple wordplay with nonchalant charisma.

Experiencing the folly of this consummate performer’s making isn’t limited to the audience. The venue’s tech is just as likely to be tricked, amused, and affectionately mocked.

The room is heaving with laughter as Page launches from one punchline to the setup of the next monumentally ludicrous joke. Some audience members cover their mouths to muffle their guffaws, others shake their heads while mirthful smiles spread across their faces, and many exclaim in astonishment before dissolving into chuckles.

You’ll laugh, you’ll let out a delighted sigh, you’ll shake your head in disbelief, and you’ll walk out into the night seeing the world through a lens of levity you’d forgotten could exist.

Tickets available from the FRINGE WORLD website.