Friday, 15 April 2016

Lessons with Luis, ACMI Games Room, 2016 Melbourne International Comedy Festival

"Lessons with Luis" is an act that's been around since 2012 (when it won Raw Comedy). It's an odd character piece that kinda has to be seen to be believed - a naive home-schooled kid in a daggy jumper attempts to entertain and educate the audience with songs, dancing, interaction and the expensive medium of giving the audience lollies. Originally, it was a three-piece, (with Luis as the centre, his dad Len and his brother Luelin supporting) but for this season, they're confined to video (in this case a VCR) and Luis is alone except for his various props and costumes (and the VCR, which is running almost throughout and which Luis interacts with regularly).

In the small arena of the Games Room (capacity is 35), it's a very intimate experience, almost like spending time with a kid doing a show in their backyard. And this has a very different tone to most conventional standup - the awkward sincerity of it kinda gets to you and means you feel sentimental attachment even as you're laughing at how daggy it all is. The show swerves into some reasonably deep emotional territory but it's kept very much at a suggested-level rather than indulged too much. And it's funny and strange and slightly heartbreaking and in just under an hour you've had a full emotional experience. Well worth a watch.

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