Sight Gags for Perverts (3 stars)

This article is from 2013

Sight Gags for Perverts

credit: Ed Moore

Zig zagging through a warped world

John Kearns is a very strange man. Judging by the fright wig, false teeth and opening ‘musical’ number, you know this isn’t going to be conventional stand-up. The Guardian review that he mentions here is right on the money: there are no jokes per se, more a series of uncomfortable moments strung together with random non sequiturs and very weird confessions.

But somehow it makes for a vaguely coherent show fuelled by the audience’s nervous energy. It may zig and zag but everything eventually comes together in a well-crafted, warped kind of way. While his character is a grotesque exaggeration, you get the impression there are kernels of truth hidden amongst the insanity. There are echoes of Charlie Chuck and Angelos Epithemiou here, but John Kearns is darker, more intense.

The quality does dip but there are moments of utterly sublime absurdist genius (particularly a lonely trip to Berlin and a dance routine based on … well, to say too much would ruin the surprise), while it all ends with a chaotic, strangely life-affirming moment of male bonding soundtracked by Bruce Springsteen.

The Voodoo Rooms, 226 0000, until 25 Aug, 5.05pm, free.

Sight Gags for Perverts

  • 3 stars

‘Sight Gags for Perverts’, is how one critic described Stanley Kubrick's Dr Strangelove upon its release. Stan cherished this, writing it down on a list headed Titles in Search of a Script. It was never made, this won't be either. I've got a little wig and some false teeth, a few things to say about Berlin Zoo before…