Calypso Nights: Juan, Two?
Irresistible Latin charm with music, madness and malaprops galore
This article is from 2015.
For much of Calypso Nights’ opening, its host, Venezuelan DJ Juan Vesuvius (think Tony Ferrino but with a looser grip on English), only uses two words: 'Edinborg' and 'beautiful'. As he applies them to various objects around the room and repeats them ad infinitum, it quickly becomes apparent that those words don't mean what he thinks they mean.
This delightfully silly show is a surreal medley of music and comedy, although music isn't quite as integral as its title would suggest. Juan's apparent speciality is to mix together two wildly contrasting songs to create something new and beautiful. But when he's colliding Snoop Dogg with Phil Collins, the results are predictably messy.
Juan also has a weakness for chutney which – for no particular reason – sends him into an hallucinatory trip. And it's during this glorious sequence that an initially uncertain audience properly embrace the stupidity. Whether he's educating us on the tribulations of baby rhinos or confusing incense with incest, there's an infectious childishness to proceedings and the show finishes with a flourish that has everyone wanting to join in. Juan is a delightfully bonkers host and it's impossible to resist his Latin charm.
Assembly Roxy, 623 3030, until 30 Aug (not 17), 9.30pm, £9–£10.