Steve Bugeja jokingly points out to his audience that the ‘mouldy, dirty’venue (cave with chairs and some draped silk on the ceiling) we are sitting in is ‘an emphysema risk’ due to the heavy, dank air but perhaps he should have kept that little morsel of information off his sharing plate until the last night of his gig run so reviewers like myself don’t mention the health risk. (oops, did I just do that?)
Did you know (and I do (show-off spoiler alert!))) the best thing about Japan isn’t it’s rjokans, excellent eager-to-please customer service, stunning Buddhist temples and Shinto shrines, great bicycle network, amazing cherry blossom trees in bloom, peaceful feng shui gardens, intricate origami, geisha girls traditional dress (though I’ll let you know now, the origins of the Geishas are a bit of a shocker).
No oh, no. The best thing about Japan, says Steve Bugeja, is not the eager-to-please Japanese service but the eager-to-please toilets that service you. They shoot jets of hot water to clean ‘right up there’. Not an unpleasant experience.
“I went for a poo but came back with a colonic” he says in his distinct queaky voice that sounds like it has never quite made the puberty break and Bugeja stretches that characterisitic as far as he can to comedic effect.
Then there’s girlfriend Lindsay and boy do we know a lot about their relationship. He’s apparently punching above his weight (from where I’m sitting he looks very slight – like the Mr Muscle man in the tv advert) and is at odds as a boyfriend and best friend wanting to inform her that she can do better.
Most of the dialogue runs with Bugeja on a plane journey with the most annoying, mouthy passenger sitting next to him in a no-escape situation on a 14-hour flight while he worries and runs through every scenario which he is sure will lead to being dumped thanks to a ‘we need to talk’ text he receives from Lindsay just before the turns on his aeroplane mode on his moby and so can’t respond.
It’s very laugh-out-loud funny and delivered well. The only weak part mid-show is the ‘grandad’s no use with technology’ jokes which run on a bit long but with the rest is well written and rehearsed. Steve Bugeja’s doing everything else right. I’m sure if he chooses to do a lot more of the tv circuit he’ll be well received.
review by Susie Daniels
Steve Bugeja is playing Almost every day at 3.30pm The Fancy Room, the Caves at Edinburgh Fringe until August 26th.