Following his music-infused cult hit, Calypso Nights, award-winning idiot Juan Vesuvius is back with a brand new adventure in Caribbean music, politics and absurdism. Calypso Nights: Juan, Two? is the second instalment in Juan's mission to heal the world with calypso.Wow. Beautiful.
Juan, Two? is an uplifting, silly, inventive hour of comedy led by Juan Vesuvius, the suavely outlandish Venezuelan DJ who takes the audience on a journey through his world. A world of love, dance and acceptance all proclaimed through the language of Calypso. Part dance party, part modern clown, part history lesson - in Juan, Two? we explore the -mash-up', and what beautiful things are created when music, humans and cultures collide.
Juan Vesuvius is created by Barnie Duncan and Theatre Beating - a company co-founded by New Zealanders Duncan, Geoff Pinfield and Trgyve Wakenshaw (Squidboy/Kraken). Barnie makes genre-bending shows and has toured over the last ten years to the Edinburgh Fringe, Adelaide Fringe, Melbourne Comedy Festival and New Zealand International Festival. If you haven't seen Juan's first show it doesn't matter, Juan, Two? will pick you up and put you down with the same ridiculously inventive hand.
Venue: Roxanne Parlour
Dates: 24 Mar – 17 Apr
Bookings: via Ticketmaster or http://www.comedyfestival.com.au/
Barnie Duncan is an award-winning creator of genre-bending shows who has a long-standing background in physical comedy, ranging from silent slapstick to multi-character body morphing lunacy. Over the last 10 years he has written, directed and performed in a number of festival-hit-shows such as Constantinople, (Winner STAMP Award 2011 Auckland Fringe Festival and Hackman Theatre Award for Most Original Production, 2012) ... him (Winner Fringe Award, Auckland Fringe 2013, and Calypso Nights (Nominated for Best Newcomer, New Zealand International Comedy Festival 2013, Winner Skinny Magazine Fringe Genius Award for Most Original Production, Edinburgh Fringe, 2014).
His theatre credits include Harold Pinter's The Hothouse in Barcelona (2000), The Butcher's Daughter, Whistle Solo, Paniora! and Taki Rua's national touring hit Strange Resting Places. His television credits include Terry Teo, Shortland St, Power Rangers, Outrageous Fortune, Xena and Nothing Trivial. On film Barnie has appeared in When The Man Went South (Tonga/USA 2013) Bliss (New Zealand, 2011), Show of Hands(New Zealand, 2008), and Labou (United States, 2008). Barnie has also been writing absurdist based plays for many years. His play Shit, Ubu Shit! won the 2008 SmackBang Playwrite award and enjoyed a two-week season at Auckland's Basement Theatre. Barnie also DJ's and produces radio documentaries under the cunning alias Uncle Barnie.
Question: How would you describe the show?
Barnie Duncan: Part ethnomusicology session, part cry for tolerance, part DJ experience.
Question: Who is Juan Vesuvius?
Barnie Duncan: A Venezuelan Calypso DJ and maraca expert.
Question: What was the best bit about creating the character of Juan Vesuvius?
Barnie Duncan: When I realised that the capital city of Venezuela is was Caracas, and how beautifully that rhymed with maracas.
Question: How does Juan Vesuvius differ from Barnie Duncan?
Barnie Duncan: Well apart from the obvious things like country of origin and native tongue, there are many, many differences. Too many for one blog. A couple of top examples would be Juan is much happier talking to strangers than Barnie is, and Barnie is nicer to theatre technicians than Juan is.
Question: Why Caribbean music?
Barnie Duncan: Because the lyrics are so smart and funny and cool, because the beat is jumping, because the steel pan is a beautiful sounding instrument, and because all of the superstars of Calypso have excellent names.
Question: Do audiences need to have seen Juan Vesuvius' first show?
Barnie Duncan: No not at all.
Question: Do you have any pre-show rituals?
Barnie Duncan: I high five everyone in the room, slug some rum, and dance to some Soca.
Question: Why did you decide to become a comedian?
Barnie Duncan: Well I don't actually think I am one. I am a performer that makes characters that happen to make people laugh, that is all. I have tried stand up and I am hopeless at it. I just think leaving an audience full of joy at the end of a show is a good thing.
Question: What do you love about visiting the Melbourne Comedy Festival?
Barnie Duncan: Well... I live in Melbourne, so I like that for once I am on tour in a place where at the end of the night I get to go home to my own bedroom and my girlfriend.
Question: Where to next for Juan Vesuvius?
Barnie Duncan: Believe it or not.... South Korea!
Interview by Brooke Hunter