It’s hard get it wrong when you are having a go at the Yanks. But a whole one man show of it? That’s what I thought I was walking into last night at Steve Lynch’s US OF EH? at the Fusebox as part of this year’s Fringe Festival. I really have to read the publicity closer.
What I got was a masterclass in how respectful curiosity, a commitment to saying ‘yes’ and joy in the meeting of other humans can take you to places you think you might know … until you get there. Armed with a hand drawn map on flip chart and waving his Green Card, Lynch has created an hilarious show regaling the audience with his travels and travails around those United States.
And he says he’s not making it up … not even exaggerating. And I believe him. On stage he is a gracious host. Comically charming and wry, understated in his observations, he tells it how it happened to him and lets you fill in the rest. He really is a funny guy and when he begins a thought, he sometimes stops himself. With that expressive face as punctuation, the audience fills in the gaps and the slow burn of realisation becomes an explosion of laughter as he heads you in the right direction.
He’s obviously a bit of a klutz and that might be part of his charm too. He managed to spill water all over himself and self-described one of his more excitable high fives under stress as ‘uncool’. But he’s got dance chops and he’s not afraid to bust them out during the hour and a half we spend with him. I don’t want to infringe his copyright of his award winning move but its pretty special!
Lynch is a Sydney Theatresports legend and Cranston Cup champion – most recently playing alongside Olympic diving gold-medalist Matthew Mitcham in Celebrity Theatresports. He’s performed at Sydney and Melbourne Comedy Festivals, in multiple improv spin-off shows as well as most recently in regular shows Improv Soap and Def Con 3.
But he is a writer too and it shows in the creation of US OF EH?. With dancing and rapping; video and a slide show; story time and flip chart wisdom, the show rollicks along and takes you with it. His obvious delight in exploring human nature and being around people is infectious and his unique take on his experiences broadens one’s own outlook. Not everyone can link a Green Card doctor cupping their ‘nut sac’ to the unlocking of an iPhone 7?! There is mime there that he gives you as a little image to take away.
And if he does occasionally poke fun at the clichés about America that might actually be true, he’s an equal opportunity observer and what they think of Australians might just be on the mark as well. He will send you home with something to think about us too.
Steve Lynch and his one man show US OF EH? is warm, witty, guileless and terrific fun!
There is one more show of US OF EH? on Saturday 10 September at 9.30pm at the Fusebox within the Factory Theatre complex, 105 Victoria Road, Marrickville.