2012 Melbourne Fringe:
• Vachel Spirason in Truth

Posted on 03 October 2012

If any of Melbourne’s comedians can be described as larger than life, it would be Vachel Spirason. He combines the craziness of Robin Williams with the physical prowess of Jackie Chan and Gene Kelly. Sound like an improbable combination? Then you will have to see Spirason to believe him. He’s a stunning performer.

Last year his show Angus, Ecstatic was the talk of the town. He and and his co-creator Stephanie Brotchie garnered numerous awards. His show Truth may attract an even larger audience to his brand of craziness. It’s more accessible without losing one whit of the lunacy.

The premise of Truth (as in the game “Truth or Dare”) is that Vachel has come into possession of a plasma globe and this globe is somehow causing him to suffer from dissociative identity disorder. He blacks out and transforms into a diversity of characters, all of whom are crazy in unique ways. These include a suicidal nutter with a neck injury, a Spanish dancer with a penchant for stuffing more and more roses in his mouth, a psychopathic Southern American, and a Russian exercise instructor.

No matter how bizarre his characters are, at no point does Spirason shy away from his audience. Rather, he speaks directly with them and has them follow him down his particular rabbit hole. When I am directing for comedy, sometimes I find it hard to get big enough performances from people. Spirason bursts onto the stage and sweeps everyone away with him.

The challenge I would like to set Spirason is to do more with less. He has more props than he needs on stage. He has such an expressive physicality, he could easily take a sheet of fabric and turn it into a world of objects in the imaginations of his viewers. It seems like a waste to not explore that possibility.

Truth is an amazing over the top evening. It plays like a parody of an avant garde science fiction film, but no such film exists. This is pure Spirason. Awesome.

Peace and kindness,


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