Thursday, April 05, 2012


Dr Professor Neal Portenza in Choose Your Own Portenza

Imagine every bizarre Japanese game show you’ve ever seen, distil its essential strangeness into a beret-wearing, overly-rouged, white coat clad madman, and you’ll be some way towards understanding the manic appeal of Dr Professor Neal Portenza, aka comedian Joshua Ladgrove.

For his latest show, Portenza has equipped his audience with small electronic voting devices, with which they’re invited to select the outcome of certain events – such as which guests arrive at Portenza’s birthday party. Voting has little real bearing on proceedings, but may provide more nervous types with a sense of security as the night devolves into anarchy.

Portenza will not be to everybody’s taste, and a director would help focus his lunacy – the show’s energy fails in an extended piece of audience interaction – but if your idea of entertainment is a children’s party on acid, then Choose Your Own Portenza! is the show for you.

Rating: 3 stars

Tuxedo Cat, until April 10
Mon & Tue 8.30pm, Thu-Sat 8.30pm, Sun 7.30pm

This review originally appeared in The Age on Thurs 5th April 2012.

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