He appears from the darkness, shrouded in an orange sheet. As he stumbles through the audience, knocking over chairs and tripping onto the stage, the sheet comes off to reveal a man in an orange hooded poncho, orange speedo, and orange socks and shoes. This is Poncho Orange. And in his self-titled show presented as part of the Melbourne International Comedy Festival, this sensual Latin lover explores all things silly and absurd with his captivated audience.
The creation of Dani Cabs, Poncho Orange is a number of sketches around clowning, improvisation and audience participation. Cabs does well in creating a safe space for his audience where everyone feel comfortable in being part of the show. Some of the highlights come from the audience's unexpected actions and responses, and then seeing Cabs' surprise to this.
Cabs attempts to create a show where we can laugh at the moment and not have to process much. As such, there is simplicity to the structure of the show that exposes some entertaining moments, like the way Poncho seductively devours an orange, or the unique way he pronounces certain condiments. The laughs are plentiful and you're never quite sure what is going to happen next with Poncho. I don't think anyone imagined his fly swatting sketch would turn into quite the spectacle that it did.
In order to sustain the world that Poncho is creating, Cabs needs to remove the visible set list from the wall that he refers to throughout the show. Even with the momentary glances that occur, the audience is immediately reminded that this is a performer, taking them out of the moment and losing the momentum he has so carefully garnered.
There is potential for Poncho Orange to become a festival favourite with his 'cheeky boy' smile and antics. Over time, Cabs will be able to determine what acts really support the character and which ones can be refined. However, Poncho Orange is still an entertaining show and a great way to spend your evening with some good old-fashioned silliness.
Click here to read my interview with Dani Cabs.
Venue: The Tuxedo Cat, 293-299 La Trobe St, Melbourne.
Season: Until 23 April | Mon, Tues, Thurs - Sat 9.45pm, Sun 8:45pm
Length: 60 minutes
Tickets: $22 Full | $17.80 Conc | $13.60 Tightarse Tuesday
Bookings: MICF website