After years of group-based work, Sydney comedian Jeromaia Detto breaks out at Adelaide Fringe Festival with his first-ever solo show 'Canapes & Cocktails'.
Give reality the flick for the night and let your imagination run wild as Jeromaia pulls you into a world of reckless play to explore the idea of 'what if..?'.
“For me this is a new territory; getting into solo shows is something that's been on the cards for the past few years,” Jeromaia says.
“There are ideas of playfulness and always asking the question of 'what if this happened?' or 'what if this person existed?'. It's something we all do, maybe on our own time and in our own heads – to create those characters and bring them to life is what the show is all about.
“That idea of playfulness is something that I think is lost in society at the moment, and the show I'm doing and all the shows that I do, every time I get up on stage to perform it's always in a playful way just to try and inspire that sense of wonder, whimsy and discovery.”
Though new territory, it's certainly not a new schtick for Jeromaia who has extensive history and training in clowning and improv. In fact, it's his grounding in improv that has facilitated the development of 'Canapes & Cocktails'.
“[Improv is] a big part of it, you've got to use your imagination to make things more interesting,” he says.
“Improv seems pretty boring if it's two people just sitting on a couch watching TV, so you think to yourself 'what if one of those people took their shoes off and they're wearing really complicated shoes to take off?' Let's see what that would like and how could we play with taking off complicated shoes and what can we discover from that.”
Jeromaia says his guiding comedic philosophy is to find interesting things in the normal and mundane, leading to the development of engaging characters in absurd situations.
“There's a safety manager who comes in and interrupts the show; instead of doing the safety report himself he just asks the audience what's wrong with everything, and using their responses he engages them and tries to make his safety report work, just through audience suggestions.”
Then there's the strange case of Leonardo da Vinci making some pretty outrageous statements of ownership:
“Leonardo claims to have invented the fidget spinner,” Jeromaia manages to say with a straight face. “He also claims to have invented Bitcoin and Tesla, and I've just photoshopped Bitcoin and Tesla logos over some of his old sketches. It's a lot of fun.”
A recognised improv 'all-star' who has trained internationally in both Chicago and France, Jeromaia puts his talents to work portraying a broad palette of diverse characters in 'Canapes & Cocktails'.
“There is a slightly nervous yet somewhat endearing and unassumingly sassy talent show contestant called Eugene, he makes an appearance presenting his abilities,” Jeromaia says.
“There's an Eastern European artist who is tasked with making the audience beautiful and rearranges them in certain ways to make them as beautiful as possible for a photo opportunity. Then there's three different French waiters who are a through-line for the piece and pop in every so often.”
'Canapes & Cocktails' is on at Tandanya Arts Cafe 13-17 March.