Punchline recommends Adam Riches Is The Guy Who…

21 Aug

Photograph of Adam RichesWords by Suzy Romer

Adam Riches is a consummate comedy performer who exerts absolute and exhilarating control over his audience. The moment the show begins we are enthralled. He moves among the tables, creating a high-tension atmosphere which crackles with laughter as he unleashes his latest comic creation on one and all.  We never know when we are going to be involved directly and we watch each other’s reactions at all times, becoming tightly-knit in our mutual comedic adventure.

The show opens with an abundance of in-character jokes, ideas turned on their heads and outrageous situations that he can set up within seconds. He gradually explains the inner machinations of a 21st century seducer, a sort of low-budget Bluebeard, who has updated his repertoire of emotional traps to include feminism and popular psychology. At first he is laughably earnest, given to hyperbole and incapable of small talk, but slowly reveals himself as infinitely more dangerous to the young women he targets. Those of us who remember such attentions in our twenties laugh in recognition as he deconstructs each trick until he lays bare the darker intention behind it. His behaviour is perfectly observed and gleefully funny and takes us, with cat-like tread, towards a finale which makes us consider the consequences of manipulation that go unchecked or unnoticed by older, wiser onlookers.

Catch Adam Riches: The Guy Who… at 2.10pm at Underbelly until 26th August.

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