Anthony Jeannot is not really unaccept-a-bubble. If anything, he’s accept-a-bubble. Or just a bubble. In fact, he’s downright bubbly. He’s pleased to be there, he’s glad you made it, and his enthusiasm quickly spreads around the little room.
Everything about the set, from the location to the jokes, is more reminiscent of having coffee with a friend from uni than a stand up comedy show. Tuxedo Cat is a ‘pop up’ comedy venue in a disused building in an alley off La Trobe Street that appears for both the Melbourne International Comedy Festival as well as the Melbourne Fringe. It’s so full of ‘up and coming’ young artists that ‘hip and happening’ can be used to sincerely describe it.
The Urchin Room, with its red velveteen curtains and thirty-odd seats, is like a Lynchian parody of a comedy room. When Jeannot pops onto the stage though, the pretension falls away.
Over the next 50 minutes Jeannot ponders the key moments of the last few years of his 26 year long life. He’s not a hundred percent comfortable on stage yet, but his fidgety hand gestures and shuffling feet are endearing and as he warms up his physicality becomes more natural. The show is framed, as the title suggests, by bubbles, and Jeannot’s desire to reach out and share a moment with other lonely people via the fragile and impermanent medium. As a result, his reflections are bittersweet, engaging and relatable, but not laugh out loud funny. There are giggles to be had, but they’re the encouraging sort that complement storytelling rather than the punch-line kind that follow comedy. Still, Jeannot leaves his audience smiling, surrounded by bubbles.
Anthony Jeannot is Unaccept-a-bubble is on at 9:45pm at Tuxedo Cat until Sunday October 5. Tickets are $15 or $12 concession, available at the venue or www.melbournefringe.com