Have you ever felt lost, or as though you are in a strange place surrounded by strange people? If you have every felt like that, and you want a comedy show that you can relate to, Ivan Aristeguita’s Juithy will really speak to you. With a healthy mixture of pathos and humour, Juithy will leave you feeling both lighter and contemplative.
One of the strongest things Aristeguita does is have a couple of intertwined themes running through the show. The threads of the different themes at first seem a little disconnected, but they subtly work their way together to make for a very satisfying conclusion. Whilst they won’t all be spoiled here, he does offer insights that only a successful Venezuelan immigrant can offer into life in Australia.
He is also very insightful into the Australian condition, as well as, possibly unintentionally, offers up some radical political and social philosophy, hidden under layers of comedy.
Although there were some moments which made elements of the audience a little uncomfortable, the reception was highly positive. The laughter was roaring on most punchlines, and the empathy and sorrow was palatable during the slower moments of the show. It is the sign of a strong performer and writer when they can bring the audience on a powerful emotional journey, taking them from the heights of ecstasy through to a low of sadness, and then back again.
Additionally, the inclusion of personal stories really resonated with many in the audience.
Although with stand-up comedy there is not much visually going on, Aristeguita manages to make the stage work for him effectively. The venue at ACMI is not small, but it does feel intimate and the closeness of the stage to the performer brings the two closer together. This works well for the show, as it makes everything much more impactful. That being said, because of the effective lighting, there is still enough distance to not be drawn into the show, even if you are in the front row and sitting barely a metre away from the action.
I did find the show a little repetitive at times. Although he wasn’t a “one-joke comedian”—because of the nature of the themes and how they interlock—some of the jokes certainly come across as “variations upon a theme”. Aristeguita’s style is also fairly similar across the show, although he does do some very impressive changes to keep the audience on their toes.
Overall, a strong performance, despite the slightly repetitive nature of the jokes. Aristeguita cuts close to the bone in a good way, and his ability to take the audience on an emotional journey is highly laudable. Definitely check it out if you can.
Ivan Aristeguita’s Juithy runs until 23 April. Tickets start at $20 – head to the MICF website to buy.