Willem Richards’ latest concoction, the one-man sketch and stand up Full Metal Jacket and Other Impractical Fashions, is the wild ride you just don’t want to get off.
Sited in the intimate bowels of North Melbourne’s Metropolitan Hotel, this charming show has you at it’s mercy from the get-go, with Richards setting the tone by launching into a hilariously animated lip synch of Calvin Harris’ ‘My Way’, and making very decent use of his face’s ability to emote in doing so.
From then onwards, the show bounds from piece to piece with no abandon, in a way that’s unpredictable but also strangely composed, something owed to the way that Richards commands the room with ease. There is a wonderful balance to the array of skits, some leaning more towards amusingly relatable slice-of-life anecdotes, and some more as random bits that seem designed to encourage audience participation in the most entertaining way.
The shows strength lies in Richards’ ability to engage and bounce off the audience, which is what makes so many of the skits work. In particular, skits on an in-house instructional staring seminar/competition, on helping make a sad man feel, and on hospital doctors that can only attend to patients not wearing any clothes, are all made because of the audience members feel comfortable enough doing almost anything he asks them to, much to their own equal parts incredulity and amusement.
Full Metal Jacket and other impractical fashions is the dubious adventure you can’t help but laugh along with. A great experience overall.