Aidan ‘Taco’ Jones is a refreshing presence on stage. Completely at ease and conversational in his delivery, Aidan makes you feel like you’re hanging out with a particularly funny mate.
Do I know Aidan? No. But he reminded me of so many of my friends, and not just because his anecdotes revolved around drunken antics from his early 20s. Aidan has a relaxed charisma which gave his performance an authentic quality, far removed from some of the more polished comedic personas you see on the big stage.
52 Days is based on Aidan’s experiences in 2012, when he decided to keep a weekly journal on a deck of playing cards. Audience members are asked to take a card as they enter the venue. It is on these cards that you can find Aidan’s (almost indecipherable) scribbles, which are then used to prompt Aidan’s anecdotes. In doing so, the audience shapes the content and flow of the show.
Despite having little control over the chosen cards and stories, Aidan maintained a good pace and narrative throughout his performance, often chuckling with such fondness that it left little doubt that the year was a formative one for him.
Though romantic encounters and illicit substance abuse are not particularly groundbreaking topics for a comedy show, Aidan’s ability to blend comedy and sentimentality was unique. He transitioned smoothly between punchlines and thoughtful reflections on love and youth, and he did so in a way that did not come across as contrived. He spoke eloquently about his thoughts on why people hurt each other, and I’ve since found myself dwelling on this particular moment of the show. Aidan demonstrated that comedy doesn’t always have to be outrageous or crude or purely comical.
52 Days is playing at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival until 21 April 2019. Tickets start at $20. For more information or to buy tickets, head to the MICF website.