Just like Christmas, the show depends on everyone being in the spirit to have a good time. The audience is very much a part of the show, with more than just the usual crowd work; there are characters to be, treats to be had and tasks to perform. The more you embrace the chance to ‘Do Your Bit’ the better, and this seems to be a theme for the show as well as a clever way to involve the audience. We spend the show enjoying the interactions with the various audience members as they are integrated in the events, sometimes with results that make him ‘furious’ for trying to ruin his lovely April Christmas Day.
The spirit and determination of Montgomery for us to all do our part and all have a good time is reminiscent of the desperation and stress that surrounds Christmas for the host and the family, friends and complete strangers involved. He had some unplanned moments of stress himself with the usual hitches that plague opening night, such as musical cues going awry, costume malfunctions and props not quite being what they needed to be. Montgomery’s tabled turkey was a masterpiece, and his costume left nothing to the imagination. Frockling on stage through the various costumed characters, he revealed as much about Christmas as he did himself.
Throughout the chaos of the character sketches and audience interactions going on around him, Montgomery stayed calm and had us laughing so hard my cheeks were aching. This show is completely a credit to the fantastic performer that Montgomery is. He’s wonderfully dedicated to the roles and carries the show with a distinct awareness of it’s flaws, which sees you laughing with joyous abandonment of conventional comedy. Through mishaps and unplanned events he held our attention completely; I don’t think there was a single person in the room who would have missed seeing the show to revel in how he dealt with it all and developed the show quite literally in front of our eyes.
From the Christmas carols, to the tree and the history of Christmas, nothing is safe from Montgomery’s hilarious treatment. Guy MontgoMERRY Christmas is a unconventional trip down memory lane with all of the joy of Christmas brought to life by the passionate determination of a man in not very much clothing. You could tell that Montgomery was having the time of his life on stage, and it made the show the most entertaining show I’ve seen in a long time, if somewhat hard to review.
While not the most polished piece of work, it was opening night, and it is a comedy piece that suited the improvised style it was delivered in. It was completely appropriate to it’s theme, after all, when has Christmas ever gone exactly to plan? I laughed and laughed and enjoyed myself immensely and I would highly recommend going along to let your inner child free to revel in the ridiculousness on stage and join in both vocally and physically at every chance.
You can see Guy Montgomery’s show Guy MontgoMERRY Christmas at Fringe Bar, at 8pm from now until Saturday 30th of April.
Tickets available here: http://www.comedyfestival.co.nz/find-a-show/guy-montgomery/