Opening a chaotic can of comedy

By Adam Tonking

Fabian Lapham’s Reality Can Blow Me is a one-man show more in the style of a stand-up routine than anything else. He takes to the stage, nervous and awkward, and explains self-deprecatingly that there is no linear narrative, that the nature of reality will not be discussed, and nothing will get blown.

Then he amuses the audience for the next fifty minutes with various shtick; from observational humour, to one-liners, to sight gags, to comedic songs… Everything is thrown at the audience to make them laugh.

And it worked. While Lapham’s show would have been much better suited to a larger audience than were present the night I attended, our small group were laughing and applauding heartily at Lapham’s various antics. His running gags – dance routines commenting on the action, and impersonations of impersonations – scattered throughout the show were received particularly well.

My personal highlight was his series of “Tiny Stories,” including a novelisation of Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth, told as a noir detective story. His songs were clever and well-written, if not well-executed, and build to a great finale – every show needs a good ending.

Lapham is clearly a talented comic, but the constant shift of pace as he switched between different styles of comedy was at times confusing for the audience as they struggled to keep up. The gags were genuinely funny, and giving the audience more time to absorb them would have helped.

Lapham’s self-referential commentary on the progress of the show seemed a slightly dated device, and at times appeared apologetic for the show’s lack of structure. However, there were enough entertaining moments in the show to make it a fun night out, and to suggest great things from Lapham in the future.

Fabian Lapham’s Reality Can Blow Me is on at The Butterfly Club, 204 Bank Street, South Melbourne, from Thursday 1st March till Sunday 4th March at 9pm, or 8pm on Sunday. Book at

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