Ryan Good has brought his well-regarded show ‘Cosmonaut’ to the 2016 Melbourne Fringe Festival and it does not disappoint. Cosmonaut is “a show about love, relationships, broken hearts, male feminists, and what happens when Cosmopolitan magazine becomes your guide to romance”.
Ryan has sincerity to his story telling and audience engagement that conveys honesty peppered with legitimate care. Without this level of engagement, some of the more risqué elements of his performance might miss the mark. Ryan genuinely wants the audience to enjoy themselves and even take away something from his performance. His eagerness to have the whole audience involved is testament to this.
A fair bit of the show stems from Ryan’s interaction with one audience member in particular. This interaction with the eager participant (who was almost too eager) helped create a unique experience, which led to many laughs throughout the evening. I do have some concerns about how much of the show’s success is reliant on this participation, particularly if the audience member seeks to dominate or conversely, does not play ball. However, this element of the show continues to feature in it’s global run, which suggests it is either successful night-to-night or Ryan has mechanisms in place to deal with less than helpful participants.
Focussing on Ryan’s performance, it is his charm and engaging stage presence that particularly won my praise. He mixes up strong monologues with cheeky anecdotes and at times, animated and theatrical prop use. While there were one or two jokes/props that felt unnecessary, Ryan commits to a bit and is prepared to take one for the team for laughs.
Cosmonaut hits some poignant points but also does not get ‘preachy’. The show is entertainment and if you let it wash over you and you enjoy the sillier parts for what they are, you’ll have a fun time.
Ryan is performing ‘Cosmonaut’ at the Fringe Hub (521 Queensberry St, North Melbourne) from 16 September to 1 October. Ryan is performing another Melbourne Fringe show ‘Stupid and Contagious’ (starting 24 September) as well as writing/directing ‘Ménage’ (see the links for more information).
For more on the man himself (ie. Ryan Good) and his shows check out my chat with the ‘Cosmonaut’ here.