Calypso Nights is a one man show by the talented Barnie Duncan.

Barnie wowed Tauranga Arts Festival audiences with his show Constantinople last year and has taken Calypso Nights overseas. The show won the Skinny Fringe Genius Award for the most original show at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

And original it is. He plays a crazy DJ named Juan Vesuvius complete with ruffled calypso shirt and wide red cummerbund which is used to hold his selection of maracas. He uses his two turntables to show the difference between calypso music and other styles of music. Somehow with the change of a vinyl record he turns into his smoking alter ego who flirts with men and women in the audience and speaks in Spanish as his character is Venezuelan.

The sound was excellent in the Exhibition Hall at Baycourt and of course the great mood lighting for DJ Juan to set the scene. Then there is the wild maracas playing which made me remember the Topp Twins manic spoon playing and watching a Split Enz concert at the old Town Hall with the band in their hand painted suits and Noel playing the spoons.

But I digress, which is kind of like the show. It was a laugh out loud, tears rolling down your face experience. ‘Juan’ has a comic face with shades of Manuel from Fawlty Towers where an eyebrow raise can say so much. His take on Calypso music and oral sex being linked was completely crazy and many of the links between subjects were amazing weird and wonderful all at the same time. Using old vinyl record covers to synch with a song was hilarious. You didn’t know what was coming next and there wasn’t a dull moment.The beat of the Calypso music was at the heart of the show and at the end it was a dance party with his character hugging most of the audience.

Great fun and the best hour or so spent at Baycourt in ages.

Regular contributor to ARTbop,  Diane Hume-Green reviewed Calypso Nights at Baycourt Community & Arts Centre, Durham Street Tauranga.


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