Fringe Review: Cleanish

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By Jania Williams

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Luke Benson is an award-winning comedian, writer and voice-over artist. The Melbourne based entertainer hails from Newcastle UK and his (still very strong) accent together with his 6 foot 7 inch stature has earned him the title, ‘Geordie Giant’.

I arrived just in time at the outdoor ‘tent’ in the Park and took my seat at the front. The goliath Benson was already on the small pop-up stage telling tales and getting ‘lol’s from the audience.

I have a thing for accents and I was mesmerized by his from the start. It didn’t matter what he was talking about really. I was captivated.

The youthful forty year old gave off an innocent, loveable ‘dad jokes’ vibe. As he entertained the audience with stories of his life – some funny, some sad. He reflected on his life’s challenges – of being different, standing out due to his height, being raised by his father and more recently relationship struggles and navigating becoming an adult generally.  But there was not a trace of self pity. Benson’s optimism and ability to see the humor and the absurd in the darkest of experiences is delightful and inspiring.

The fifty minute show flew by. It felt as though I was with one of those really fun people who you could just listen to all night. You could never get bored. Quick witted and a laugh a minute, Benson also provided some entertaining impersonations and some very impressive accents (a personal highlight).

Cleanish, is true to its name. Benson sneaks in the occasional ‘unclean’ gag here, some mild sexual innuendo there and a drug reference or two. Otherwise, the show is overall quite wholesome. The show explores some mental health themes – depression, anxiety and substance use – with a side of comedy of course. Cleanish did not disappoint! A gifted entertainer and a show well worth the outing!

4 Stars

To book tickets to this show, go here.

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