Anthony Menchetti: Ants Pantz

Note: This review is from 2006

Review by Steve Bennett

This is a lovely little show from an engaging performer who can weave a spell with a story, sing a bit, play keyboard a bit and made the hour pass in a trice.

Anthony Menchetti is from Perth, Western Australia, the most isolated city in the world, where the dominant male culture is that of the bogan ­ a kind of macho chav. Not the place to grow up gay, as his father decided, by sending him to gay conversion school to be 'cured'. This sounds like a tragedy waiting to happen, but told in Anthony's light, dry and unaffected tones it's a very amusing tale, which comprises only part of the show.

He gives us a life in episodes, the school, his daft dad and his crazy notions of import and export, his staunchly Catholic and humourless mother, parental divorce and re-marriage, meeting his first boyfriend, being tracked by a private investigator, the crushing banality of office life and getting fired from a string of menial jobs. Each chapter is separated with a musical sting or an appropriate song, much like inter-titles in a silent film, providing commentary or exposition.

You would think he'd have his work cut out to keep us interested in this low key life, but in fact he paints a vivid picture of the key players, he seems like the calm centre of a whirlwind of eccentrics.

The humour comes from his dispassionate, delicately irritable descriptions of human foibles ­ the office email exchange about the etiquette of capitalisation, and who started it first is gently hilarious ­ and the manner in which he draws the threads together, in an completely unstrained way makes for a quiet and entertaining show. It doesn't set out to be barnstorming stand up and he does a good job of keeping his audience amused.

Julia Chamberlain


Review date: 1 Jan 2006
Reviewed by: Steve Bennett

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