Adam Rozenbachs: Eurodad

Note: This review is from 2013

Review by Steve Bennett

There’s no question as to who’s the star of this show. Adam Rozenbachs has been gifted with a dad who’s such a caricature of parochial outlook, you might believe that he had been created by scriptwriters woking on a ‘fish-out-of-water’ story about a European vacation.

But he is real – as is proven when he takes his part in the show by way of prerecorded interviews. The tapes were designed to give his side of the story about the ill-fated trip that father and son took to Germany, France and England, but in the event, they only reinforce Rozenbachs Jnr’s portrayal of him as an hilariously ungracious travelling companion.

It had been dad’s dream to head back to Europe, since he had been born in Germany but moved to Australia as a baby, and never went back. Indeed he had never left his adopted country until his son, seeking some bonding time, booked this trip. Big mistake.

To say dad was unimpressed by it all would be an understatement. He dismissed the French capital as smelly, thought the Eiffel Tower and Big Ben were too small, whined about steps and cobblestones, and ignored centuries of history to obsess about minutiae from road surfaces to door handles.

It would be hard to fail with such great source material, but it is Rozenbachs’s prism that makes every annoyance funny, adeptly drawing out the comedy from the situations and creating a heightened version of his father that everyone can laugh at, but with some affection. He doesn’t just mock dad in this well-paced show, he tries to understand him, too, adding some empathy to a relationship strained by travel.

As he suggests, anyone with parents will identify with the frustrations described here, and combined with his skills as raconteur with an acutely developed sense of comic timing, Eurodad is mainstream, storytelling comedy at its best

To take some focus off dad, Rozenbachs also includes some other solid observational routines about long-haul flights, scary animals and an ill-advised prank he played after a peanut-induced anaphylactic shock. But there’s only one guy we really want to hear about – and from – and the result is a great character study of a particular type of set-in-their-ways bloke.

Review date: 11 Apr 2013
Reviewed by: Steve Bennett
Reviewed at: Melbourne International Comedy Festival

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