President Obonjo @ Free Fringe, Waverley Bar

A self-assured performance, but without the laughs to back it up

Review by Jenni Ajderian | 14 Aug 2017

A completely self-assured and confident character, President Obonjo draws us into his show with the national anthem of Lafta Republic, an African nation whose dictator now craves world domination. His audience knows what is expected of them, but playing along with a dictator isn’t as fun as it looks. Much of the time is spent watching Obonjo interact with one bemused audience member after another rather than him producing any routines or gags.

That isn't to say he doesn't successfully create a character with a Pub Landlord-esque high regard for himself, it’s just that that character often doesn’t make us laugh from his own wit. The subtlety is lost to repetitive shouting and blustering around the stage, with Obonjo telling us how funny he is, and how funny we should find him, rather than showing us. There is a purposeful element to this and also a deliberate disregard for structure. But, unfortunately, there isn't enough comedy here to salvage the hour.

President Obonjo: Rise of a Comedy Dictator, PBH Free Fringe at Waverley Bar, until 27 Aug, 6.15pm, free