Regan Lynch does it in Public

By Peter Newling 

The Hares & Hyenas Bookshop on Johnston Street Fitzroy was packed to capacity with people keen to catch Regan Lynch’s final show in the 2018 Midsumma Festival. The number of newbies to this performer’s work seemed to be matched by an impressive following of fans – and rightly so. This was a very good comedy show.

The publicity on the Midsumma website for this show tells me that “Regan Lynch is young, dumb and full of comedy in this pageant of sexed-up idiocy”. Well, two out of three ain’t bad. He’s certainly young and definitely full of comedy – but he’s anything but dumb. This is a politically savvy, insightful routine.

Regan Lynch is a comedic triple threat. He performs, sings and dances in a peculiar blend of stand-up, burlesque, dance, howling electric guitar, ukulele, striptease and audience participation. It’s not for the prudish – he’s very open with his story telling, and overt with his ‘sexed-up idiocy’. He exudes a playful and daring energy – a little like Sammy J in vitality and delivery, but poles apart in content.

This set is based around Lynch’s experiences on an antiretroviral drug called PReP, designed to reduce the likelihood of HIV infection. It follows his journey of sexual awakening and experimentation, and explores the fears that are culturally ingrained into us about gay relationships in modern Australia. Moments of high energy and excellent physical comedy are matched by moments of quiet and contemplation. His song about his relationship with the drug, done as a soft ukulele solo, was sombre – yet a highlight of the show.

His relationship with his audience is great to watch. At times the audience finds itself reeling at the honesty with which Lynch describes his experiences, and at times finds itself in a sing-along to a George Michael standard. The segments of audience participation involve volunteers engaging in activities they would never have thought they would be doing on stage. Like all good burlesque, it’s daring, provocative and explicit – but it’s great fun and no-one has to do anything they don’t want to do.

This show isn’t for everyone. If you’re remotely homophobic, prudish or a Tasmanian Liberal voter, probably best to stay home with a cup of tea and a biscuit.

Regan Lynch does it in Public ran from Jan 23 to 25 at Hares & Hyenas in Fitzroy as part of the Midsumma Festival.

From here it travels to Fringe World in Perth where it will run from Jan 27 to Feb 4 at The Pleasure Garden  Visit: FringeWorld for details.