By Jess Welch
Have you ever been on a rollercoaster, or just a particularly bumpy bit of road, and it feels like your stomach has dropped out? That’s the feeling that FUDNUT, Larry Dean’s latest show, left me with. But that’s the end. To understand how we got there, we need to go back to the beginning.
The show starts off with some intense moments of getting to know Dean. If you’ve never seen him before, this might be slightly confronting. But it does a wonderful job of setting us up for what he does best – telling wild, crazy and hilarious stories from his life. If you have seen him before, you’ll know these tales can really run the gamut from everyday observations to the incredibly personal. Vulnerable even. FUDNUT tend heavily towards the latter, to an almost uncomfortable degree at times.
Be warned, this show touches on some sexual themes. At a few particular moments, the older members of the audience were shifting uncomfortably. I would say this is probably not a show to see with a parent, unless you have an extremely honest relationship, or you don’t mind some awkward silences on the way home. But those moments aren’t gratuitous and they fit in well with the overall tone of vulnerability. They don’t dominate the show by any means.
The stories weave around and through each other, seemingly at random. There are asides off the asides. Don’t worry though, Dean knows what he’s doing. This is far from his first rodeo. Having seen him before, I was willing to sit back, relax and trust we were in good hands. And we were. There is a reveal in the last few minutes of the show that will leave you reeling, rethinking everything you have thought for the last hour. Of course, I won’t spoil it here, nor do I think you should try to find any answers online before you go. Because the moment of realisation and reflection is breathtaking.
I wish I could see the show again, but knowing casts everything into a different light. All his stories, the strange titbits, the vulnerability, suddenly all perfect sense and slot together to form a truly incredible puzzle you didn’t even know he was building. It’s beautiful. It’s mind-blowingly well written and leaves you thinking, long after the show is finished. The more you think, the more you’ll realise and it’ll impress you all over again.
This isn’t a show for everyone. But if you’re intrigued or on the fence, I highly recommend you give it a chance. I highly doubt you’ll regret it.
LARRY DEAN – FUDNUT is on at THE SWISS CLUB and THE MELBOURNE TOWN HALL.