At times predictable, but charming to the tips of his Mohawk, Captain Ruin (Mitch Jones) was an entertaining One Night Stand at this year’s Brisbane Festival for the Under the Radar program. A mix of stand-up comedy, circus and downright mucking about, Mitch’s strength is the self-mocking ease of which he relates to his audience. The show feels more like a friend entertaining a party of intimates.
The transitions between story-telling and freak-show stunts is at times clunky but this improved as the show progressed, and some of the tricks and daring escapes do need a bit more work – maybe it was the close proximity of audience and performer, but I could see the tricky bits of the tricks which made them seem a little amateurish (but no less gross when we’re talking about a drill up the nose!). Despite some rough edges, the show, or Master Ruin rather, is a crowd pleaser with a kicking soundtrack. Jones is undoubtedly a ham, finding his calling in front of an audience rather than the Turkish prison cell where his wayward tales were born.
I love walking into the chameleon that is the Sue Benner theatre at the Metro Arts and seeing her completely changed around. For One Night Stand we entered and filed down past the theatre seats, through a little tent like curtain and onto the stage where cabaret tables awaited us. The seating was perhaps a little too close to the too low rostrum where Ruin performed and I did miss some parts of the show that were out of my viewpoint, the stage floor being below the tables. There is no wow factor here, but Mitch has an undeniable charm. One Night Stand was a thoroughly enjoyable hour spent exploring one man’s body tattoos; there’s also a leopard print onesie that I won’t speak of again.