Review: Grand Guignol by Dave Bloustien at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival

Dave Bloustien, performing at Trades Hall’s Evatt room, creatively overcame these issues.

Grand Guignol is a mix of puppets, stand-ups and anecdotes that made people scream with laughter and shake their heads in fear. Tiny Hansel and Gretel puppets cross the screen between stories, and Bloustien is to be commended for his spooky German accents.

Each anecdote celebrated the grotesque, leaving audiences horrified and oddly titillated at every twist. The coffee-growing exploits, the imaginary initiation of one of ALP’s “faceless men,” and the adventures of a salesman named Tupperware Jack all ended violently but were brilliantly watched.

The common thread of horror running through Big puppet was offset by Bloustien’s chuckling absurdity and ability to joke on his feet.

Not a show for the easily nauseous or those averse to cheeky jokes (the opening story about Tutankhamun’s ancient nether regions was a highlight), Dave Bloustien Big puppet is a refreshing change from the usual gossipy style that the self-indulgent stand-up seems to take on.

At 55 minutes, the show almost feels too short – Bloustien is a clever comedic talent and the terrifying tales seem to fly.

Find out more about the Melbourne International Comedy Festival here.