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ARRIvIng to the pounding pop of the Backstreet Boys, high-fiving and strip-teasing, the ebullient Jarred Christmas knows how to get a gig started. A celebrated compère, he’s instantly engaging, warming us up for a string of anecdotes loosely themed on the accountability of putting “standup” as his profession on his daughter’s birth certificate.
Inevitably, this prompts memories of the Kiwi’s own childhood, the various nicknames he endured at school for having an unusual name, while at the same time piquing his prankster personality, making him wonder if he can undermine her pronunciation for his own delayed amusement. Tales are related of struggles with adversity as the school Dungeons & Dragons captain, before his enrolment in dance lessons, the chunky comic belying his cuddly frame with a furiously dedicated sequence of Michael Jackson moves.
Funny throughout, sporadically wonderfully so, this hour regrettably lacks cohesion, stories like his inadvertent humbling of new Zealand rugby legend Zinzan Brooke somewhat stretching the link to his fatherhood, accounts of his early stand-up career even more so. Regardless, Christmas is a magnetic personality and with a more tightly-focused hour, could soon be a Fringe hit.
Until 30 August. Today 8pm.