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Aidan Jones: The Abersham Flat at Adelaide Fringe 2018 - Review

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by Amelia Warrandyte (subscribe)
Walker. Coffee drinker. Writer.
Event: -
The best comedy at the Adelaide Fringe
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Aidan 'Taco' Jones

Purchasing tickets to a cheap show at the Fringe is always a risk. From my experience, getting change back from a $20 note is cause for concern. I've already suffered through my fair share of small, dodgy shows where awkwardness and discomfort are leaking down the walls. Why do I keep doing it to myself?

Picture this.

I'm going to a show in the Producers Bar on a Sunday night. When I go to pick up my tickets at the in-venue Box Office, they don't print them off. They merely scribble the show name onto a 4cmx4cm raffle ticket. My partner is with me too. Instead of giving another raffle ticket, they just write x2.

I'm screeching by this point. Time to buy a drink at the bar.

The wine is only $6 a pour. That's a score. In the Garden or Gluttony, you're lucky to get a glass under $10.

We trek over to a grand old staircase near the back of the bar and start heading up. With every step, there's a creak.

At the top, a Fringe worker points us over to a little nook on the left. Literally, a nook. The room is called The Nook.

It's the door next to The Cranny.

Aidan, the comedian himself, is already perched on a stool at the front of the room. He's saying hello to everybody that's walking in and having a casual chat to early arrivers. This is a rarity in the comedy world. I'm pleasantly dumbfounded at the humbleness. Within minutes, I realise:

He's just an everyday Aussie bloke with a man bun and a good sense of humour.

Once every seat has a person plonked onto it, Aidan taps the mic and tests, "Can you guys up the back hear me alright?"

We nod.

"Of course you bloody can, you're only three metres away."

The show begins. Yet, it doesn't really feel like a show. It feels like hanging out with your hilarious best mate who has a wicked story to tell you.

What's the story? It's about Aidan's experience living in The Abersham Flat in London. His housemate, Andy, was a con-man. Andy would tell new housemates that he was the owner of the flat, and convince them to pass their rent money onto him in cold hard cash.

It's a horrifying tale. Coming out of Aidan's mouth, it's hilarious.

Throughout the entire ordeal, Aidan wrote a blog about Andy which eventually led to him getting caught by prosecutors and arrested.

Between retelling the bizarre account, Aidan manages to fill in some details about his younger life growing up in Adelaide. Unashamed, he admits his conception was a complete, reckless accident and sheds light on his experience of getting in contact with his long lost foreign father. He also delves into the break up of his step-father and mother, and a relationship that ended over text.

Aidan's raw, personal and honest skits leave you in a somewhat confused state, wondering should I have laughed about that?

Nevertheless, you do. As does the rest of the room, until chuckles are echoing around the tiny space.

I sure do wonder how the show went next door in The Cranny. Our laughter would have been undoubtedly distracting.

The last joke of the show does a 360 degree turn back to the first anecdote that was told earlier in the night. I don't want to ruin any surprises, but it involves: chlamydia, an extensive diagram of who had sex with who, and .... a mother.

If you can handle more banter, Aidan is always up for more laughs at the bar after the show. Personally, my cheeks were sore from an hour of grinning and giggling at Aidan's intriguing and unconventional life.

As my partner and I wandered back to our car, we thought: finally, a comedian who doesn't rely on insulting the audience to gain laughter. The engaging, colloquial performance from Aidan is brilliant enough in itself to leave you in tears.

Aidan Jones may just be starting up, but the quality of his comedy proves that his talent is sure to fly high in coming years. Currently, he's a secret gem in the stand-up world.

I would normally give five stars for a show this good, but I don't want Aidan to think he's succeeded enough to retire. Therefore, I rate this show four and a half stars. (As long as you promise to come back every year, Aidan?)

My advice: catch him now before his tickets start costing a heck of a lot more than 15 bucks.

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Aidan 'Taco' Jones
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*Amelia Warrandyte was invited as a guest
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Why? Learn about the unconventional and humorous life of Aidan 'Taco' Jones
When: It's on until Sunday 18th March.
Where: The Producers Bar, 235 Grenfell Street, Adelaide.
Cost: $15 for adults, or $12 for concession.
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