Produced by Bondi Theatre Company. Bondi Pavillion. October 5, 13 and 24, 2019Like so many, I saw a number of Austen Tayshus shows in the 80’s in pubs and clubs where you would leave drenched in sweat and feeling like you had just done 9 rounds of cage wrestling with Andre the Giant and a Grizzly bear. The latest offering by Austen Tayshus at the Bondi Pavillion still leaves you battered and bruised but dying for more. Austen Tayshus (aka Sandy Gutman) is a performer like no other. This is not a show comprised of mundane observational gags nor is it simply vulgar, crass humour. This show is an unrelenting attack on everyone and everything because in the end its all funny and everyone is a target. With his trademark T-Shirt, sports coat, sneekers and surgically implanted sunglasses the audience has no idea what’s coming and whether they will make it to the end. It is Gutman’s power, presence and ability to negotiate through his routine at lightning speed which sets him apart from the rest. Pulverising the audience with gag after gag, whilst at the same time being able to humiliate audience members with ease, all combines for a night out of terror and uncontrollable laughter. There were some pearls from his older work that cropped up here and there but these are classic routines and you can’t help but get drawn into the vortex of hysterical laughing all over again. Gutman’s mastery as a mimic really shows in this performance. Of course like every great comedian there is always a link to tragedy and Gutman’s experiences of vicarious suffering growing up as the child of Holocaust survivors feeds his humour with empowering routines of his pride in being Jewish and the persistent onslaught against anything German. Interestingly there was a wide mix of ages in the audience, from teenagers to the elderly, yet the power of the laughs was equal. During the show Gutman pays tribute to the greatness of the music he loved growing up, namely The Doors, and as Jim Morrison famously warned his audience “No one here gets out alive” – which pretty much sums up this show. This is comedy at its best. Not to be missed. David Baran
There are few comics in the world with the tenacity and killer instinct of Austen Tayshus. The Comedy Superstar who first came into being in 1981, has the ability to take a room hostage, just with his tongue.Topical, dangerous, irreverent, he is the High Priest of satire, unflappable and relentless. He is the closest thing the Australian Comedy Scene has to Bill Hicks. Except Austen Tayshus is very much alive.
Every show is unique. He weaves current politics, what’s happening in the room, philosophy, sociology, anthropology, semantics, religion and of course, sport and let’s not forget the Pope into the one gag. Tayshus is a man of controversy. There is no subject he won’t dissect. Uncomfortable, confronting but always illuminating. An Austen Tayshus Show is both hilarious and cleansing. Tayshus has said that he sees his role as social agitator, as the prickle in the paw that makes people think. He doesn’t need you to like him, in fact he would prefer that you didn’t. Mandy Nolan Byron Bay Echo December 2016
Hi AustenThank you for coming to St Leonards Hotel by the sea. Not ever having a comedy show at the hotel before, it was a risk… would they come? St Leonards being a very small town AND in winter! Well yes they did! 100 plus punters came and they had a great time. They ate and drank and laughed their heads off! It was good to see a crowd of mixed people enjoy having the micky taken out them. Top night mate. Great value. My guts are still hurting from laughing so much. Great show. These were just a few of the comments that were made. No unhappy punters here. Once again thank you very much and hope to see you back in St Leonards soon. Cheers Gregory Dowell Poor Old Publican