Josh Glanc: Tomfoolery not for the fainted hearted

It’s hard not to be drawn in by Josh Glanc when he is on stage. He has the most incredible stage presence with sparkly eyes and a cheeky, knowing smile.

You know it is going to be a wild show when the warnings displayed outside the theatre include: “Audience interaction”. This one is definitely not for the faint hearted and did cause me to cautiously pick a seat away from the front, but be warned, no one is safe.

Dressed in a three piece white suit and opening with the crooning tones of Sinatra, you can be lulled into a false sense of security that this will be a classy show, but oh no, you would be very wrong. He is crazy bordering on surreal, but never fails to throw in some razzle dazzle and musical numbers that showcase some real talent.

Glanc takes enormous liberties with the audience participation, which in a way makes it all the more enjoyable. The audience sit in uncomfortable anticipation, waiting for him to clamber over three rows of seats to shove a microphone in your face and sing the lyrics to Tracy Chapman’s ‘Fast Car’.

Josh Glanc has exploded onto the comedy scene with a string of sold out shows in Adelaide, London, Edinburgh and Melbourne. He has left the law for the stage, but you can sense that he would probably be just as successful at either profession. He has a huge presence, a booming voice and an almost contagious air of self-assurance. He admits that most of his show hinges on the “randomness of it” and he is not wrong there. One minute he will be talking candidly and delicately about his mother, and the next there are two plastic penises and a snack based theme song being bellowed into a slightly cowering audience.

On the crisp Tuesday night that I attended, there was a sold out and very involved audience who lapped up every minute his performance.

That is why it was such a shame when, in the last 10 minutes of the show, there was an incident. A man was filming the action, and was told off on multiple occasions before having his phone taken away by the sound person. The man then launched from his seat, climbed over audience members, myself included, and threw himself on the poor sound girl in an aggressive and intimidating manner. It rattled everyone and the performance was stopped by a startled Josh who was in the midst of a dance routine. He handled it in the most efficient way, throwing the guy out and calming rectifying the moment, tying it back into his act. However this event was followed by a surreal and bizarre ending, leaving the audience to wonder what was real, what was not and if that incident had been part of the show (it wasn’t).

With that aside, Josh Glanc is a very talented comedian and I wouldn’t want the actions of another to taint my view of him or his performance. There were many instances where I was either doubled over with laughter or simply holding a hand to my mouth, eyes bulging with the sheer shock of what was occurring.  He can hold a room and equally loves to do so, whether in joy or anticipation. If you’re a fan of a rumbling belly laugh, unexplained outbursts of song and a sprinkle of smut then don’t miss Josh Glanc (if you can, he’s pretty good at selling out).

Julia Frecker

Glanc you for having me by Josh Glanc runs at The Melbourne Town Hall in the Melbourne International Comedy Festival from 28 March — 21 April 2019.

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