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Print Version

Auckland Fringe 2013
by Captain Ruin

at The Basement, Lower Greys Ave, Auckland
From 27 Feb 2013 to 2 Mar 2013
[50 mins]

Reviewed by Heidi North-Bailey, 28 Feb 2013

Captain Ruin, aka Australian Mitch Jones, spent six weeks in a Turkish Prison; the results are One Night Stand. The show is a blend of circus tricks, stand-up comedy, political rampages and a surprisingly touching true story. A circus performance promoting truth and freedom (and a good dash of fun), loosely held together with the theme of literal and figurative imprisonment, all built around the slow unfolding of Jones's personal story. 

While at times a little prone to ranting, Captain Ruin is nevertheless charming. The show has a lack of pretence; not something you'd usually get from a circus act. It feels more like a friend entertaining at a party (he calls himself ‘your friendly neighbourhood anarchist') with a few tricks thrown in. Yet the ease and humour with which he lets the audience into his story, starting with going to prison at age 19, shows a 25 year-old comfortable enough in his own skin to simply be honest. So you can't help but admire that sort of truth, or forgive him the sometimes clunky transitions between acts. In short, you go along for the ride.

Some tricks have the audience squirming in their seats (dancing with a drill bit embedded in his nose, swallowing raw eggs), while others cause sighs of wonder.

I'm still not sure what the peeing into a bucket at the very beginning is all about, but anyone who can wear a leopard-print onesie (“This is what Anarchy really looks like”) while giving us a tour of his various skin art with self-mocking humour gets my vote. 

His tale hints at a deeper truth: a man who finds that anger isn't the answer after all. He might be a tattooed ‘freak', but he's found the perfect place to express himself. It's an enjoyable hour, and a great show to take any angry young people you know along to.

“You have your freedom out there. Doesn't matter how you use it. Just, please, appreciate it.” Aye, Aye Captain. 
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