The Spy - See it before it disappears

The Spy nid 373

Every once in a blue moon, if you take enough chances with theatre that you know nothing about, you get to share some space with a performer who is quite obviously doing what he was put on Earth to do.

Melbourne's Jonno Katz wears his material and his place on stage with the same comfort that his main character, Seymour Foggs, wears his tan, washable, ultra-suede leisure suit.  Seymour is a 1970's-era spy, a one-time actor who has been recruited out of a Souf' Lundun Fee-ah-uh school (why is everything funnier in that dialect?) to use his improvisation skills working against the KGB. The story line has a great retro James Bond-by-way-of-Monty-Python feel to it, and it's related to us as a big anecdote. Katz engages his audience with such directness and warmth that I felt like if I needed to I could pipe up at anytime to ask him a question. In fact, audience feedback actually buoys the show at times, and the choice to keep the house lights up dissolved any separation between us. This is a very generous production.

The '70s espionage narrative is a winner, but watching Katz perform one gets the impression that he could just as easily be talking about his life as an astronaut or an Eskimo, as the story is all really just a comfy leisure suit of its own to let him strut his stuff. With comic timing any comedian would literally sell their soul for and the storytelling ability to keep you in the palm of his hand, this is a show not to be missed. There's a moment in the show where he makes you actually believe - just for a split second - that he's about to make himself disappear into thin air before your eyes. See him before some keen-eyed promoter does and he vanishes from the Fringe circuit forever.

For show information and a video clip introducing you to Seymour Foggs sneak off to this great site.

For more information on the performance schedule and to join in the public forum, skulk this way.

By Simon Ogden