by Sam Taunton
Review by Saskia Johnson
Tucked away in the intimate cloak room of the Melbourne Town Hall, Sam Taunton’s Yoho Diabolo is a lighthearted jaunt through charming personal anecdotes that require very little from his audience, only the willingness to sit back and enjoy a much needed break from the seriousness of the world.
Armed with just a microphone and a television, the set began with a video of David Guetta’s infamously insensitive remix of Martin Luther King Jr’s ‘I Have a Dream’ speech. This choice established the tone for the evening, welcomed the predominantly millennial audience and set up Taunton’s objective; his quest to become a better person.
When Taunton entered the stage a distinguishable sense of ease fell over the room, his natural charisma and relatability ensured a steady stream of laughs and even the occasional enthusiastic exclamation of agreement from the audience. His material was well paced and refreshingly unpredictable. The show was consistently cleverly written and well executed. Taunton lead his audience seamlessly through inconsequential stories of everyday challenges without ever dwelling on heavy or controversial subject matter.
One of the biggest laughs of the night came in response to a hilarious story detailing the circumstances in which he came to watch a highly respected, Academy Award winning film in the most unlikely of places.
Though for the most part the show traveled along without a hitch, there were occasions towards the latter half where jumping from one anecdote to another became somewhat convoluted and left the audience unsure of where we were. Whether we were trapped in a hot air balloon basket with a suspectedly ill-educated pilot, or under the scrutiny of an overly familiar doctor, we were still having a lot of fun.
Taunton’s cheerful approach to tackling life’s big questions served as a subtle reminder to not take life too seriously. Taunton offered short, surface level glimpses into his personal life, he mentioned his humble beginnings, complicated relationship with his father and the struggles that come with trying to unpack it all with a 24-year-old therapist operating out of their childhood bedroom. All of which left us wanting more from Taunton who is in the beginning stages of what will be a highly promising career.
Yoho Diablo plays at the Melbourne Town Hall – Cloak Room until 24 April. Find tickets from $25 – $32 here.
You can find Sam Taunton on Instagram @samtaunton.