Please Like Me

Visy Theatre (Token Events)


Written and performed by Josh Thomas

Professional production

How could you not like him? I’m sure every mother in the audience (of whom there were many, some accompanied by their teenage sons, to their everlasting embarrassment) wanted to take him home for a cuddle. He’s so sweet and endearing, with his smooth baby face and awkward body language, that you immediately fall in love with him.

But this is dangerous ground for mothers. Josh Thomas’s show is about growing up (he turned 20 this month) and becoming a man, and the narrative revolves around his sexual development, especially his reaction to his mother’s questions about the size of his testicles (she’s egged on by his older brother) and her insistence on buying him two packets of condoms to take to Schoolies Week.
BR> “Two packs! That’s twenty-four condoms! And the expiry date is the end of the year! What does she think I am!” muses Josh, whose main ambition in life is, along with every other teenage boy, to get some action without his mother knowing about it or showing any interest.

For Josh, Schoolies is the third of Life’s Great Disappointments, when your naïve hopes and beliefs are shattered. First you learn that there’s no Easter Bunny, then that Father Christmas is really your Dad, and finally you come to the realisation that Schoolies isn’t entirely populated by girls who just want to get down and dirty and make out with a Harry Potter nerd.

Oh yes! Harry Potter. He appears, as a kind of touchstone for working out which girls are worth making the effort for – Josh asked one prospective fumbler what she thought of the latest book, to which she replied, “Oh, is there a book? I thought it was just a movie.” Another one to cross off his list, which was distressingly short in the first place.

There’s a lot more of this kind of thing, for Josh Thomas’s 50-minute stand-up is basically a coming-of-age saga, only funnier and a lot dirtier than most. He may seem like a typical bumbling teenager, but the persona is carefully created, and the script so cleverly crafted that there are no loose ends at the surprise conclusion.

This young man is extremely talented, and his award for Best Newcomer at this year’s Melbourne Comedy Festival is well-deserved. It’s such a pity he only did three shows in Brisbane, for each was booked out before the season opened, and the audience, whose ages ranged from 14 to at least 60-plus, loved him, especially his shy disarming audience-interaction segments. With a bit of word of mouth he could have filled the Visy for a week.

So you’ve missed him this time round, but if you want to find out more about him, check, just to see what he’s up to.

By the way, girls, he’s single and looking for friends.

Played 3 and 4 August 2007

Duration: 50 minutes

— Alison Cotes
(Performance seen: Fri 3rd August 2007)