Comedy Festival: Dan Pavatich – #1 Ninja

The premise for Dan Pavatich’s new sketch show ‘#1 Ninja’ appeared quite straightforward: An engaging seminar intercut with sketches outlining how to apply aspects of his experience and success as a ninja to our everyday world. Of course, knowing the genius that has been applied in his previous shows, and generally whenever he is on stage, such a concept for a show was never likely to continue along a predictable path. The show soon evolves into unexpected variations of other ‘#1’ seminars, led by supporting cast members Ivy Latimer and Andy Balloch. Without spoiling what these new ‘#1’ segments are, the cast begin to rotate their roles in repeats of sketches and themes behind some other sketches, and through using clever reincorporation, highlight some more relevant points of view that tie together the concept of the show brilliantly.

The interaction between all three players is deliberately loose, and it is this style of play that gives this show a special characteristic. There is room within the sketches and monologues to riff off the audience reactions and for the cast to surprise each other with variations as the show continues. Pavatich holds together the arc of the show with a presence that feels both at ease and in control; generating laughs through his wisdom and natural persona. Balloch plays both introverted and extroverted characters throughout the show, offering a great balance when required, and superb commitment to each portrayal. Latimer has such an impressive range throughout her performance that deserves special mention. Her character voice work, ability to play off audience reactions, and general musings are evident in many laugh out loud moments.

This show runs until the end of the festival, but with only four days a week, this is one that could fill up quick once its reputation gets a sound and deserved following.

– Corey
Corey M. Glamuzina is a Melbourne-based actor, writer, improvisor and comedian with an avid involvement in the art of theatre and film.

‘Dan Pavatich – #1 Ninja’ runs from the 24th March – 17th April, (no shows Mondays through Wednesdays), at the Improv Conspiracy Office Space. The venue is not accessible.

Check out our guide to the Melbourne International Comedy Festival for more great shows.

Disclosure: The Plus Ones were invited guests of Dan Pavatich.