During the Fringe, we reviewers often state that shows have little or no structure, are under prepared, and are simply not entertaining. This is certainly not the case with “Alexis Dubus – Cars and Girls”: the show has a strong structure, is extremely well prepared – right down to visual aids, and slick sound and lighting cues courtesy of techie Nathan – and very entertaining.
English stand-up comedian, Alexis Dubus returns to the Adelaide Fringe for the third time. But this time his show is in a different style to his first two (“A Bl**dy Brief History Of Swearing” and “A Surprisingly Tasteful Show About Nudity”): it is a spoken word show done entirely in rhyme.
Dubus reminisces, in verse, about his travels of slightly earlier years, taking his audience along with him in trucks and vans through France, Spain, Morocco, South America and redneck America. We visit nude bike rides, ‘bang houses’ (brothels) and The Burning Man ritual; all resulting in absolute hilarity and a very happy ending.
This is gentle comedy with a bite; with Dubus coming across as extremely personable, showing great cleverness with his rhyming, and a great ear for accents.
There is no awkward audience participation or bad taste jokes, just a very funny, highly entertaining 50 minutes that go all too quickly.
Heckler.com.au'Dubus is an eloquent story-teller, able to evoke in our mind’s eye a vivid model of the characters in the play of his life... 'open/close
The name of this show is a little misleading. Well, Dubus does focus on the loves of his life, and the vehicles that drove him there, but put aside notions of a man who cares for nothing but engines and breasts. Here we meet a romantic poet, a man with an enormous potential for love, a capacity for wonder, and also wandering.
Dubus tells his life story, a love story, through the medium of rhyming couplets. An hour of such formatting is impressive unto itself. Poetry fans will enjoy the pleasing levels of assonance, alliteration, metaphor and juxtaposition. Those indifferent or displeased with poetry fear not; the tale chugs along merrily and you can easily follow the plot and ignore the medium through which it is delivered. It is not an invasive tool.
Dubus tells us of the accidents of his childhood which left marks, both physical and emotional that shaped the person before us. He tells us of the unlikely adventure with his love, Kirsty, in the compartment of a network of trucks, and the characters they meet all the way from the UK to Morocco. We learn of the elegant stereotypes he meets through his travels, and the trials and tribulations of a life-changing adventure to the Burning Man Festival in the States. Dubus’ tale is illustrated through the use of a giant passport that sits behind him, and fills with images of his adventures as his tale progresses.
Dubus is an eloquent story-teller, able to evoke in our mind’s eye a vivid model of the characters in the play of his life. He is a master of accent and manner. While the tale of love, loss and adventure is by no means untrammelled ground each man has his own story to tell, and Dubus’ narrative is a joyous and entertaining journey.
A pleasurable and poetic evening, worthy of your time.
Jay Richardson - The Scotsman'4 Stars - His first anecdote recalls a hitchhiking trip to Morocco he took with a girlfriend, the generosity of the eccentric truckers they met a rebuke to the prevailing comedy casting of fat, pill-popping prostitute slayers. His recollection is suffused with warmth for this strange breed of men... 'open/close
Elsewhere, Alexis Dubus dabbles with caricature as his aloof French creation Marcel Lucont, and enjoys his reputation as a taboo-challenging stand-up, recalling the fallout of a previous show he delivered in the nude. But with Cars and Girls, twin phenomenon he approaches with a dilettante’s enthusiasm rather than any professed mastery, he offers a series of finely drawn escapades and rich characters.
He begins slowly and low-key, a self-deprecating introduction told principally through the injuries he’s sustained, a skiing mishap as painful for its middle-class associations as the sensitive part of the body he fractured. Quickly, he sets up a recurring theme of doomed romance, and in the tale of his mugging-turned-stabbing, a hint of the excess to follow. Happily, it was while recuperating at his parent’s house that he chanced on his old travel diaries.
His first anecdote recalls a hitchhiking trip to Morocco he took with a girlfriend, the generosity of the eccentric truckers they met a rebuke to the prevailing comedy casting of fat, pill-popping prostitute slayers. His recollection is suffused with warmth for this strange breed of men.
Still more stereotypes are encountered in Patagonia, a Dutchman so stoned he can’t recall personal information; a fastidious Frenchman who may or may not have inspired Lucont. Dubus skilfully sketches in the details, capturing the eye-opening wonder, fear and novelty of negotiating unfamiliar places with new companions and the flickering intensity of holiday sex.
Finally and most memorably, he rocks up at the Burning Man Festival in Nevada, an hallucinogenic, panoramic tableaux of spontaneous behaviour that I failed to take notes on, so gripped was I by Dubus’s dream-stumble through massed light-sabre battles and weird, contrary hedonism. An endearingly cheesy epilogue reinforces just what an uplifting series of tales he’s put together.