Josh Thomas: Let’s Tidy Up

MICF24 Josh Thomas Let's Tidy Up photo by Daniel BoudImagine spending a thousand dollars for a doctor to tell you that you’re not autistic at all – you’re just a c***.

Fortunately for Josh Thomas, it wasn’t a waste of money and nor was the ADHD diagnosis years earlier – as the for the Gay thing he’s also got, those costs are probably more lifestyle orientated over psychiatric.

But Josh Thomas isn’t at all pleased that so many are now ADHD confirmed and describes the trend in terms of theft and statistical dishonesty given that some of us surely just “have to be boring”.

Co-written with award winning American and Australian playwright, Lally Katz, Let’s Tidy Up marks Thomas’ return to the annual Australian Comedy Festival circuit after a decade long absence. Thomas recently described the multi city trek and expectation of an hour of new material each year when he had nothing new to say as akin to “Dishing up shit”.

For the uninitiated, it can be challenging to keep up with Thomas’s quick-fire delivery and absolutely ill advised to take your ears off him for a second because what emerges from beyond the immediacy of his clumsy neuro-divergent millennial persona and self-described ‘autistic accent’, is 70 minutes of astoundingly clever brain emptying and pinpoint hilarious observation that simultaneously straddles meticulous and ridiculous.

Let’s Tidy Up allows Thomas to unapologetically explain his stuff and he does so in a way that for some will be absolutely fascinating, and for others, incredibly familiar. Tidying is catalyst for this show given it’s been weaponised by his parents, teachers and partners as an indication of how he might improve as a person and maybe even how he might ultimately be ‘fixed’.

Thomas is an incredible storyteller and performer often generating astonishingly poignant silence which at a Comedy Festival feels as surprising as it is powerful. With anecdotes riddled in the kind of mortification many with more conventional neuro wiring would find unbearable to navigate, Josh Thomas succeeds in somehow subverting self-deprecation to the point of enviable enlightenment!

Let’s Tidy Up is a wonderful invitation to join a journey that just happens to be funny, a style described as ‘dramedy’ and familiar to fans of his award-winning television series. Sitting within all of this extraordinarily busy content, honesty and original observation is kindness and as a result, even if he hadn’t have said ‘Please’ – Josh Thomas is very hard not to like.

Josh Thomas: Let’s Tidy Up
Playhouse – Arts Centre Melbourne, 100 St Kilda Road, Melbourne
Performance: Friday 12 April 2023
Season continues to 21 April 2024
Information and Bookings:

Image: Josh Thomas – photo by Daniel Boud

Review: Doug Knight