Reuben Solo is the kind of guy who seems to persist with paradox past the point that most of us give up, just short of Christopher Nolan on the paradox-a-meter™ Hmmm, I may not be adept at going to these thought spaces, and then articulating it to you, but fortunately Reuben is.
During his show Palindrome in the tiny Hell’s Kitchen room downstairs at Adelaide’s Rhino Room venue, he charmingly and articulately bumbles his way through as many paradoxes as he can fit into almost an hour.
Augmented by playful drawings, graphs, and considerable amounts of audio slight of hand. He is like a tour guide taking you to laughs that lie only just beyond where others would have normally given up.
He mostly doesn’t seem to know how good his writing is, but in his best moments his confidence in the material rises and his tone relaxes into conversational accessible moments perfect for such an intimate space. Along with his bumbling enjoyment of his own material, awkward moments are also part of his charm.
It’s an example of the paradox inherent in the ‘One Direction’ lyric where not knowing ‘she’s beautiful’ is ‘what makes her beautiful. Reuben doesn’t know how well written his show is, if he did he might deliver it different, but his delivery is what makes it beautiful.
So don’t tell Reuben, or write a pop song about it. I hope he doesn’t read this review and ruin everything… also because he made the entire audience sign a non-disclosure of content waiver, and I may have breached it, although I would never admit that in writing. Hmmm I think I should give up with the paradox attempts now and leave the persistence to Reuben.
Reuben Solo: Palindrome
Hell’s Kitchen at Rhino Room, 131 Pirie Street, Adelaide
Performance: Wednesday 15 March 2023 – 10.00pm
Season continues to 18 March 2023
For more information, visit: www.reubensolo.com for details.
Image: Reuben Solo (supplied)
Review: Dan McInnes