Thomas Jaspers is absolutely revolting… revoltingly hilarious and insightful. Jaspers has become a well known and much sort after figure of the Melbourne gay scene, with many a finger in many a pie and the talent to back up why. This return to his stand up comedy roots is not just long over due but extremely welcoming as Jaspers nails his performance with wit and nuance.
Thomas Jaspers is a self confessed bad gay – he doesn’t own his own home, he drinks too much, he is unconcerned about his physical appearance and he is constantly visiting saunas – usually after a long night out at The Peel. And even through all of this, Jaspers is totally ok with his new found status.
Over the course of the next hour and a half we travel with Thomas on his misadventures in Bali, awkward family parties and holidays, a disastrous trip to Sydney’s Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras and many, many, many… many rooms in many, many, many saunas.
What sets these stories apart is that they are void of shame. Thomas embraces these moments and adventures and conveys a wonderful message to be found in the humour – just accept who you are, what you do and live your best life.
Jaspers is a consummate story teller. Unlike other comedians Thomas doesn’t go chasing for the punchline, rather he is comfortable in the long game, teasing and tantalising audiences with his wit and masterful storytelling. He is connected with his audience from the get go, with a warm and open performance style and an assurance that he genuinely wants you to have a good time.
As the performance draws to a close Thomas heads into a more solemn direction with an emotional and heartfelt tribute to the late Bruce McKenzie, a much loved member of the Melbourne LGBTIQ+ community. With great respect, admiration and love, Thomas relays how much his friendship with Bruce meant to him and the impact of Bruce’s spirit and outlook on life had on his own life.
Thomas is vulnerable and open and wholeheartedly giving thanks to someone that meant a great deal to him but also helped him to make two pretty significant revelations – that you should always first and foremost be kind to those around you and second, you should be bloody well kinder to yourself.
If Thomas Jaspers is a “bad gay” – then so am I, and I couldn’t be happier. Thomas glowed on stage and looked like a performer who had found his voice and more importantly, found himself.
An emotional Jaspers appeared overwhelmed at the end of the work but genuinely proud and he should – it was an excellent night of storytelling and should (MUST) have a return season in the not too distant future.
Thomas Jaspers is Revolting
Evie’s Disco Diner, 230 Gertrude Street, Fitzroy
Performance: Sunday 9 February 2020 – 6.00pm
Image: Thomas Jaspers – photo by Alexander Legaree
Review: Gavin Roach