Review: Poncho’s ‘Keep it Up!’ at The Rechabite

Poncho: Keep it Up! at Goodwill Club @ The Rechabite
Wednesday, February 1, 2023


Totally absurd. Utterly baffling. Just delightful.

Poncho: Keep it Up! opened its Rechabite run at the Goodwill Club on Wednesday, in a frenzy of endearingly absurd tomfoolery, and mischief.

Queensland-based creative Dani Cabs, a self-described “multi-dimensional fun facilitator” brought his loveably goofy, Latino sweetheart character Poncho back to the Fringe World Perth stage.

Charming and clownish, and promising to inspire a sense of ‘play’ within the audience, the show was a psychedelic daydream into Poncho’s world of colourful characters including a sexually promiscuous Australian beauty, and a slight bogan children’s entertainer. Little moments of audience participation punctuated the highly intimate first-person style of the show, in which Poncho spoke directly to punters, sharing entertaining stories of his life and quirky personal philosophy.

Celebrating his love for family, fashion and fruit, and his unapologetic sexuality and non-traditional masculine identity, the show was a comedic journey through themes of connection, authenticity and acceptance. However, underneath the dapper suit and silliness, there were also important messages about the fragility of masculinity and the importance of opening oneself to vulnerable conversations and experiences.

Despite his small stage, minimalist props and basic production design, Poncho: Keep it Up! was a high energy, highly visual performance, owing to Cabs’ exceptional physical comedy and character-based performance skills. Moving between characters throughout the show, Cabs brought diverse and unique takes to each, interacting with the audience in exciting, and often provocative ways. In several scenes, without words, he created some of the most memorable moments of the show, armed only with fruit and a devilish grin.

This show is a fabulous embodiment of the Fringe festival itself with its wonderful weirdness and endearing sincerity amid its perfected theatrics and moments of comedy gold. It’ll have you giggling, gasping and eventually asking, ‘what the hell did I just watch’ while buying your tickets to go again!