Josh Thomas – Let’s Tidy Up | Adelaide Fringe 2024 Review

Josh Thomas – Let’s Tidy Up: Adelaide Fringe 2024 Review

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️1/2   4.5 stars for this parents-only comedy show (with a dusting of star power)  

Review by Carla Caruso

Comedian Josh Thomas is a well-known face on the small screen, having appeared on shows like Talkin’ ‘Bout Your Generation.

He’s also the creator and star of TV series such as Please Like Me and Everything’s Gonna Be Okay.

With his show at The Garden of Unearthly Delights, Let’s Tidy Up, he has returned to his stand-up comedy roots. (At the mere age of 17, Josh won the Melbourne International Comedy Festival’s RAW Comedy Award – he’s now only 36!)

The theme of his Fringe show is meant to be about tidying up his new home in LA. He moved there after the breakdown of a four-year relationship (he’s openly gay) and it forced him to do the things he didn’t think he was “capable” of doing alone … like keeping a tidy house.

But the cleaning-up aspect is only referenced sometimes in the show, such as when he does a dance break with a broom and a bottle of Mr Sheen.

Many other topics are also touched on throughout the show. This includes him discussing how he was diagnosed with ADHD nine years ago – when it was still “on the cusp of being quite interesting; everyone has it now” – and, in 2021, with autism. (After he turned down a marriage proposal, his former boyfriend wound up in tears, and Josh joked: “It doesn’t matter how autistic you are, it still cuts through.”)

From the packed tent, it’s obvious that Josh’s trademark quirky, nice-guy shtick has huge appeal. There’s something mesmeric about his fast-talking, stream-of-consciousness style, and the way he continually messes up his hair.

How he remembers all the material, and repeats it night after night, I have no idea.

The strength of the show is Josh’s relatability and his ability to make ordinary folk feel ‘seen’. Like when he talks about ignoring the beauty standards on social media (“Have you been on a bus? That’s the standard. Your worlds are small [in reality]”) and how “everyone’s a bit sh*t” (you and your friends included), so stop trying to change the aspects of yourself, or others, that’ll never alter.

On the flipside, Josh has become one of those stars, who despite trying to be relatable, is too far into the stratosphere to really be anymore. In his Fringe show, it’s never explained why he chose LA as the location to move to. Though, I gather it was to create his since-cancelled US comedy TV series, Everything’s Gonna Be Okay. And his Fringe act is actually part of an international tour.

While Josh may be anti-self-improvement, he’s already had more success than most young creatives could ever dream about.

The show’s billed as being written with award-winning playwright, Lally Katz, and it made me ponder how that kind of relationship might work when the act’s so deeply personal. Does Lally serve mostly as an editor, polishing his raw material and giving it shape?

Comedians generally don’t acknowledge co-writers, so it feels like a peek into how the sausage gets made.

All in all, Josh’s show will keep you engaged for the entire hour and will inspire you to check out his other works. Catch him while you can.

(Please note: it can be a tad harder to see at The Vagabond if you’re not in the tiered seating, depending on who you’re sitting behind. So, get there early for a good spot!)

Josh is performing at The Vagabond at The Garden of Unearthly Delights until Sunday 10 March 2024. Rated M.

Main photo: supplied.



Review by Carla Caruso

For more information, please visit the Adelaide Fringe website.

At Play & Go Adelaide we make every effort to provide accurate information to the best of our knowledge at the time of publication. We recommend confirming times, dates and details directly before making any plans as details may be subject to change.

As per all our Play & Go reviews, this is not a sponsored post. The Play & Go team review via media accreditation and when kindly invited.

All photos by Play & Go Adelaide (unless specified).


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