Shapeshifter is a weird one alright. Josipa Draisma is a Sydney-based actor, singer, writer, producer and comedian. You may have seen her in last year’s C’est La Vie. Draisma is in two shows this year – her very silly one-woman show Shapeshifter, and SYNATURESTHESIA, an ensemble comedy show.
In Shapeshifter, Draisma transitions between a series of diverse but equally ridiculous characters. From a puerile superhero to an emotionally-manipulative Mediterranean Nona and a fiery flamenco dancer.
Particularly charming is a lunchbox-enjoying Batman whose action sequences require an audience-produced party whistle theme song. This bit culminated in an all-out battle, with the crowd exhorted to pelt soft toys at Batman as he bravely defends himself. I reckon I could watch an entire show where Draisma just riffs on this character.
I wasn’t laughing as hard as the rest of the small audience, but Shapeshifter was certainly a lot of offbeat fun. It is pure ridiculousness though. You’re not going to come out questioning anything, except maybe, "Did that just happen?"
The performance space, in Tandanya Café, is an odd fit for this show, which has no set to speak of. It seems it would be better fitted to a small, dark and dingy venue. That’d really get you into the weird mood that’s required.
In Shapeshifter, Draisma displays her talent for character-based clowning, as she wordlessly creates absurd scenarios along with her audience. We have no choice but to abandon ourselves to the crazy.