by Edwina Hagon
Ben Jenkins proved a gifted raconteur with his one-man show as part of Sydney’s 2012 Fringe Festival. With a background in stand-up comedy and storytelling his show, entitled This Party Don’t Stop…, is a thoughtful orchestration of the two.
In the lead-up to the show, he welcomed the challenge of combining comic and story-based work written three years to four days prior to opening night.
“For this show I just went okay, I’ve got these stories, can I take something that is as deliberate and at times overwroughtly verbose and transition that into something a little bit more casual,” he says.
The result was a success with Jenkins moving about the stage with proficiency well beyond his 25 years, his undeniable stage presence maintaining a firm hold on the audience throughout the hour-long show.
Alongside his baby face and casual garb (vintage Thriller T-shirt and well-worn blue denim jeans), his assortment of personal recollections and hilarious self confessions were the few reminders of his young age.
“It’s actually kind of sad when one third of your network is a hand-held Nintendo device… that’s where you’re like ‘probably not an adult’,” he says.
A far cry from one-liners and slap-stick antics, Jenkins delivered dynamite anecdotes that were well crafted and uproariously funny.
His knack for comic storytelling has been fostered throughout his years at university where he co-founded Story Club, a monthly storytelling night at Sydney University.
To add to his list of impressive credentials, he is co-founder of Project 52, a weekly comedy night that was Sydney’s Best Comedy Night in Time Out magazine’s 2011 Annual Comedy Awards.
He also recently spent time in New York where he won The Moth’s StorySLAM which could be described as New York’s equivalent to Story Club or better yet as “New York’s hottest and hippest literary ticket”, according to the Wall Street Journal.
“The moment I got up and started telling a story, I suddenly realised my accent was doing 90 per cent of the heavy lifting,” he laughs sheepishly.
The humble writer and performer is gearing up to head back to New York City for The Moth’s GrandSLAM. This regularly sold out event sees previous winners of StorySLAMs battling it out for the title of GrandSLAM Champion.