All the way from Japan, Hiroshi Shimizu brings Japanese Samurai Don Quixote Challenging Against English Giant Windmills!! to Ottawa Fringe. Should you see it?
Hiroshi Shimizu takes the stage to tell the trials and tribulations of attempting to be a stand-up comedian in Japan, where there is no stand-up comedy, and out of Japan, where he spoke little to no English. The story takes us from Japan to New York to Edinburgh and the adventures in between including a firebug father, troubles with Immigration and comedy gigs in Scottish strip clubs.
Shimizu has a lot of energy. He never really slows down on this rambling hour of funny and poignant stories. Shimizu is funny, I think part of it is the speed and energy he puts into his dictation, but the other aspect is clearly around how he came to learn the English language, and how he has scripted some very deliberate, yet funny, mispronunciations and English faux pas.
The real problem in Japanese Samurai Don Quixote Challenging Against English Giant Windmills!! is that the show is as convoluted and all over the place as the title of the show. Some of his stories seem to go on forever and just keep repeating themselves, almost to the point where the simple joke is beaten out of the audience. By the end of the show, the stories, especially his last story around his first English interview for a UK based newspaper just felt like they were dragging as he tried to thinly connect the title of his story to his content.
The show is still fun. I spent a lot of the time with a smile on my face and one of the highlights is when Shimizu does some of his actual stand-up routine, unfortunately he only goes into his routine once or twice throughout the shows entirety.
But that’s just my opinion and I’d love to know what you think. Were you able to connect with Shimizu’s stories? What was your favourite story that he told? Join the discussion and tell me what you think in the comments below!