Despite being one of the finest stand-up comics Australia has Dave Bloustien's most popular work to date has been virtually anonymous, making better known comedians be funny on television. If you liked Good News Week or The Glasshouse enough to record and keep, freeze frame on the “writers” credit in the rush of text at the end of any episode and you'll see his name up there in glorious six point blurvetica. If you're not that sad you can look him up on IMDb.
A cycle of five macabre and very funny monologues, interspersed with shadow and glove-puppet vignettes, The Grand Guignol gives a first impression of a theatrical show, but Bloustien's performance is firmly rooted in his usual charming, intelligent stand-up style. Although four of the five stories are told in-character, he doesn't inhabit them like an actor but in the looser way stand-ups work, rarely straying far from their own persona. The difference here is that he sustains it for ten minutes at a time. Taken in the spirit of stand-up comedy more than in the spirit of theatre a good, and slightly sick, time will be had by everyone.