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When she was a kid, Josipa was in love with Jean-Claude Van Damme. She wanted to marry him. More importantly, she wanted to BE him. Twenty-­five years later it’s time to make that happen. Join her on an absurd and epic journey as she attempts to face off against the triple enemies of gender reassignment, 80s power ballads, severely limited karate training and the ability to effectively perform the splits.
Written and Directed by Josipa Draisma
2017 Giant Dwarf Theatre, Sydney
2015 Sydney Comedy Festival
2015 The Anywhere Theatre Festival, Peking Duck Chinese Restaurant, Parramatta
2014 Bondi Feast Festival, Bondi Pavilion
2014 Sydney Fringe Festival, Factory Theatre
What audiences have said about Josipa Draisma Is Jean Claude Van Damme:
"I can honestly say I've never seen anything quite like it, nor anything nearly as funny. Part storytime, part mime, part memoir, part interpretive dance, part existential musing, part slideshow, part power ballad and fully kick-arse!!!"
"If Jean-Claude van Damme and Liza Minelli had a love child it would be Josipa Draisma"
"Josipa can crack more facial expressions than Jim Carrey on speed"
“I laughed so hard I had to put my beer down”
“Face-contortingly funny”
“A slick show. Beautiful and absurd. The perfect combination”
“Josipa is absolutely brilliant”
“Hilariously absurd”
“Incredibly brave, I could never do that!"
Reconnecting with the wide eyed little kid who dreams of becoming their childhood super hero is the heart of Josipa Draisma Is Jean Claude Van Damme. It’s a funny and entertaining salute to the naivety, joy, willful stupidity and playfulness of childhood.
Growing up in Cabramatta in the 80s and 90s I watched my father’s martial arts films, and Jean Claude Van Damme was on high rotation. I have vivid memories of lying under my trampoline, thinking about Jean Claude Van Damme doing the splits and spinning helicopter heel kicks, and then of actually attempting to do them when no one was looking.  The only difference is now I’m doing that, as an adult, in front of everybody.
Recently I discovered the work of French clown master Philippe Gaulier which demands that you put your ego to one side and reveal something extremely vulnerable about yourself. There is so much joy and humour to be found in this place of vulnerable stupidity and it’s profoundly liberating for both the performer and the audience. I guess that’s what the audience connects to.  They see their own know-nothing idiot selves in you and are relieved that for once, somebody is showing them that it’s okay not to know everything and be a loveable fool.
The idea of me attempting to become Jean Claude Van Damme is, for a comedian, the perfect recipe – an impossible task for an idiot armed only with hope.  The odds of pulling this off are completely stacked against me, but that’s certainly not going to stop me from giving it a red hot go!



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