Joshua Ladgrove was a multi-award-winning performer prior to caring for his 97 year-old Ukrainian grandmother (“Baba”) in almost complete isolation from February 2020 until her death in August 2022. This is that story and so much more. A funny, moving, occasionally accurate show about life, death, family and the indomitable Ukrainian spirit.
“A sensational hour… You’ll leave with your stomach aching of laughter and tears in your eyes” – ★★★★1/2 – The Age
Moosehead Award (2023 Melbourne International Comedy Festival)
Golden Gibbo (2019 MICF)
Amused Moose Comedy Award (2016 Edinburgh Fringe)
Best Comedy (2012 Melbourne Fringe)
Did you hear the one about the dead 97-year-old Ukrainian grandma? No? That’s because death isn’t very funny, and y’know, there’s this whole war business going on in Ukraine thanks to ol’ mate Putler, which isn’t exactly a laugh riot, so it’s probably not the best subject matter for a comedy show. What’s life without a challenge though? So here we are, a comedy show about my recently departed grandmother, affectionately known as “Baba”; the best person I’ve ever known.
A bold departure from his previous character work as cult buffoon Neal Portenza in various shows (including cult religious icon Jesus H. Christ in the 2015 sensation ‘Come Heckle Christ’), ‘Baba’ sees Joshua perform without a mask for the first time in his career. This new comedy show keeps Baba’s spirit alive, by telling the tale of her extraordinary life. Ukraine, democracy, the scourge of communism, ALDI, a Maltese Terrier Bichon Frisé, bottles of gin, the new Ridge in The Bold & The Beauty, Pokémon, soup, Rick Stein, a boat ride on the Yarra, п’єрогі, the elderly – a mere taste of the complex themes explored in ‘Baba’.
If you only see one show at this Fringe, it’s probably because inflation is biting hard and comedy shows aren’t as important as say, chicken breasts or school fees.
About Gasworks Arts Park
Joshua Ladgrove and Jason Marion are award-winning comedians/performers who have co-created a show based on the life of Joshua’s recently departed Ukrainian grandmother, aka, Baba.