Baba Brightside & Gasworks Arts Park

- Performing Arts Fringe Festival


A comedy shows about life, death, family & the indomitable Ukrainian spirit.

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 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’.


Moosehead Award (2023 Melbourne International comedy festival)

Golden Gibbo (2019 MICF)

Amused Moose Comedy Award (2016 Edinburgh Fringe)

Best Comedy (2012 Melbourne Fringe)

  • Reviews:

    A sensational hour... You’ll leave with your stomach aching of laughter and tears in your eyes - ★★★★1/2

    - The Age

    Baba is a complex show, evoking a range of emotions and offering a unique take on the subject of losing a relative 

    - Chortle 13 April 2023

    You’ll leave with a stomach aching of laughs, tears in your eyes and the urge to call your relatives and let them know that you love them. To inspire such a show, you can only imagine what a wonderful woman his Baba must have been.

    - The Age
  • Event Details
    Date & Times:
    Tuesday 10 October, 8:00 pm
    Wednesday 11 October, 8:00 pm
    Thursday 12 October, 8:00 pm
    Friday 13 October, 8:00 pm
    Saturday 14 October, 8:00 pm

    Full Price: $36 
    Concession: $33 
    Group of 4+:
    Blax Tix: $25 
    $27 (10th Oct)

    Running Time:
    60 mins
    Studio Theatre
    Wheelchair Accessible
    Mild Coarse Language, Some Infrequent/Low Pressure Audience Interaction, Death, War, COVID-19/Coronavirus, Grief
  • Gallery
  • Credits
    Gasworks Arts Park & Bright Side
    Joshua Ladgrove