Saturday 30 March 2024

Write-Off review (Melbourne International Comedy Festival)

Sean Collier is a 26-year-old white, straight man from New Zealand and he has plenty to say. This is mainly about how screwed up his life is and how equally screwed up society is. Equipped with a microphone, a beer and a backwards cap, Write-Off is an opportunity for Collier to get a lot of things of his chest in an irreverent and brazen but highly entertaining stand-up routine.

Collier talks about growing up in New Zealand in a town where there were not many prospects and built on violence and racism. But he manages to bring these things together that remains honest to his experiences and concerns while providing a great deal of laughter. Drug use and addiction, prison, homelessness and even rimming are not exactly ground-breaking topics, but what makes Write-Off refreshing is the structure and punchlines and how dark Collier goes with his material.

A couple of jokes don't quite land but Collier displays an awareness of this, so with some tweaking in their delivery they should find their rightful place in Write-Off. Except the burping. His set list and beer rest on a bar stool next to him and it would be good idea to remove the set list as the glances towards it with each sip gave the impression of nerves or unpreparedness, despite neither of these coming through. The end of the show happens suddenly and finding a way to end it on some kind of high would fare much stronger than telling us that we have reached the end.

Write-Off is a candid and open exploration of Collier's life and insights about a world that is just getting harder and harsher to live in. The cost of living, employment and drugs and alcohol are all covered through Collier's unconventional observations and off-centre perspectives of society and culture. We might be working towards writing off this world, but Write-Off is firmly on the road to success.


Venue: The Charles Dickens Tavern, 290 Collins St, Melbourne
 until 7 April | Mon - Sat (excl. Wed) 8pm, Sun 7pm
 50 minutes
 $20 Full | $18 Conc and Tightarse Tuesday
Bookings: Melbourne International Comedy Festival

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