Saturday, 10 April 1999

Jeff Green, 10 April 1999

Lower Melbourne Town Hall until April 25, 1999
Melbourne International Comedy Festival

English comic, Jeff Green, had very entertainingly wriggly hips the last time he was here. He still has them but he's keeping them covered with a suit jacket this Comedy Festival. His material is funny enough without the hips.

The impish Green has 'charming' all wrapped up. He is sweet and quiet, speaking almost in a whisper into his hand-held microphone and scampering all over the stage.

He begins with his cute observations about Melbourne: Aussie rules, cheap hotels, the enormous MCG which could occupy Yorkshire. Our coffee keeps you awake for a week, our road signs warn us not to doze. Could there be a correlation?

He chats benignly, almost tentatively, with us. He lulls us into a false expectation of niceness at the start, only to launch into about forty minutes of very funny, sometimes lurid ("Have I gone too far now?") gags about sex.

His main thrust - an appropriately sexual pun- is the fine balance of the genders in relationships. He gives both teams a big serve but says outrageous things about women with a mischievous grin, cleverly fooling us into feeling that nothing he says is really sexist. Ha!

His list of things you will never hear in a relationship from men and women, is hilarious and well-observed. "Darling", says the imaginary man, "tell me that again but in more detail." He observes that, since living with his girlfriend, he has discovered all sorts of things he never knew he needed: romantic candles feature high on the list, probably horoscopes do too.

He taunts us with the frightening reality that we confuse loving with being a bloody nuisance. He compares humans desire to mate for life with bad-tempered swans and gladiatorial walruses that also have one partner. If the audience weren't laughing so hard we'd have all been crying.

When he comments on the "sartorial inelegance" of single men all the women groan in recognition. How many women have bought an entire wardrobe for their partners having thankfully got them out of track pants or stubbies?

He reminisces about the insane behaviour of mad girlfriends. He rambles about how to maintain your dignity, find your keys, hold onto your wallet and have sex while you're drunk. Green has some interesting tricks involving elastic that may be useful to know.

By Kate Herbert

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