Friday, 28 March 2003

Jeff Green, March 28, 2003

 Jeff Green
Melbourne Comedy Festival
Lower Melbourne Town Hall, March 28 to April 20, 2003 
Reviewer: Kate Herbert

English comedian Jeff Green is a very naughty rascal but the audience gives him heaps of licence. He gets away with plenty of overtly rude material because he is just so damned charming and cute - and he damn well knows it too.

Green is visiting the Melbourne Comedy Festival for the fourth time. Evidently we love him. This year he seems more relaxed, less driven on stage. this does not mean he is any less funny. 

His material is impeccably crafted. His gags run in groups and he keeps topping them until we are exhausted with laughter. His mum gets a lashing this year. Mum and food, mum and comfy beds, mum and kissing, mum not letting you be an adult. Everybody has a mum so he works on identification comedy.

He segues into holiday madness - British holidays. We can justify any stupid action if we are on hols: camping, fishing, boating even going to Adelaide.

Relationships between women and men come in for a bashing again. This seems to be one of his favourite topics. God help his partner who seems to the stimulus for much of the material.

He focuses on the glaring differences of domestic behaviour between men and women. His observations are scarily accurate: hair loss, bikini waxing, doona thieves, loo paper. By the time he finishes we wonder how any heterosexual couples survive.

Dad comes in for a tongue lashing too. Anyone who had a hyper-critical dad will cringe at Green's stories. Finally he reveals what an awful child he was. It seems the wicked pixie eyed adult was just that as a child: wicked and elusive, always winning the charming game with mum.

Green's technique is impeccable. He shifts between topics seamlessly and charms us when he thinks he might have crossed a rudeness line. This is a cunningly crafted hour of comedy by a skilful comedian with a wicked mind. 

By Kate Herbert

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