Friday, 29 March 2013

Xavier Toby: White Trash, March 29, 2013 ***

White Trash
Imperial Hotel, March 29 April 9, 2013 
Melbourne International Comedy Festival 
Stars: ***
Reviewer: Kate Herbert on March 29

Review also published online in Herald Sun on Sat March 30. KH

"Makes ya laugh then makes ya think– about racism."

If you’ve ever engaged in a bit of “casual racism”, intentionally or thoughtlessly (Yeah, I’m talking to you!), then Xavier Toby will make you laugh, then make you reconsider your position.

Toby is a charming, slightly gauche, Aussie bloke, sporting a plaid shirt and jeans, slightly spiky, blonde haircut and a whiter-than-white grin to beat Shane Warne’s bleached choppers – but Toby’s pearly whites look natural.

His social circles shift between his “white trash bogan” mates and his “trendy trash”, hipster-cool pals, but both groups have their own issues surrounding racism, Toby says.

Straddling such diverse cultures can be a political minefield and Toby embarks on a comedy analysis of racism to challenge even the most politically incorrect bogan – and those annoying bleeding hearts who consider even the word “racism” to be racist.

He’s done his research on his mates, his family, current affairs TV, Asian launderettes (Is that racist?) and even referred to books: “It’s like the internet … only it’s true.”

He sets out to prove that all people should be judged on their characters, not their race or skin colour, and he uses penguins – they’re black and white – as the perfect example to prove his point.

He takes the issue of racism seriously but makes us laugh with clever observations about bogans, trendoids and racists, his self-deprecating humour and diversions into relationships, media misuse of language – and vacuum cleaners. Don’t ask!

Toby – who looks a lot like a scruffy Eddie Perfect before TV cleaned him up – is passionate and engaging and he gets laughs while making a compelling political point.

Long live the political comic!

By Kate Herbert

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