Kate Herbert is theatre reviewer, Herald Sun, Melbourne & formerly for Melbourne Times. Kate is a director & produced playwright (20 plays). Scripts published by Currency Press. She worked as an actor, comedian, improviser & teacher of Acting, Improvisation & Playwriting. Kate is currently Convenor of Professional Writing & Editing, Swinburne University. Read her reviews here or at: www.heraldsun.com.au/entertainment/arts. NB Explorer Browser doesn't always work on blog.
Saturday, 28 March 2015
Dave Hughes in Pumped, 27 March 2015 ***1/2
Comedy Theatre, until 19 April 2015 Melbourne Comedy Festival
Review also published in Herald Sun online today, Sat 28 March. KH
Employing his own brand of feigned oafishness, Dave
Hughes purposely stammers and bumbles his way through a routine about familiar
and predictable topics including family, fame, travel and fans.
After teasing the front rows of the audience and
taunting the latecomers, he slams Jetstar for its appalling treatment of him
and vows to spend the next 10 years bagging them – a plan that garners feverish
He has a red-hot go at the pseudo-celebrities on
reality TV, the Bombers and their drug scandals and The Gold Coast for its Bogans
with their sleeve tattoos.
trades on his raddled looks that make him appear as if he has gone three rounds
with a bottle of Jim Beam and a prize fighter, although Hughes is totally clean
living – he says.
He vigorously attacks his targets first, then
retreats, laughs and apologises with studied, insincere sincerity.
To pacify his audience after his irate rants, he peppers
his hour of stand-up with the repeated phrases, “You’re a great crowd. Never
forget it”, and “Good on you. Good on me. Good on them.”
In comedy, repetition is your friend. Repetition is
Hughsey’s delivery is slightly slurred and
deliberately messy as he pays out on Jamie Oliver, One Direction and the anonymous
critics of his appearances on The Footy Show.
He declares his love of fish and chips and how he associates
that old-fashioned, fast food with Friday nights – very 1960s of him – and he reincorporates
this passion for fried fish frequently throughout his routine.
of being bailed up by fans in public, being heckled on the street, being
recognised by hookers and followed by surly beggars provide some good laughs.
some barbs at real estate agents, celebrates the Middle Eastern Shisha pipe and
muses over the London Underground.
of material come from his family, the travails of flying to the USA with three kids
under 5, being the target of kid-haters on the plane, the perils of driving in
LA and the kids’ shenanigans in the pool at their hotel.
Hughsey bravely confesses his relief at being on the road as a solo comedian
and reveals his wife’s understandable resentment of his freedom when she is at
home wrangling the kids.
some of his material lacks the pay-off at the end of a joke or feels a little
undercooked, Hughes has a strong following and gets the crowd laughing for an