Guy Montgomery: Let's All Get in a Room Together | Review by Steve Bennett at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival

Guy Montgomery: Let's All Get in a Room Together

Review by Steve Bennett at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival

It’s possible that Guy Montgomery’s sophomore show, following his best newcomer nomination last year, is just the one sentence. He talks quickly, covering a lot of ground and injecting an urgent energy.

You’re never quite sure where you are with his winding, entangled train of thought that takes in peculiar anecdotes, autobiographical detail and a bit of social commentary, sometimes straight, sometimes slightly surreal and with a blurred line between the two.

Racing through the material partially distracts from its scattergun nature. We start with his cooking a meal for his housemates, and end with a dead cat. Then there’s the story of his sexual awakening to the Spice Girls – how did we get here? Now he’s getting high and stumbling into the 7-11. But even an unpromising premise like that gives vent to Montgomery’s quirky personality – it’s not quite simplistic observational nugget for the pot-heads to identify with.

For all the peculiarities, Montgomery also touches on real issues, such as how being educated at a single-sex school gave him an ‘unearned sense of confidence’ and how selfish parents contribute to the global population with their awful offspring. However, other comics do the social warrior angle better, and his take on the bigots talking about immigrants or marriage equality is something of a familiar target, even if he’s got a decent rant to feed his already on-side audience. 

The political is only slightly political, you see, like the absurd is only slightly absurd, his eccentricities only slightly eccentric. Sometimes this half-step away from the norm is enough to find new ground, sometimes it’s not. But it does make it a little difficult to get to know Montgomery’s personal comic take. 

Yes, he’s cheerful and likeable, but we don’t quite know him enough to thoroughly trust him, while the jumpy nature of his material means the show doesn’t hold together so well.

However the pacy energy appeals and the stories offbeat enough to hold the attention while containing images and lines that amuse. You just can’t shake the feeling Montgomery is a comedian-in-progress, still a couple of breakthroughs away from having a certain comic voice.

Review date: 21 Apr 2017
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