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Nick Sun: Dreamfist

Note: This review is from 2010

Review by Julian Hall

‘If you don't enjoy Nick Sun, it's because you suck as an audience.’ This quote from Doug Stanhope is pride of place among the Australian comedian's promotional material and raises the stakes, if anything. But I am ultimately relieved that I can get away without sucking too much tonight.

I can see what Stanhope sees in Sun, a healthy disregard for social etiquette and a paradoxically vibrant pessimism that conjures up phrases such as being ‘raped by hope’. I expect that Sun's description of the US in Third World terms must have appealed to Stanhope too.

As with Stanhope, Sun is unfocussed at times but the fresh nature of routines on, for example, what the ‘YouTube generation’ really means and the origins of female genitalia, does shine through the Haze of his chaotic persona.

Confusion reigns further, however, in the juxtaposition of routines with set pieces such as Sun pretending to wet himself by pouring water on to his trousers, or his impression of his life as a cat. While they do resonate with his world view, one that challenges nonsense with nonsense, they don't fit with his set that well and feel tacked on. Perhaps it’s because there's a lack of energy in the set to make the leap from weary observation to performance art.

One of Sun's abstract moments has him deliberately falling off a chair. I can't use this as a metaphor for the whole of his show, but there are moments that will at least make up you bob up and down in your seat with laughter.

Review date: 23 Aug 2010
Reviewed by: Julian Hall

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