Jordan Sharp: The Book | Melbourne International Comedy Festival review
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Jordan Sharp: The Book

Melbourne International Comedy Festival review

Jordan Sharp has the chaotic, manic energy of early Sam Campbell, though the material is too messy to land and bereft of proper jokes. You must have faith, as he does, that the tumult – and the commitment with which he avoids conventional ways of engaging with the audience – are funny enough.

However, his on-edge delivery makes it hard to relax, at least at first, while constant references to the fact he hasn’t got enough material to fill the hour seem a bit too on the nose. It’s typical of the way he tries to make assets of what would usually be considered shortcomings, but with only limited success. The Book still feels amateurish and confusing, even if that is by design.

Sharp throws a mass of bizarre images grabbed from the web or AI-generated at his screen, all supposedly in support of his  premise that we’re approaching a ‘technological singularity’ – whatever that means, but it’s probably bad. His meaningless plottings on a graph don’t make that any clearer, nor are they supposed to. 

There’s some nonsense about entering a VR chatroom where everyone chooses the same avatar, which has a grain of truth more rewarding than the random nonsense, and a love song to a 5G mast which is the closest thing to a conventional sketch in the whole show and, tellingly, the funniest segment, too. 

Visit Melbourne Melbourne International Comedy FestivvalMelbourne International Comedy Festiva news and reviews with Visit VictoriaAnother chunk parodies mainstream comics and their ‘what’s the deal with the middle aisle at Aldi’? shtick lest we mistake him for one of those guys – quite a common trope for alt comedians, defining themselves by what they are not. Ironically, he’s quite good at delivering this relatable drivel, even though conventional stand-up is clearly not his calling.  

Instead, he’s the sort of comedian who will make a montage of pictures of Tim Minchin’s bare feet and set it to an indecipherable song. Why? If you need a reason, this is not the show for you.

Sharp’s got an odd mind, that’s for sure, but its outpourings need more shape than this baffling jumble, even to make it as anti-comedy.

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Review date: 22 Apr 2024
Reviewed by: Steve Bennett
Reviewed at: Melbourne International Comedy Festival

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