Comedy, Festivals

MICF: Greg Fleet: The Games Master

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One is obliged to begin any account of a Greg Fleet show with a reminder that the performer is capable of a heartbreaking brilliance. So: Greg Fleet is capable of a heartbreaking brilliance. He also has a great talent for half-arsery and has elected to exercise that gift this festival season.
Personally, I don’t think a comedy hour needs a unifying theme or, indeed, any mild relation to its description in the festival program. I can even forgive ambling around a selection of topics and even welcome an unsteady process if it moves us to unexpected places. But, on this occasion, it really doesn’t. The room is as unable to break into laughter as Fleet is to find his groove.
With notes at his feet and the audience beyond his control, Fleet gives us an hour that could kindly be called desultory and more exactly be called underdone. An under-written workshop is fine at Fringe but simply unacceptable at a major venue at a festival of global significance. Honestly, he needs to get his finger out and use it to point to the holes in a show which consists mostly in lapses.
It is this lack of material, perhaps, that prompts Fleet to talk chiefly about his own mild misadventure without much in the way of analysis. His poverty of self-knowledge is only eclipsed by his difficulty in critiquing unpleasant social mores and politicians. He has failed to turn his pain into art and instead turns it into pain for a room full of strangers.
Greg Fleet is capable of heartbreaking brilliance. Perhaps we’ll get a reassuring glimpse of it next year.
[box]DR Comedy Warnings: MARX, IMPROV
Greg Fleet: The Games Master is at Melbourne Town Hall until 20 April. Tickets are available at comedyfestival.com.au[/box]

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