Man vs Meth is a kind of comedic schadenfreude. Simon Hughes spends the hour talking about the years he spent using drugs, stretching the definition of “recreational”, until he ultimately finds himself using Ice.
Through a mixture of stand-up, storytelling, and PowerPoint, Simon runs through the horrific, the hilarious, and the hilariously horrific situations he often found himself in. As he says, when the debt collector visits looking to mess you up, but sees the condition you’re in and leaves with a, “Never mind,” you know things have got pretty bad.
The slideshow was a nice touch. Simon has a lot of charisma – his enthusiasm walking a tightrope between excited and hectic. Performance-wise, things got a little haphazard in places, as tangents, technology issues, and certain gin-soaked members of the audience took their toll. Structurally, the ending fell away at the climax, missing out on how one goes from court-mandated rehab to a true decision for sobriety to stand-up comedy.
The first ever episodes of the podcast, Jay & Silent Bob Get Old are spent detailing actor Jason Mewes’ journey to sobriety, and highlights the benefits of being methodical to a degree with your storytelling. In the end, as funny as the show was, it feels as if Simon is on the cusp of a great one. With a little less mania and a little more craft, Man vs. Meth could really be something hilarious and memorable.
Simon Hughes Man vs Meth
Ladida, 577 Lt Bourke Street, Melbourne
Performance: Saturday 15 April 2017 – 9.30pm
Season continues to 22 April 2017
Information and Bookings: www.comedyfestival.com.au
Image: Simon Hughes (supplied)
Review: David Collins