In a programme of about 600 shows at MICF 2018, it helps to have a point of difference. Sean Patton has the hook of being from the ‘drunken voodoo pirate city’ of New Orleans. Given that upbringing, we might have expected some rip-roaring tales in his show Number One.
Patton began with annoyance at stereotypes; no-one at home pronounces New Orleans as `Nnaw-lins’ (despite what Harry Connick Jr. told us). He would go on to show that he had some amusingly colourful turns of phrase and inventive metaphors in his tales.
Given this ability, it was somewhat disappointing that Patton took tactics from the mainstream comedy handbook. Sex talk has been done to death in stand-up, and Patton couldn’t resuscitate it here. He had a mix of stories, about family, adventures when growing up and getting stoned, and his obsessive compulsive disorder. Some of his more novel territory could have been explored more profitably.
Scant connections often made The One seem that there was too much breadth and not enough depth to the material. This was unfortunate as there was a real hint of kookiness to some of Patton’s bits, and it would have been interesting to see where this could have gone if properly let off the leash. However, his style, which often employed repetition, shouting and swearing, also made this feel somewhat short of a cerebral form of comedy.
Ultimately, the proposed novelty of The One didn’t materialise for my guest and I. Patton definitely has potential though. Aided by his very physical telling of tales, sections of a respectably-sized audience at this latish show had some good laughs over the journey.
Sean Patton: Number One
Cloak Room – Melbourne Town Hall, Swanston Street, Melbourne
Performance: Saturday 31 March 2018 – 9:45pm
Season continues to 22 April 2018
Information and Bookings: www.comedyfestival.com.au
Image: Sean Patton – photo by Mindy Tucker
Review: Jason Whyte