When we shuffle off this mortal coil, are knocked unconscious, or even sleep, what becomes of us? Uncertainty could lead to anxiety if you didn’t have a game plan. One comedian wants to tackle the issue head on (at times) in Sam Wade vs The Void.
There are over 600 shows at MICF 2023 and Easter splits the attention of many punters even further. It was extremely unfortunate for Wade that on this (Good Friday) review night he had to contend with the literal void of The Vault Theatre.
Surely it’s the stuff of comedian nightmares to have only your producer, a mate from theatre school, and two punters in attendance. Forget the “hot room” effect, where people laughing in a crowd makes others more likely to laugh; this was a comedian’s artic tundra.
However, Wade showed his professionalism by adapting to the situation. Engaging his audience in chat gave the performer a chance to explore commonalities and tell some stories about misadventures.
Wade advised that he has “the ‘tism” (is on the autism spectrum), and was diagnosed back when terms like “high-functioning” were used. Apparently, you could earn this term for having an IQ above 70, a level just above “two corgis in a long coat”. That’s a pretty good example of some of the kookiness Wade is capable of.
His particular make-up means that Wade has interests that are “nerdy” to the general public, and he takes an interest in the nerdiness of others. There was some inventive material on “masking” to fit in, and not quite understanding the cues of social situations.
Some of the material, say on being (hammerhead?) “shark Jesus” and having a dickhead boss, could be better motivated. However, this might be due to the reduced feedback possible with a small audience causing some uncertainty in how to steer the set.
Things have changed since autism was first diagnosed, including comedy festivals. There used to be a lot of white men talking about pretty similar things in fairly similar ways. Now, there’s a greater variety of people doing comedy, which makes life more interesting.
Those keen on some unusual perspectives, and who like the sound of comedy “served by an aggressively upbeat, neuro-divergent comedian”, might find Sam Wade can suitably fill a 6.00pm slot void of shows at MICF 2023.
Sam Wade vs The Void
Speakeasy HQ (The Vault Theatre), Mercantile Place (entrance 522 Flinders St), Melbourne
Performance: Friday 7 April 2023 – 6.00pm
Season continues to 20 April 2023
Information and Bookings: www.comedyfrestival.com.au
Image: Sam Wade (supplied)
Review: Jason Whyte