Michael Hing gives a pretty good indication of the nature of his show in the title. The title also speaks volumes about him. It's wordy and smart but a bit obvious. That's the paradox with 26-year-old Hing, he's very clever but his comedy doesn't reflect this. Instead he over explains jokes, his punch lines fall away and occasionally he doesn't bother with them at all. Which would be fine if he weren't banging a somewhat repetitive and angry drum.
Hing is at his best when he allows the vulnerability into his stories; a beautiful story about teaching his granny to use social media was the emotional heartland that worked best in this show. Unfortunately he insisted on annoying dick jokes and swearing repetitively at rich white folks. Not that they/we don't deserve it and the political comparisons are very sharp – especially those about credit card spending and the impending race war. It's simply that the insults could be a whole lot funnier. That said, Hing's shtick is to use reverse stereotyping to make his point. A lot more subtlety would have sufficed. With so much clever potential, disappointingly structured jokes let him down badly.
Gifted with a razor sharp intellect, a capacity to articulate complex metaphors and political insights, his casual approach to his material, inserting brand new stuff on a night-by-night basis means that the really robust material is diluted. Thus his Channel Ten story is over shadowed by telling us about the Channel Ten producer who was in the audience on the previous night. It came across as big noting.
Hing already has some comedy awards under his belt. Earlier clips on You Tube show why. When he keeps his focus narrow and tight he is very very good. This gig seemed like a case of running before mastering the art of walking. Or then again, maybe it was his unlucky sweater.
2012 Sydney Comedy Festival
An Open Letter to Rich White People and Their Role in the Downfall of Civilisation
Venue: The Yalumba Wine Bar @ Enmore Theatre | 118-132 Enmore Road, Newtown NSW
Dates: Tue 1 - Fri 4 May at 9pm
Bookings: 02 9020 6966 | www.sydneycomedyfest.com.au