50 Shades of Black | Sean ChoolburraSean Choolburra is a nice guy. A really nice guy.

He's the sort of kid who wouldn't need bullying at school cos he'd probably give away his lunch if you wanted it anyway. And smile while you ate it.

So if your funny bone is only tickled by the gratuitous swearing and the harsh ravings of the sort Adam Hills would refer to as coming from a "jaded, bitter old mole" then Sean's show Fifty Shades of Black may not be the right choice for you.

But if you've got kids or elderly relatives in tow, you like a bit of music and some heart-warming observations about life's little idiosyncracies, then Sean's your man. He has a very natural style, which viewers of TV's Thank God You're Here and The Footy Show will already be familiar with. 

In 50 Shades of Black, his gentle journey meanders through a fictional self-help book, offering guidance on love, life, soap operas, music, star signs and dancing. Lots and lots of dancing. It's an easygoing adventure with lots of silliness and quiet observations on life's absurdities. The dancing seems to be a natural state of being; something that takes over whenever he lets his inner Michael Jackson loose. 

In fact if I have one criticism, it's that the dancing is a bit disjointed and stops just as he really gets going; Get a top-notch routine going, Sean, and go for it! It's as if he's a bit embarrassed about getting too slick. 

Towards the end of the show, the jokes start coming a bit thicker and faster and the chortles and chuckles start exploding into belly laughs. So every time Sean apologises. Sure, it's self-effacing and done with one of his boyish grins, but he apologises! I feel like screaming: "Don't! That's what comedians are supposed to do!"

There are some moments of standout brilliance in the night: the difference between good girl/boy and bad girl/boy dancing is wonderful, and spot on. And his storytelling is truly gifted; he can sum up a whole situation in one facial expression.

But mostly it's just a lovely way to spend a genuinely funny hour without hearing a single swear word.

UpStart Comedy
50 Shades of Black
Sean Choolburra

Venue: Melb Town Hall – Backstage Room | Cnr Swanston & Collins Sts, Melbourne
Dates: 28 Mar – 21 Apr, 2013
Tickets: $16 – $20
Bookings: Ticketmaster 1300 660 013

Part of the 2013 Melbourne International Comedy Festival

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