Luke McGregor starts apologizing as soon as he steps on stage and at times you just want to slap him and shout, “you’re a perfectly fine human being, stop worrying!”
But of course his whole schtick is based around his anxieties, his overthinking of situations and his worrying. And that’s a pretty brave thing to do when those anxieties are real.
It’s just that there are times in his show when he seems so in control, his timing is so good, and his observations so astute that you start to wonder if the socially awkward boy with the squeaky voice isn’t all an act, too.
Nah, can’t be, surely, can it?
Either way, Luke McGregor is a very clever comic. And he’s almost fixed it – his life, that is – hence the show title.
The room erupts in applause when he announces that he has a girlfriend at last. His painfully honest approach to his documentary on becoming more comfortable with sex, Luke Warm Sex, obviously won him a legion of supportive fans. No doubt he only built on that by teaming up with his Utopia colleague Celia Pacquola for Rosehaven, which was a gem of originality in a TV world filled with increasingly banal material.
So the girlfriend offers a whole new range of storylines, but it’s pleasing that he doesn’t embarrass the poor girl by focusing on sex, and instead ruminates on the issues of having to fess up to personal quirks and on their comparative careers.
He might worry about ghosts and ghoulies and monsters in the dark – but then he puts on his cynical comedian’s hat and blasts all those worries out the water with a shot of sarcasm. You wonder which Luke wins out at home.
McGregor draws heavily on audience feedback, which is pretty funny when it works and a bit tedious when it doesn’t. But the funniest responses are when he appears to get a bit emotional and all the girls in the room collectively sigh a sympathetic ‘ahhhhhhh’.
It’s tempting to put a lot of his laughs down to sympathy, when he’s standing there nervously rubbing his face, barely saying anything except that funny little squeak. But there are enough moments of genius in this show to settle that debate.
A Token Event
Almost Fixed It
Venue: Comedy Theatre, corner Lonsdale and Elizabeth streets
Dates: Until April 9