It started straight up with a heckle, which he welcomed and returned like a veteran tennis player beginning the next set. Damien Power sits in his groove this year perhaps a little too comfortable on the Melbourne Comedy Festival Stage. That could be due to the self disclosed micro dosing of hallucinogens.
If you like your comedy on the darker, self depleting side then this gig should be on your comfest itinerary. Power has brewed up a layered set of human observations, including hilarious metaphors of how as children we once separated the concepts of pleasure and pain. Now as we traverse adulthood, they have merged together into one puddle of mixed fluids. Grand narratives are dead, nobody wants to die for their country anymore. People join the army to travel, meet new people, kill people and enjoy combined target and yoga practice.
Corporate sponsored, winking assholes, Wellness slave camps and the inability to portray a Chinese accent on stage are all acknowledged in this dark comedy alleyway. Throw in some awkward school pickup conversations with Roger, white males exercising power through fast laps and champagne showers and you got a solid comedy set.
The best of Powers comedy is of course the things that are the most truthful. Which are often the parts that hurt the most, the relatable dark parts of his life. They come in the portrayal of his father and the tension of being the black sheep creative child in a family of race car drivers and man sports.
He paints a vivid picture of a supercharged dad speeding through life as fast as possible. Always accelerating. If he clocks fast enough laps then life can not catch him and make him experience the notion of “inner feelings”. The only trouble with that is your several sons have not learnt to drive yet and you end up leaving them dispersed on the tarmac, mentally worse for wear.
Powers copes by Macgyvering the family hose into bongs. Whilst Dad doesn’t understand the concept of drugs and relaxation. Even Fentanyl after surgery doesn’t stop him from wanting to go home and mow the lawns. If he dies that’s fine he will mow the gardens in heaven. People don’t seem to get the fact they are mildly overgrown.
This show won’t spark joy at the wonder of life, it won’t make you feel light and fuzzy. It will make you laugh and nod though.
A Token Event
Venue: Powder Room | Melbourne Town Hall, 100 Swanston St, Melbourne VIC
Dates: 25 March – 18 April 2021
Tickets: $32 – $25