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MATT STORER @ Regal Theatre gets 7.5/10

Matt Storer @ Regal Theatre (for Perth Comedy Festival)
Saturday, May 19, 2018

7.5/10

Matt Storer is a wuss. At least, that is what he predicates his new show, staged at the last leg of the Perth Comedy Festival. Storer is a bit of a dork – but he certainly doesn’t seem afraid of taking centre stage.

Giving himself his own warm introduction, he promptly begins to self-analyse the act of giving oneself his own introduction – a common thread that weaved through the rest of his performance. Storer is the perfect balance of endearingly awkward, self-aware, and charismatic, and he easily engaged in back and forth with the crowd… when they wanted to. It was a true shame that – not through lack of effort on Storer’s part – audience engagement oft-times lead to awkward silences. This wasn’t his fault so much as a crowd who was clearly afraid of falling victim to more shenanigans, after one poor fellow was dragged on stage for an impromptu and hilarious love song to his partner, vocally and sonically guided by Storer on a Casio keyboard.

Nonetheless, there were plenty of belly laughs and cackles throughout the show as Storer re-enacted arguments with friends about Coke and Diet Coke, unfortunately-voiced girlfriends, and crows. Unfortunately, I without a doubt had heard a few of the jokes before. Sure, they were funny, but audiences of the same generation or younger would have definitely heard the one about Rugs A Million or embarrassing childhood email addresses.

The highlights of his performance were undoubtedly his comedic musical numbers played on his trusty keyboard. Storer looked so comfortable in front of the keyboard it was hard not to sense the joy he clearly felt as he played. And we certainly lapped it all up as he sung an epic about his woes from a terrible, fucked-up hair cut and his inability to confront the hairdresser who had butchered his boyish good looks, and, strangely enough, an ode to white women. I promise it’s not as bad as it sounds. Really.

The main problem with Wuss however, was that a couple of jokes felt… almost juvenile. Storer isn’t a homophobe, he assures us in one section, even if that is “something a homophobe would say!”, as he exclaimed. But I couldn’t help but bristle slightly when there were more than one punchline that relied on the idea of homosexuality in itself. Storer is young, so perhaps he is still finding his footing as a comedian (and doing a mostly brilliant job at that) – it just felt more like a joke one would hear at recess or in a derelict pub somewhere. Punters should expect more than a lazy joke like this and it’s rather jarring considering the ‘wokeness’ of his white women song and Storer’s quick-witted reply to an audience member who said he’d “run away like a girl” from a crow (“Most women would fight back.”)

Ultimately, Wuss will have you walking out of the gig with sore cheeks and excitement for what Storer will have in store for us next as a young, fresh face with a heap of potential. As Storer hones his craft and refines his joke repertoire, there is no doubt the kinks will have been ironed out because you can’t fake that kind of magnetism.

RACHEL TWISS

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