By Simi West | @simwest7
The self-proclaimed “weapon” is back for a knockout 2017 season of ‘Good Talk’ – an hour where the comedy veteran, Tommy Little, does not shy away from crude and raw anecdotal stories.
This establishes the show as a fearless account of the blunders of life.
The Melbourne International Comedy Festival is in its 31st year, with 2017 marking Little’s 9th year performing at the festival since his 2009 debut.
Little confidently waltzes onto the stage, sporting a white t-shirt, blue jeans and his token trademark: a beer in hand.
Visibly enthralled by his diverse audience, he feeds off them. Middle aged-parents accompany their teenage children. Little chuckles, questioning whether these parents knew what ‘Good Talk’ would delve deep into: Sex. Lots and lots of crude sex jokes.
We, the Thursday night “theatre audience” as he coins us, love it. There is no time to be discerning. Little is unapologetically honest and harvests his energy from his genial audience.
‘Good Talk’ explores the blithe and spontaneous nature of Little’s life as he delves into embarrassing and disconcerting stories from the past year. He explores the awkwardness of sexting, sharing one scenario where his ex-girlfriend asked for a sexy nickname. He responded with a less-than sexy one, in his best Spanish accent. “Anything is sexy when said in a Spanish accent,” he proclaims.
Little’s performance is a culmination of scripted and ad-lib content, enhanced by audience participation. He breaks the fourth wall, involving the audience members from the first few rows. He is visibly taken aback at the blunt answers he receives when this backfires, causing innocuous trouble.
We are introduced to Michael from Berwick in the front row, who is on a date with a woman he has been “seeing” for only a month.
“So, are you guys exclusive?” Little asks. This is followed by a long silence. Sensing tension, he aborts mission, meandering to the other side of the stage. We, the audience, feel uncomfortable yet exhilarated by the temporary chaos caused by a few provocative questions.
Between the bellows of laughter, at times I can’t help but cringe as he delves deep into the nitty-gritty. He is awfully descriptive. He tries to find a polite term for a sexual encounter, finally settling with “going south” on a woman, and likening the act to a visiting the “bushland of Tasmania.”
His exploration into the confronting nature of the male genitalia is tantalising, to the point where you can’t look away. He reels you in and is blatantly carefree, assertively pronouncing that only a “gentleman” would wash his lower region in the bathroom sink before doing the deed.
He does not shy away from obscenities and swears throughout. He intertwines Australian vernacular and plays the endearing role of an Aussie larrikin, which – combined with his charismatic way of speaking – makes him relatable. He’s impossible not to like.
Little appeals to the young at heart, to those who disguise the very first fart in a relationship with being “one of the actors on TV”. His target audience is anyone who doesn’t mind laughing at some political incorrectness. The fierce eruption of laughter that emanates downstairs in The Forum after every second sentence attests to this.
Dedicated fans can catch Little in the foyer after the show, as he sells his branded beer stubbies and wine glasses.
He’s sure to leave you with a lasting impression. If you’re patient, you may just get a ‘Good Talk’ out of him.
Good Talk is playing six nights a week at The Forum Theatre until April 23. For more information, head to the Melbourne International Comedy Festival Website.