17 April, 2018 in Reviews
First Nations duo Dane Simpson and Matt Ford are Aborigi-LOL. Secreted away in the Malthouse Shell room, up in the rafters, they deliver a stand out stand-up comedy show in 100% Aussie Laughs that fully satisfies on its laugh out loud promise, with a healthy addition of smiling till you forget how sore your cheeks are. If you are a light skin Aboriginal, this will be the best comedy show you’ve ever seen.
First up is the laid back and wholesome Dane who, in the vein of Bill Cosby pre-scandal, shares the universal quirks of his family. The sense is that we’re hanging out on a couch chilling, possibly watching the next Australian sitcom star unveil the first episodes in a new series, Deadly Simpsons.
We go crabbing with his Uncle and agree that posing for photos, like a flamingo carrying a spear or a didge, is the perfect diversion so that the white fellas won’t find the best crab spots. We get the groove on for the food-loving brother who R&B serenades his gravy, chips and devon, and if you’re a keen organiser, fall in joy-filled awe of the whip-sharp opportunism of his mum, whose ‘as seen on the ABC’ garage sales should be episode one.
And then there’s Matt Ford. Loud with chiseled wit, he’s SBS all the way with his naughty but oh so brilliant experiences of life’s challenges, particularly if you’re a light skinned Aboriginal. Recapping just one afternoon watching the cricket in a pub, he’s called to question if being light skinned isn’t sometimes worse than being dark skinned.
First there’s the bloke at the bar who asks what teams are playing. ‘India and Sri Lanka,’ Ford offers. ‘I can’t tell the difference between them lot,’ the bloke says with a sneer. And Ford assures his mostly light skinned Aboriginal audience that he, too, has a problem: with telling one racist pig from another.
He dominates the stage and I find myself holding my cheeks down to stop the laughing that’s causing so much pain. Then I forget the pain somewhere between his slaying of another racist pig in the pub who’s lamenting that white men don’t get to say anything anymore, and his preoccupation with Aldi selling dildos – which of course will be called Aldos… He’s been single for a few weeks ladies, so head on down!
The Aborigi-LOL team join forces for a quick musical finale. Dane is an awesome didge player and the predominately light skinned Aboriginal audience were pumped. Unfortunately, the piece, about incarceration rates, was just a tease, and more like a ditty. It left me wanting more. Maybe that’s the next show.
Melbourne International Comedy Festival at The Coopers Malthouse
100% Aussie Laughs by Aborigi-LOL (Dane Simpson and Matt Ford)
10 Apr – 22 Apr 2018