Last night we kicked off our attendance of the Adelaide Fringe with a spur of the moment visit to see Mike Sheer at pub (hotel) venue in the city centre.

What attracted us to the show was the chance to see someone I didn’t yet know of (its always good to take a flying chance at least once per festival) and the blurb to his show “Mike Sheer is Free” which speaks of “free speech, free association” and “Giddy, dark, brainy, ballsy comedy”.

The theme of the show – our need for freedom and the things we do to seek it, is a brilliant one. Sheer has some great points to make using four categories (money, sex, religion, drugs) – a great structure to work with. He is particularly strong on the way that advertisers and the media manipulate us, stoking up and utilising our desires in order to sell hollow promises of fulfillment.

Chatty and amiable with the small midweek audience, Sheer knows how to work a room pretty well exhibiting a fair dose of the confidence I’ve come to associate with North American acts (he hails from Toronto tho is now based in Melbourne). He engaged various members of the crowd, interested to see how his sometimes quite challenging material was going down with the different types of people present.

I’d say there were a good half a dozen really excellent lines in the show which crystallised a given bit into one perfect sentence, something which Sheer could probably aim to do more as the show evolves, editing and re-editing the many ideas down and perhaps slowing up his delivery now and again to let them really hit home. But even when the material was a little waffly, the strength and number of the ideas, the power of the theme and the energised delivery kept the attention well.

Mike is here for the rest of the Fringe and also performing the show at the Melbourne comedy festival.

Stand Up Comedy

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