REVIEW: Ashton Brown: Anxious to Meet You (NZ International Comedy Festival)

Review by Tim George

Ashton Brown

[Cracking Up]

Over the last couple of years, I have seen Ashton Brown perform twice as part of double bills. I can safely say that this is the best I’ve ever seen him.

A combination of self-flaggelating autobiography and stand up, Anxious to meet you sees Brown tackle his biggest, most complex subject: himself.

Over the course of an hour he talks candidly about his attempts to wrestle with anxiety and depression. It’s heavy material, which makes it good for stand up, and since a comedian’s best material comes from mining themselves, it’s a win-win.

Blending role play, the world’s shittiest power point presentation, a phone call with his mum, and a vision from his future self/father, Anxious to meet you is extremely ambitious, but never feels bloated or weighed down by theme. It all works in service to the overriding theme: Brown recognising that he does not suck.

The pace never lets up, and while there are many transitions between set pieces, Brown’s banter with the audience ensures there are no dead spots or rough edges.

Swinging between the profane the profound, Anxious to meet you is very, very funny. If you like jokes about shitting the bed and incest mixed with big issues like the current state of mental health funding and gender equality, you should go meet Brown at his next gig.

Ashton Brown performed at Q during the Comedy Festival
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