REVIEW: Eli Matthewson: An Inconvenient Poof (NZ International Comedy Festival)

Review by Nathan Joe

[Low-Fat Agitprop]

Eli Matthewson’s latest show manoeuvres through the tricky and confusing world of ethical living, as he strives to be the best activist he can be. It’s a pressing question in our current time, particularly for our generation.

Playing to the audience with just the right amount of charm and confidence, Matthewson effortlessly delivers his material, consistently hitting those punchlines and surprising us with moments of gut-busting vulgarity. And as he reflects on personal experiences – including recycling, being environment prefect and his romantic life – he explores the little and obvious things we can do to make a difference.

While the idea of using comedy as a platform sounds unimaginative and didactic, he acknowledges the inherent difficulty of his proposition, whether by satirising the idea of alt-right comedy or celebrating the little victories.

If political propaganda was made easily digestible, less preachy and far more entertaining, it would look something like An Inconvenient Poof. The political punch of the show is light and low stakes, but it wears its lightness on its sleeve, never forgetting to make the audience chuckle. Though unlikely to provoke any uprisings or revolutions, sometimes laughter is enough.

Eli Matthewson plays The Basement until 12 May. 

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