Review: Matt Okine

4 April 2016

As I walk into the Melbourne Town Hall’s Supper Room, Matt Okine is recovering from the events of this morning, a moment I’d heard on The J on my drive into work. He’d finally met celebrity chef, Justine Schofield after a humiliating affair, having accidentally double tapped an old Instagram photo of hers during an intense and hardly explainable stalking session some months ago.

Okine’s comedy is humble and self-critical. It’s a refreshing break from the arrogant observational ramblings of some. That’s not to say Okine completely avoids the typical ‘I hate all people’ remarks all together. He just happens to use them sparingly.

During his one-hour show, he recalls his time as a struggling actor. He relives certain moments of desperation, even admitting to having washed human faeces off a five-dollar note he found on the street. He re-enacts his one-off performance on Sea Patrol, a role as an Ethiopian diplomat with a questionable accent. His set is very much a success story, a celebration of his new life marked by a steady career and a fistful of hindsight.

Okine explores issues of gender and race and equality, but his exposition is free from judgement. He tells long stories and after he delivers the punch, he drops a magnificent truth bomb or says something incredibly thought provoking in a way that’s kind of similar to delivering it to you on a little post it note for you to stick anywhere you like. You’ll either wear these post its on your forehead or crumple them up and guiltily place them in the bin on your way out of there. The former is most likely.

The show takes a surprising turn at the end, and if you’re as impressed as I was, you’ll leave thinking deeply introspective thoughts, wondering whether or not you’re trying your best to minimise the harm you do onto this planet and the beings that inhabit it. Don’t say I didn’t prepare you.

You can catch Matt Okine during the Melbourne International Comedy Festival at the Melbourne Town Hall through to 17 April 2016.

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