Review – Sammy J: Hero Complex

10 April 2017

Sammy J’s new solo show Hero Complex is an assured, hilarious romp through the barely believable coincidences of Sammy’s life.

The story – a blend of thriller and coming of age – focuses on Sammy’s love of the Phantom, beginning with the start of a friendship between Sammy and his school gardener and ending with a federal policeman climbing into his attic. In between comes a hilarious series of events and coincidences ranging from international diplomacy and maiden speeches to thefts and lookalike contests.

Sammy has been around for a while, slowly gathering comedic momentum and it really shows. Sammy’s performance is intricate and assured demonstrating great comedic range as he moves between crowd interaction, quips, sincere emotion and of course the songs for which he is well known. There are only a few songs in the show but the ones that do make the cut, particularly the lament of the new father – ‘See you in 17 years’, are woven in seamlessly and add a different type of (very funny) humour that complement the rest of the show.

Instead of songs the show mainly comprises of story driven stand-up complemented with an array of multimedia ranging from diary excerpts to high school documentaries. The jokes fly thick and fast, encompassing everything from Australian politics to schoolyard politics, but it is the storytelling that really impresses as Sammy manages to holds the audience spellbound throughout the entire sixty minutes.

During the show you do feel that the content of the show is what makes it funny but after you have tried, and failed, to explain the story of the show to friends you realise that the art of any story is in the telling and this is what Sammy has mastered. Sammy turns a madcap series of coincidences into a story that was utterly enthralling and into comedy that will keep you laughing all the way home. If you are thinking of checking out the Melbourne Comedy Festival this show should be at the top of your list.

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