Perth Comedy Festival
When Joel Creasey last strutted his stuff in Perth, with his coming-of-age show Drama Captain, he was an obscenely young 22 and playing at a bowling club. Two years on he’s all, well more, grown up, has some TV credits to his name and is filling the Regal. Not bad for a kid not all that long out of Wesley College and Garden City Booragoon. If he’s not quite an international comedy star yet, he’s at least a pretty substantial starlet.
His school days, his coming out and his break-up with his first love dominated Drama Captain. He’s moved on now – the aftermath of the break-up only gets one run, and that’s more concerned with the death of a friend’s cat.
This time around it’s more about what’s happened to him since, which means life as a comedian and media personality on the make, climbing the celebrity lists from C to B.
Lots and lots of opportunity for great bitchy fun, and Creasey’s a rapid-fire master of it (he’s, famously, a protégé of the recently departed queen of the genre, Joan Rivers). Everyone – from local newsreaders to soapy stars to his fellow reality show sort-of-celebrities – is in his sights, although, to his credit, he’s discriminating with his marksmanship (confirming, for example, that debut MasterChef winner Julie Goodwin is a bit of a sweetheart, albeit a floury one, and Barry Hall is a seriously formidable human being).
But that’s the problem. While, of course, there are plenty of clever and very funny observations about everything from Hobart to gay bars (and, yes, Melbourne’s Poof Doof has the best name for a dance club ever), too much of the material is conspiratorial gossip about what he did with, or to, his fellow personalities, and it runs the risk of making him seem something of a dobber, and his audience, by extension, a bunch of peeping Toms.
He’s a real talent, though, and smart enough to realize that he needs more insight into the human comedy, and less snickering about what he’s been up to lately, to realize his pretty much unlimited potential.
An edited version of this review appeared in The West Australian 27.4.15