There’s a something heartbreaking about seeing a bad show - it really claws its way into the caverns of your soul and ceaselessly picks away at it as you feel grief for the people involved in the comedy car crash. It’s even worse when the performer seems to be a nice chap and so it is with great pain that I report that likeable Ethan Addie’s show, Rookie Mistakes, is dismal to the acutest degree.
Having to refer constantly to notes during a stand-up show about your life is something that can be overlooked if the quality of the comedy is of a high standard but Addie is not even on the comedy chart. He rolls through his life and adventures as a young, gay Australian man, constantly having to remind himself of what he wants to talk about next, but never really reveals anything about the world he inhabits. His sexuality is the sole theme of Rookie Mistakes and Addie crafts nothing other than anecdotes about rent boys, Grindr and gay nightclubs.
His delivery is of a similarly shoddy standard. He stretches out his set-ups to an outrageous length and then quickly rattles off his punch-line, regularly laughing afterwards as if to let the audience know that that particular joke has now been told. So poor is his performance that it is difficult to see if any work has been put into his writing or his act as a whole. His chatty, laidback and natural choice of performance style does not come across chatty, laidback or natural – it comes across as uncomfortable, stiff and unfocused.