Ryan Coffey Live and Loud

Ned Kelly look-alike Ryan Coffey arrives in the burgh with vocal looping and a Fender Stratocaster to deliver some songs about relationships. But that’s all before you reach the comedic aspect of his performance. Coffey fails to make an impression with a troubled routine that is fraught with uncertainty and anxiously attempted jokes.

He was enthusiastic despite the size of the crowd

Badly screwing up a reference from Alien, Coffey retreats to music between his efforts at comedy, only to fall back on some bizarre jokes about the female anatomy. He drops in some mildly amusing social media jokes pertaining to Facebook, but sets these up as heavy hitters which was far from the case. The Australian gets a small ripple of laughter with jokes about his break up, but once you hear the one about denim shorts you know it’s time to hit the fire alarm and make a break for it.

Coffey’s closing song is his only comedic number that meets the standard of laughter for a decent show, though he saves it until the end. I was misled into believing that Coffey was ending his show 20 minutes early as he began to wind down with the usual ‘thanks-for-coming’ speech. But an encore song about Ikea made up the rest of the time to finish his act, something which felt painfully long to endure. I lost track of where the hell he was going with the song, although it seemed to involve cushions and hot dogs.

He took the time to get to know his audience (though this might have been because there were only 8 people in attendance), and seemed friendly enough with his guests. He was enthusiastic despite the size of the crowd which is one positive aspect of his show: at least he didn’t give up halfway through. However, Coffey was consistently aware of his own ineptitudes, going as far to ask how he was doing: ‘Do you think this is going well?’ No Ryan, no it isn’t. Sadly, the Australian is not confident enough unless he is singing, something he does far better than his poorly attempted comedy, and it is clear that the music is mostly a filler designed to compensate for his failing humour.

Perhaps Coffey would succeed better if he focused upon his musical talents, something which he certainly has potential for, but unless he seriously ups his game with humour he won’t be able to compete with seasoned professionals of the Fringe.

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The Blurb

Nominee: Golden Gibbo Award, 2011 Melbourne Comedy Festival. Loop pedal maestro and ramshackle raconteur, Ryan Coffey, is still smoking after tearing up Australia's biggest summer festivals: Woodford, Falls, Apollo Bay, St Kilda. Check out rock comedy's saviour at his blistering best. ‘Genuinely hilarious nonsense’ **** (Herald Sun). ‘Musical Brilliance; warts and all’ (SMH.com.au).

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