Tom Gleeson is the thinking persons comedian. While using his life, family and the audience for comedic relief he can touch on subjects that require you to think debate and question life.
Arriving on stage to a rousing applause Gleeson begins his set “by just saying hello” to various members of the audience. “It means nothing. It’s just me saying hi” he reassures members of the audience. That is until he tried to elicit the name of a member of the audience in the front row and gags come quick and fast as the poor person tries to remember their name or the poor fifteen year old, with whom he checks in from time to time throughout his performance to see if he understands his jokes. Finding two mining company workers in the audience enables him to launch into a tirade of jokes about Perth’s mining boom and the high cost of living on the West coast. A show of hands of the audience not working in the mining industry (all fifty of us) confirms the myth that cashed up miners make up the vast majority of the audience.
His monologue on Apple and the iCloud had a ring of truth to it, as does most of his act. The stories about his one year old are heartfelt and at one point, as he recounts the first time he took his tiny daughter to have her first needle, you can sense him holding back the tears. His wife does not escape as he warns not to pick up a mirror from the floor and describes how his life has changed since the arrival of their daughter.
The real life questioning part of his set is saved for his thoughts on various religions. Being an atheist, Gleeson questions the beliefs of various faiths and shares with the crowd what he is really thinking when talking to a Christian or Jew at a dinner party. But the real clangor is when he recounts attending a friends baby’s christening and recalls the priest, while holding the baby, announce he could never break the seal of the confessional. Given the current royal commission he realizes this is possibly not a topic for a comedy show but gives the audience some homework, telling us to talk and debate the issue on the way home in the car.
For me, one of the more hilarious moments in the show came when Gleeson asked for audience feedback. One brave woman called from the back, “Do you have a sock under your jeans?” Handled like a true professional, he had the audience in fits of laughter while turning a tomato shade of red.
Disappointed his set had finished so quickly I left the theatre to do my homework and relive some of the more memorable gags with a chuckle in the car on the way home.