A masterclass in turning self-doubt into subtle entertainment
Are my private anxieties the same as those of everybody else? If that thought has ever crossed your mind, then this show is for you.
Anxious, humble, clever and charming, Luke McGregor is not the shrinking violet his title would suggest. Instead, his one-man show is a masterclass in how to turn self-doubt into subtle entertainment.
He kicks off by recounting the details of his obsessive compulsive disorder, but this is not an act about his condition. Instead, it is a tour of the doubts and fears that can flicker across the mind of any young man or woman who finds themselves on their own.
“Murderer check … touchwood … hop before bed,” McGregor lists the elements of the routine that dominate his mind at the end of the day.
It’s not a plea for sympathy – rather it is the normal doubts of so many people amplified and then played out before us in exquisite, excruciating detail.
And then there is sex. It is here where McGregor’s fears run wild. Forever embarrassed, McGregor’s encounters are plagued by the unspoken questions which crowd in on him. But the sex book he keeps by his bed cannot answer his doubts quickly enough.
McGregor’s routine is deliberately bumbling but it picks up pace when it reaches his bedroom. While his personal problems – both real imagined – may seem extreme, they are only slightly beyond the normal woes expressed by so many 20- or 30-something male comedians.
Tasmania-born McGregor is a world away from the typically butch style of Australian acts, but his hesitant style has not held back his gradual rise. He has picked up prizes for Best Newcomer at the main comedy festivals in Sydney and Melbourne over the past couple of years, and deserves to win acclaim on this side of the world for his sensitive and sure-footed show. **Four stars** Review by Peter Edwards