In recent times Harley Breen has made the successful transition from the stand-up comedy circuit to more mainstream media, within which time it has not been unusual to see his head pop up in a tv or radio spot here and there. Returning to his stand-up roots at the Adelaide Fringe Breen has brought his show Flat Out Doing Nothing along for the ride, infusing everyday events into his act which makes him immediately relatable to the majority of the audience in one way or another.
Flat Out Doing Nothing sticks to this script of using these everyday relatable events as its main source of content, with this show seeming meander amongst three distinct topics…parenthood, drugs and poo… yes, poo!
What started off as a series of amusing anecdotes about his time in Adelaide so far soon transitioned into a fifteen minute tutorial on the processes of ‘baking’ marijuana. It was during this period that the show seemed to veer in the direction of being ‘more factual than funny’, as was confirmed by the stoner seated beside me who seemed to be able to recite the baking process step-by-step in real time. I’m not sure if Breen was truly as wrapped up in this process as he seemed onstage, or was he simply delivering the “weed” commentary which seems to be obligatory for all visiting comedians. Weed and murder… welcome to Adelaide everybody.
Upon completion of the weed cooking class the show returned to usual programming with amusing everyday stories including incidents of ‘dropkicking’ his baby son (who hasn’t dropped their child at some stage…?) , visiting a sex shop whilst in town, and a fifteen minute dialogue on poo. Breen himself admitted he’d lost his way onstage thought-out the evening and yeah… I’d admit …. fifteen minutes of poo jokes was wearing a bit thin by the end.
From the limited exposure I’d had to Breen’s material prior to this evening, I’d begun to ponder whether Breen was a hipster with bogan tendencies, or a bogan inspired by the hipster subculture. Not that either is a band thing, but on tonight’s performance which consisted of an hour show about bongs and poo, the bogan element was definitely shining through. It was enjoyable, and Breen’s stage presence and delivery is top notch. Maybe it was because it was 10pm on a Tuesday night, ….or maybe it was the excessive reference to bongs and poo, but the show didn’t reach the high expectations I had walking into the show.
Fringe Review by Lindsay Bulach
For more info and tickets to Harley Breen head to https://adelaidefringe.com.au/fringetix/harley-breen-flat-out-doing-nothing-af2018