Harley Breen @ Corona Theatre, Adelaide 16/2/2020

Words – used daily in their many forms – are amazing and wonderful things. Then there is the flip side; where they also have the ability to be confusing and occasionally land you in some hot water.

Harley Breen is not a stranger to such criticism. In his wide and varied comedy career he has at times been reproached for the way he uses his words, hence the title of his new and very funny comedy show Only Words. He stands by the argument that words and his jokes are not intended to offend, but that it’s that people choose to be offended. In this day and age of political correctness I completely subscribe to this theory but I can also see that it is hard to remember for some.

Speaking mostly about his time filming the Logie Award Nominated TV Show Taboo, he explains how hard it was to create comedy material out of sensitive topics without being too polarising. We were also given an insight into what happens when words “go wrong”; communicating in foreign countries; and a bit about the evolution of language from mainstream to offensive, and vice versa.

Breen’s style of comedy will have you laughing at punchlines, pausing for a second for your brain to ask itself if you are “allowed” to be laughing at such topics, and then continuing to laugh anyway. It’s all in the delivery and after all, they’re only words.

It’s a show about language, travel, family, parenthood and what happens when you leave your notebook of random material notes in your son’s school backpack.

Fringe Review By Sarah Bulach

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