Foreign acts are something that should draw more attention from the Melbourne International Comedy Festival goers – it is in the name after all. And those foreigners who do gain more attention come from the usual places – the UK, the US, or other Anglosphere countries. This is a shame, because they can bring interesting and unique ways of looking at things that Australians may not be able to see – even creative and clever comedians. And while Singapore is technically an Anglophone country, it is nonetheless underrepresented in the MICF, and Australian comedy circles in general.
Jinx Yeo is hopefully one who can break that mould.
One thing about his shows is they are at an awkward time and place. The Chinese Museum is a little off the beaten track, and it is possible to get lost en route in Melbourne’s numerous alleyways. Fortunately once you get there, you will be rewarded with a good show – and he had a fairly full attendance with an enthusiastic audience, which should speak volumes for a 9:45 show on a Monday night.
His show was well structured – themes were repeated often enough to be enjoyable without being too over the top, and it was well paced. His style is very much that of recovering Chinese nerd – which is both inoffensive and relatable (even if you are neither nerdy nor Chinese) – and that made the show relaxed and fun to be a part of. He also deflected hecklers well, which was another sign of his skill as a comedian.
On a personal note as someone who has witnessed an unfortunate amount of rude audiences, it is a relief to say that the audience was enthusiastic and well behaved – there should be more of these types. Good job Melbourne – maybe the 9:45 Chinese Museum crowd is the best of you all?
It wasn’t necessarily revolutionary humour. Without giving anything away, Jinx manages to tread carefully and hit the usual levels of offense that are required for a comedian who deals with more adult themes (as well as racial and historical). He doesn’t openly address the issues and call them all out, but he draws enough attention to them to make audiences aware them – so perhaps if you are already fully “woke” as it were, you may find the humour a little behind the times. Mostly though, Jinx’s style is more self-deprecating than offensive.
Of course, if you are after a good laugh, then the show is well worth attending. In conclusion, a good show to see. Firstly because it is a foreign act, one who can bring great new things to Australian stand-up. Secondly because it is a good show to see, and Jinx knows how to make audiences laugh – which is the point of comedy really.
A+ Underachiever is on at 9:45pm at the Chinese Museum until 22 April until Melbourne International Comedy Festival. Tickets, show details and accessibility information can be found via the MICF website.