Corey White: The Cane Toad Effect
Tough and true stories with a lack of killer punchlines
This article is from 2015.
Childhood and family members are often topics in comedy shows. Having grown up in care while his heroin addict mother spent time in jail, Corey White has some rather unique material in this broad area.
After elaborating on his parents and sisters' dealings in violence, crime and drugs, he acknowledges the tension in the room. He asks if we know who he is (presumably his reputation for dark material preceeds him back in his native Australia) and enquires if we were expecting Peter Kay and jokes about airplane food.The blame is on us and our middle-class status, not the fact that he doesn't deliver the class of joke needed to find the comedy in these bleak situations.
White warns us that it will get darker and it certainly does. Along the way there are some great routines including the Heimlich manoeuvre that helped him quit crystal meth and an imagined scenario where pies are illegal in the same way as ecstasy with people turning to making them in their bathtubs. As he moves onto a recent break-up, the show feels more like a therapy session. White's total honesty and resilience to adversity is admirable but the tension stays. Maybe we can't handle the truth. Maybe the truth needs stronger punchlines.
Assembly Hall, 623 3030, until 30 Aug (not 17), 8.20pm, £9–£10 (£8–£9).