Are you twenty-something, and maybe a little sad? Saduation might be for you: the Fringe show is amusing, and a good time to spend a night. It did, however, remind me of the sad fact that I’m twenty-five and all of the issues and problems that Harrison Engstrom and Perri Cassie are making their focus are coincidentally obstacles I should be making a focus of my own.
Perri Cassie brings a deadpan attitude to the show, his jokes and monologues all recited in the same bland tone. This works perfectly for the theme of the performance, capturing the misery and self-deprecating attitude that twenty somethings appear to encompass. He offers a bleak look into his own trials with depression, edging out the pessimistic tones with comedic elements throughout, despite getting slightly off topic on a rant about terrorism that seems to angle awkwardly with the rest of the show. His monotonous drawl throughout his entire section works for the material; it brings a self-deprecating humour to the shared sad times throughout his life, making them palatable for an audience.
In comparison to Cassie, Harrison Engstrom is optimistic and cheerful, bounding upon the stage with a refreshing energy. The extreme opposites of the two comedians clearly showcases the different approaches people may have to hitting a quarter-life crisis.
Engstrom is possibly less experienced upon the stage: while his material is thought out and earnest, his stage presence and approach is lacking. He rushed through material, leaving the audience offering patchy, almost sympathetic laughter at a joke they clearly didn’t quite understand or even hear properly.
A clear example of this is his monologue on his moustache, likening it to a villain’s, and the hobbies that stereotypical villains enjoy partaking in. I personally found this hilarious, but I was the only one in the room that did, my companion noting later that she didn’t quite understand the joke. This is due to Engstrom rushing his material, leaving no time for the audience to think and laugh upon particular moments that clearly need that pause.
Saduation has potential: it has a good framework and base down already. However it needs further polishing and practice if Engstrom and Cassie are to continue moving upwards in the world of comedy. If you have spare night I urge you to take the time and see Saduation; despite its flaws it will leave you entertained, despite possibly mildly panicked about your life.
For more information about Saduation and to book tickets, head to the Melbourne Fringe website.