Sammy J is one of the leading stars of a new wave of Australia-based Australian comics (as opposed to the likes of Brendon Burns and Tim Minchin who are now based in London) who are getting wide-spread acclaim. Others include his often partner-in-crime Heath McIvor (a wonderfully thoughtful and generous gentleman!), the previously covered Celia Pacquola, Lawrence Leung. Could this be the result of many years of the Melbourne International Comedy Festival searching out the best home grown talent and helping foster a great environment over there? Possibly, but they also grew up with some great talents on their TV including one of my all-time favourites Shaun Micallef.
But this review is just about Sammy J and I have to start it by summarising a conversation I was very lucky enough to have with the show's star the next night. The whole content of this show is true. You will find it hard to believe but I have it from the source that everything (well, with one obvious exception) is real. With this in mind Sammy takes us along on a musical and stand-up journey from his teenage years, to his future death, back to falling in love, being a performer in Adelaide and previous years in Edinburgh. Breaking out from two years of character driven story telling Sammy performs with a confidence and smoothness that acknowledges his physical limitations ("Sammy ain't a fighter") whilst looking very sharp in his trendy suit. The hour flies by as Sammy effortlessly delivers his well-paced disparate sets. Thoroughly enjoyable, light-hearted relief from a real talent doing his third different style of show in as many years. 8 out of 10, aka 4 stars and a certain re-booking for next year (which rumours have it means Ricketts Lane comes to the UK!).