Review: Xavier Michelides in The Brain Whisperer | Melbourne International Comedy Festival
A variety of characters, a range of skits, an imaginative premise, a range of accents, and a damn good impression of Robert De Niro doing an impression of Chewbacca the Wookiee – all provided by comedian Xavier Michelides.
It’s a conventional premise that could have made a decent show by itself, but it’s kicked to the next level with the overarching theme it’s based around.
Michelides’ show opens a window into his mind, in an effort to see how it works and how he thinks. The skits unfold and demonstrate concepts and abstract ideas, dreams and reality, and after a while all gets rather meta.
Michelides is a confident performer, playing up to three characters with in a single scene. Differentiated by accents, posture and facial expressions, his skill is such that there’s never confusion as to what’s going on. His writing is sharp, to the point where even if a scene is telegraphed well in advance, it just makes the audience’s laughter build.
Wrapped within this is a story line that develops, in which Michelides literally attempts to change his mind. Fed up with never coming up with good jokes when he needs them, Michelides abandons his mind in favour of a newer, smarter model – all the while playing both characters like they’re going through a break-up.
All of this is bookended with a tour of the mind, hosted by a suave guide with the aid of smooth backing music. Michelides is a joy to watch, and it all amounts to an hour of comedy which is very cerebral.
Xavier Michelides in The Brain Whisperer is on at the Portland Hotel, 7:15pm Tuesday – Saturday, 6:15pm Sunday, until April 22nd.