Review: Philosophy in the Bedroom 0 Comments

Review: Philosophy in the Bedroom

Imagine the shy, clumsy and (looking back now) endearing awkwardness of your first time. Justin Heazlewood has infused everything he does with that same kind of charm. There’s the fumbling, the self-consciousness, the being unsure he’s even doing it right. And yet it works. And it’s not in the pity-sex kind of way either, he’s actually genuinely funny.

Perhaps it’s because there’s an ungainly gingham-wearing maladroit in all of us, or maybe because we respect someone who can simply go on stage and admit their mistakes, and then make more mistakes so they have something to talk about. But he’s uniquely entertaining. It’s a mid-life crisis with a folksy twist. It’s sex with the lights off but then you elbow them in the chest. It’s The Bedroom Philosopher!

As part of the Melbourne Writers Festival, the event was a gig interspersed with interviews. This format was great, even if both the interviewer Dave Graney and the interviewee didn’t seem to know exactly what was going on. I got the impression that, like a lot of good comedy, much of it was made up on the spot, or at least seemed to be. They had a running sheet, which wasn’t really stuck to, and questions, which weren’t really asked or answered. Instead it served as a way for them to bounce off each other, and give the audience a break from laughing at songs to laughing at stories.

Because there was a story in every song. Sometimes they were obvious (‘Tram Inspector’). Other times less so. There was one segment where he read a section from his book, and then performed the song that it referred to- ‘Trishine’. Which was an excellent way of letting us relive the moment, as well as being much more entertaining than the traditional ‘author reading’. Especially with romantic lines such as “I’m the bowl and you’re the Cheezels/ You had me at ‘show us your dick!’” Most of these were also backed by his Awkwardstra, who had the same kind of wonderful gangle-chic.

As he so self-deprecatingly stated, a lot of Heazlewood’s pieces are actually quite sad. This comes through in his song about his Mum’s sponge which has the same kind of melancholy as opening your lunchbox and finding the bananna escaped to the bottom of your bag. Another such beauty was ‘Worst Birthday Ever’, which had some of the most vivid and entertaining characterisation I’ve seen-  “The stripper is half in her cake eating KFC”.

I wasn’t quite as much a fan of Sabrina D’Angelo the ‘Body Poet’. Admittedly I was sceptical from the start when a women wearing a gold onesie and gold bumbag arrived on stage. I’d expected some kind of self-percussion or maybe some actual poetry. Instead we were treated to an aggressively sexual mime. There were people who found it funny, but it seemed more like the nervous embarrassed laughter, as she stroked a semi-chub made out of a plastic bag while leering at us from behind another plastic bag beard. Regardless, it provided an interval, albeit the kind similar to when your parents hear noises from your room and come running in without knocking.

Overall though, Bedroom is the very best kind of hipster, and an excellent storyteller. You can’t fail to like him, and I’d recommend anyone who’s still a Bedroom virgin to check him out.

 

 

 

Rafael’s (23) purpose is to give people glorious stories to tell. Some have appeared in dotdotdashGoing Down Swinging and The Big Issue Fiction Edition. He also competes in poetry slams and giant-sized chess games. Graduated from RMIT’s creative writing program in 2012, he often wonders what he’ll do with the rest of his life, but the answer’s always the same. Writing and falling in love.

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