Review: Corey White, Soho Theatre

Corey White

If having a strong back story is good for comedy then Australian stand-up Corey White is sorted. As he explains at the outset, his father was a criminal, his mother was a junkie who died of an overdose. If White can find the funnies in this he can probably find the funnies in anything. 

And he certainly can find the funnies in this. Though his show, The Cane Toad Effect, is not exactly wall-to-wall laughs. Though how can it be when, for instance, White talks about being raped while in care? He doesn’t pull his punches either, naming the perpetrator and suggesting people message him on Facebook.

Oh, and then there is the section when White was addicted to crystal meth. A lot of comedy is about universal experiences but not White’s. When he asked if anyone in the crowd had tried meth he was met with such blank looks that I’m not even sure if some of the crowd knew what meth was. By the way, if this sounds like a spoiler don’t worry, there are plenty more awful experiences talked about that this review doesn’t mention.

This unique show could have been a struggle, yet, despite the horrors that White has endured he has somehow come through it stronger than ever and doesn't seem remotely angry. Comedy, in a way, might even have been his saviour, giving him something to focus on that isn’t going to get him into trouble with the police.

The result is a sometimes brutal but also heartwarming tale of triumph over adversity. Sorry if that makes this sound corny. It certainly isn’t. White is a skilful storyteller who clearly has something to talk about. Definitely a striking debut. The question now is what does he do for a sequel? 

Until Sept 12. Tickets here.

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