Review by Stephanie Lee
Patrick Collin’s I’m Not A Mime is comedy with heart, utilising mime as an allegory to discuss grappling with queerness, identity and the invisible boxes society puts you in. The 55 minute show is extremely well-crafted, allowing both Patrick’s humour and talent in storytelling to shine throughout.
Performed at intimate venue The Butterfly Club, Patrick’s solo comedy show features a series of sketches that are a mix between mime and stand-up comedy. However, interlaced throughout the show are a series of voice overs prodding Patrick to consider whether they are a mime or not and allowing their journey to self-discovery to take centre stage. The sketches range from straight up absurd to capitalist commentary, featuring sound, lighting, physicality and a good sense of comedic timing.
Patrick’s comedy is physical, relatable, politically topical and downright hilarious. Even the shows transitions are made into jokes in their own right, with lighting and sound cues to add dramatic flair. The impressive use of sound throughout the show definitely adds humour with well-timed sound effects and voice over back-and-fourths. There’s even a conversation with the Westgate Bridge on a dance floor thrown into the mix, which is equal parts strange and wonderfully funny. Though some shows can be a bit sound heavy making you question whether the comic could entertain without, I’m Not A Mime manages to strike a good balance and highlights Patrick’s ability as a performer to engage the crowd.
While audience participation is usually a much dreaded element of comedy, the couple of short participatory moments in I’m Not A Mime were well received. Patrick’s ability to casually talk the audience through the moment and engage with participants in a genuine way is actually joyous to watch, adding to the humour rather than making the room cease up.
There are a lot of things to love about this show, but perhaps the most impressive aspect of it is the care that has clearly gone into crafting it. Never are jokes told at the expense of minority groups and clarifications are humorously made to the audience where they are thought necessary. It is a rarity to feel complete ease in an audience at a comedy show but Patrick manages to create such an environment seemingly effortlessly.
Although the show is a repeat, there are some added snippets along the way and an additional ending that is insightful and well crafted. I highly recommend catching I’m Not A Mime at this year’s comedy festival, as it is feel good, humorous, delightfully unusual yet deeply personal comedy at its best. Patrick Collins is definitely someone I will be keeping an eye out for in festivals to come!