Review: Sam See @ Melbourne International Comedy Festival 2024

Sam See
Alicia is former South Aussie living in Melbourne. She has been sharing her opinions online about comedy, theatre, and films for the past twelve years.

As the crowd entered the Jade Room at the gorgeous Chinese Museum, they were greeted by the charming and charismatic Sam See, who was casually chatting away to the crowd, commentating the arrival of audience members.

For his 2024 show ‘And I Can’t Feel At Home In this World Anymore’, Sam helped to create a welcoming atmosphere before kicking things off with his casual approach to performance.

Sam See delivered an engaging and upbeat hour of comedy, pushing through the challenges posed by a small Good Friday crowd. The show provided audiences an insight into Sam’s experiences as a full-time stand-up comedian in Singapore, facing the trials that come along with living as a gay man in a historically conservative culture.

Sam explored the idea and concepts of feeling out of place in society and his community and not being accepted by those around him throughout his hour-long show. Explaining the style and approach to comedy in Singapore, Sam was able to weave in his own jokes, explaining that, unlike other comics that he was surrounded by in Singapore, he didn’t rely on racist tropes to make the crowd laugh – going on to then flex his own skills with some more traditional srand-up with a straightforward punchline, apparently not common in Singapore.

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As Sam shared his story of finding his place in the world, moving from one colonised nation to another, he gave the crowd a chance to join in by counting out loud the number of “colonisation jokes” he was delivering throughout the show. This was a fun and engaging way to get the audience on board and along for the ride, but there were moments later in the show where the jokes that he wanted to include in the bit didn’t really hit the mark, making it difficult for Sam to pull off the concept entirely. But despite facing a few snags along the way, Sam used professional stage craft to push through and keep energy levels high.

Sam has a unique experience in the world, and while it was fun to hear jokes crafted around colonialism and political takes, the most enjoyable components were when Sam gave the crowd little insights into how he has moved through the world and perceives things. It would have been great to see a bit more of that in the show, and to have gotten to know the real Sam a little bit more.

While there are still aspects of the show that will benefit from a bit of a polish and tidy up, Sam See has put together an exceptionally promising concept – just like his UK visa describes him! Sam is a likeable performer with infectiously joyful energy and as he tightens and perfects the writing, his 2024 offering for Comedy Festival will begin to shine.

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