Smaller Poorer Weaker Cheaper (Asher Treleaven)
Brisbane Powerhouse, Rooftop Terrace
March 18 – 23
To be honest, I hadn’t really heard of Asher Treleaven before seeing his show “Smaller Poorer Weaker Cheaper” at the Brisbane Comedy Festival, which is surprising given his critical acclaim. Treleaven has been nominated twice for the Melbourne International Comedy Festival’s Top Prize, has previously won the Powerhouse Comedy Award and was a Best Newcomer nominee at the Edinburgh Fringe in 2010. Perhaps the unfamiliarity is because, as he notes, his name is a difficult one to jocularise. Or perhaps it is because his style is difficult to characterise, with its blend of physical comedy, standup and social sarcasm.
Treleaven is an ideas man, but also a man of contradiction (‘antiquated in faced but progressive inside – like a Kinda Surprise’). He is so poor that he can’t afford to be glutton free and has to drink torture (non-free trade) coffee. But he can offer his services to parents as scare clown. Dressed sharply in a vintage suit, his manner is a bit Norman Gunstonish as he is apprehensive in his retelling of rural gig anecdotes. Poor punctuation and racism, however, will make his snap ‘like a crostini’ and rant away. The show is not all screaming, however; there’s a lot of fun stuff, including a finale that sees Treleaven in full lobster costume, performing a hilarious Rock Lobster dance routine. Treleaven’s over the top energy is undeniable, however, it makes the show seem a little unfocussed, unsettlingly so when, he opens with audience interaction, uncomfortable due to a lack of developed rapport.
With all of Treleaven’s awkwardness and colourful language, this is would be the perfect show to see after a few drinks. Whether you love him, hate him, or are still undecided, you will walk away from “Smaller Poorer Weaker Cheaper” knowing that when it comes to comedy, Treleaven is doing it his way, with lobster laughs and social satire.
Photo c/o – http://ashertreleaven.com/