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Perri Cassie: the breezy hipster comic making waves at MICF

4/5. 

Perri Cassie appeared onstage in a pair of designer dungarees and sporting an improbable fringe, a parody of the hipster man-child associated with certain Melbourne suburbs.

After a brief tête-à-tête with an amazingly loud, Aperol-brandishing heckler, Cassie jumped into a series of routines about the impossibility of long-term planning, the hazards of AfterPay and the angst of being persecuted by anti-hipster racists. Maintaining a breezy tone even when discussing fairly sober topics, Cassie kept the show moving along smoothly.

Cassie also showed an unusual facility for stringing together very lengthy, yet tightly structured anecdotes, one of which involved an encounter with a man eating chips on a public toilet. Despite Cassie’s relaxed and absolutely self-assured delivery, his material lacked a certain sharpness, hard to define but necessary to turn a smile into an authentic laugh.

Around 30 minutes into the set, Cassie seemed to hit his stride, moving into bluer territory with a routine on the impersonal intimacy of Tinder hookups that earned his act’s “18+” rating. In his hyper-millennial stage persona, Cassie was able to deliver rude jokes like a friend casually oversharing in a late-night phone conversation. It was around this point that the Aperol connoisseur in the back row was converted into Cassie’s biggest supporter, laughing appreciatively at each opportunity.

Cassie continued to build momentum, drawing out the audience with edgy japes on his own emotional and financial insecurity, as well as a complicated anecdote centring on a $200 kettle that “blends artistry and ergonomics” but may or may not, in fact, boil water.

A refreshingly un-smug routine on the surreal misogyny of certain body spray commercials closed out a fairly good set, that didn’t quite make good on the promise of a distinctive persona.