THE HERALD SUN
Kevin Kropinyeri in Guess Who?
Melbourne Town Hall
Reviewed by Dan Stock
KEVIN Kropinyeri is Australia's (self-proclaimed) "Number One Indigenous Comedian!" and after seeing his debut show, I'm well-inclined to agree.
Kropinyeri mixes wry observations about the life of Aboriginal Australians with some very funny physical comedy – how sistas dance to Whitney Houston is a standout sketch.
The differences between how white and black fellas do and see things makes up most of the material – from dating to marriage to divorce – and Kropinyeri mixes the general with the personal to good effect.
Differences in language also play out hilariously – the use of "deadly" on an anti-drugs poster is a prime example.
But he's not out to score political points, the show's good-natured tone keeps things pretty light and bright.
As the season progresses, the show's pacing will no doubt get tighter and the slight pauses in proceedings will disappear, but even as it stands, Kropinyeri delivers a cracking performance.
Whitefellas might find themselves having a few should-I-laugh-at-this? moments, but if you do, you should – as Kropinyeri himself says, "we blackfellas have been laughing at ourselves for generations; it's how we get by".
AUSTRALIAN STAGE REVIEW
Guess Who? | Kevin Kropinyeri
Reviewed by Dione Joseph
Thursday, 05 April 2012
Kevin Kropinyeri may be Australia's only Indigenous comedy artist but he's leading the way for a future of young Indigenous comedians to take to the stage. Highly personable, honest and with a fabulous stage presence Kropinyeri is proud of his people and ready to share (with both white and black Australians) a glimpse into the comedy of life for Aboriginal Australians.
From explaining how the different nations make up this country to colloquialisms that you should know (or alternatively be ready to be made the laughing stock if used incorrectly) Kropinyeri shares stories about his life, family and career – and he does so with an endearingly cheeky smile.
An incredibly generous spirit Kropinyeri had his audience (both black and white) laughing at all his jokes many which were based on true stories, many of them personal, and nearly all which his mixed audience could identify with.
And for those who think Aboriginal comedians willingly mock their own people to make a joke Kevin offers some very wise words that whitefellas would do well to remember: 'we've been doing it for generations, ladies and gentlemen, that's how we got by'.
Guess Who? | Kevin Kropinyeri
Reviewed by Colin Flaherty
Friday, 06 April 2012
At the top of his MICF debut, Kevin Kropinyeri explained that he usually plays to predominantly Indigenous audiences and this was his first extended run of playing to mixed crowds. This forced him to add side notes to his regular material so that broader audiences would get the references. He pulled it all off with ease, making this a fascinating and hilarious primer into Aboriginal humour.
Observational material made up the bulk of Kevin's set which focused on his immediate family and the extended family that comes from being part of a Mob. From his experiences living in various small towns to performing for the Elders, he told tales that could only happen in the Indigenous community. Some silly wordplay was given a nice twist with the various dialects at his disposal. Wonderfully expressive impersonations of various characters from his adventures and exaggerated physical parodies brought the jokes to life. He oozed confidence and cool attitude on stage which was a delight to watch.
The Aboriginal people in the audience howled with the laughter of recognition as they saw characters that they were familiar with and roared with delight at Koori centric concepts. This meant that explanation was often required so that the rest of us could follow the action. Even with the translation delay it was impossible to feel any frustration with not being immediately in on the joke with a performer as charismatic as Kevin.
Kevin makes fun of every Aboriginal stereotype in his act along similar lines to other ethnic humours. This made him susceptible to knee jerk reactions from well meaning Whities about reinforcing those views but he counters it with the argument "we've been laughing at ourselves for centuries". Although he gave us permission to laugh by instructing us to 'follow the lead of the Blackfellas in the audience', there is still that small hurdle of guilt to navigate. The light-hearted nature of the show certainly helped us to make the jump.
Those familiar with Kevin's work would find this the expected hour of solid stand up in the hands of a consummate performer. Everyone else will learn a great deal about another culture to boot. With only one expletive uttered (entirely understandable while tackling a topic that riled him up), it's a show that anyone can enjoy.
SYNDEY MORNING HERALD
KEVIN KROPINYERI: GUESS WHO?
Melbourne Town Hall
Reviewed by Richard Linden
AFTER years on the regional touring circuit, Kevin Kropinyeri brings his special brand of indigenous stand-up to Melbourne. His disarming warmth and cheer draw the audience in as he plays with black and white stereotypes. He's happy to set up gags for whitefellas, telling the blackfellas in the room to shush.
There's plenty of physical comedy as Kropinyeri creates a panorama of aunties and uncles, young bucks, disco tragics, amorous women and their hapless love objects. Very rarely Kropinyeri will drop in a fact or statistic but only to assist in setting up the laugh, and it's done with the lightest touch.
Prison life, booze, blokes out for a dollar, anecdotes from his tours, encounters with cops and rednecks - he's seen it all. Kropinyeri brings this far-flung Australia into the heart of the city, and we laugh while sharing his relish for indigenous life. Deadly.
THE UK COMEDY GUIDE – CHORTLE
Deadly Funny 2008
Melbourne International Comedy Festival
Reviewed by: Steve Bennett
This is only the second time this competition’s been held, and winner Kevin Kropinyeri was an obvious winner. His strong, animated delivery ensured the audience was in the palm of his hand as he talked about his hairiness and his domestic life. A comic natural, the crowd adored him – and there would have been uproar had he not taken the crown.
Gavin Jones – CEO, GJC VIBE Australia
“From large-scale events to intimate gatherings, Kevin has the whole crowd laughing within seconds. That laughter
keeps coming as Kevin shares his unique blackfella view of the world. He has the crisp, polished delivery to rival the best comedians, while his style is more like someone has dropped in to share a few hilarious yarns.”
“Kevin Kropinyeri leads a new generation of Indigenous Australian stand-up talent. He is a master storyteller with a keen sense of humour. The world is just discovering how funny he is and boy, does it need to.”
“As well as his side splitting routine, Kevin is an insightful artist with true talent.”
Jason Tamiru – Producer, Malthouse Theatre
Kevin is fast becoming one of Australia’s leading Aboriginal stand-up comedians. After winning the Melbourne International Comedy Festivals prestigious Deadly Funny comedy competition, Kevin has gone on carving is own stand-up/theatre comedy show across the country.
Kropinyeri’s acutely observed look at life is hilarious, engaging and brilliant without offending even the staunchest members within our communities. Go check him out because, there is a little bit of Kevin in all of us. He is a crowd favourite and definitely the next big thing in black comedy.