Michael Hing – Much Ado About Not Hing

By Noel Kelso Michael Hing

There can often be something cocky and arrogant in the performances of some comedians – which is fair enough, it takes a lot of self-belief to just stand on-stage for any amount of time simply because you think you can make them laugh. Then there are those comedians whose performances are more akin to someone bashfully asking someone to dance.

In his show at the Portland Hotel, Much Ado About Not Hing, Michael Hing gives an assured performance tinged with nuggets of insecurity, uncertainty and cringeworthy social awkwardness.

Hing first apologises to the audience for the lack of Shakespeare references in his show as he was unaware that the title was very similar to that of one of the plays. He explains his background and how he has encountered a lot of baffling casual racism from people due to his Asian appearance, but actually being fourth generation Aussie. A story which got the audience chuckling along at the horrible recognition.

His cleverly written routines had the room alternately laughing or groaning from the recognisably awful situations which he describes such as his first attempts at sexting his girlfriend during a meal with his family or the worst date ever, which just so happened to be his first with his current girlfriend and involved him doing a terrible impression of his gay friend just so he wouldn’t be thought of as a sex-pest.

Anxiety is a strong theme for Hing in this show and he wrings it for every drop of humour he can. This informs his routines with a nervous energy and an almost apologetic nature as he worries about what people will think of him and the decisions he makes in order to hopefully curry favour – not all of them being the best decisions.

One of his chief concerns when interacting with women is trying not to appear creepy, which, when you are still quite awkward around women and have a mouth which is constantly trying to sabotage you, is a tall order to fill.

Hing’s performance technique on-stage is fluid and well-practised with good use of callbacks and well-placed asides. His delivery never falters or stumbles, yet neither does it become just a constant stream of words as he allows some of the awfulness of each situation to sink-in with carefully placed pauses or knowing looks from over his spectacles.

Michael Hing – Much Ado About Not Hing is playing at the Portland Hotel at 8:15pm until 19th of April.