Adam McKenzie – Hacked

By Lisa Clark

Having been part of a recent major Information data breech, as many millions have (including some in the audience), has inspired Adam McKenzie to create Hacked which goes beyond his personal experience and to humankind’s whole relationship with the internet, our life online and the fear and conflicted emotions about it.

Adam’s comedy is always somewhat nerdy but he’s no tech geek and this is very much a lay persons traipse through the internet and its possible pitfalls and traps. Despite some of the dark subject matter, it’s all lighthearted and goofy with Adam providing a fun time for the general Festival audience.

Adam riffs on the horrors of Identity theft, The Mysterious Cloud, creepy algorithms, Deep Web, Dark Web and sophisticated scams. It can be a bit loose at times without a clear through line and Adam rushes his delivery a little, but that will settle down during its run. As well as all the current IT talk, there is a lot of nostalgia in the show, specifically for Gen X as Adam takes us through using a 90s Nokia, internet cafes, early email and how things have become more complex for modern teens via his love of Beverly Hills 91210

Of course there is quite a bit of screen use in this show, illustrating Adam’s points and gags. The highlight of the show, apart from a little magic, is his A.I. side kick who gives Adam someone to riff off and argue exasperatedly with, garnering some huge laughs. It puts Adam in his comfort zone, having a foil and I wish the character had a larger part in the show.

Adam maintains a warm and personal relationship with the audience, checking in with us regularly and getting to know us as he is also revealing his private information with us. There was some gentle audience participation, where Adam asks us to play with him, and I was very appreciative that he made very sure audience members wanted to join in. Consent is King!

I’ve always enjoyed Adam’s work, he’s been working in comedy for a long time, winning various comedy awards. Before going solo he has done a lot of sketch comedy; being part of the exceptional Anarchist Guild gang, The Hounds and is perhaps mostly famous for being part of Watson.  Go check out Hacked, it will make you laugh and gasp at the horrors of our digital life. I for one welcome our A.I overlords.

Adam McKenzie – Hacked is on at The Malthouse until April 21