Adelaide Fringe – 101 Ways

101 Ways to Annoy Your Parents And Other Really Old People is in the expansive and expensive Gluttony complex, presented by the supremely
confident and mostly funny comedian Matty Grey. As we waited in line, Matty went out of his way to speak to most audience members, having a laugh at the expense of parents in the line to amuse the kids.

This was a great way to break the ice as we all stepped into the May Wright tent. Matty began the show with a warning about the sweltering heat in the tent and allowed us to head out to grab ice from a nearby bar throughout if required – a good move, considering the temperature in the venue. Being a relatively mild day, I can’t imagine what the temperatures must have been like in the heat last week, so consider yourselves forewarned on that front.

I attended 101 Ways with my Reviewer Jr, my six-and-a-half-year-old daughter. So, consider this review partly my take and partly the view of the intended audience. Matty starts very strong with a funny slideshow, which brings us all in. He is generally a goofy, warm and enthusiastic stage presence, which does well to bring the kids to his side.

The antagonism towards parents is, of course, tongue in cheek, and all meant well, and the kids seemed to really enjoy being allowed to tease their seniors a little bit. Reviewer Jr was excited to remind me how much she would annoy me when we got home.

Adelaide Fringe - 101 Ways

The show includes some light, non-awkward (thank goodness) audience participation, a few games, some longer stories about Matty’s childhood and role as a father, and various ways to annoy your parents. If we had critiques, he lost the audience halfway through and found it hard to get them back. No easy feat, keeping 101 kids entertained in a sweltering tent, and so, we can offer him grace here.

His finale is excellent and brings the whole crowd together, and a smattering more of that throughout could reset the kid’s attention and bring them in again. Also, personally, the “nuclear family” view that Matty employed was a little isolating for the fifty per cent of kids or parents who aren’t in that family structure. Not every Mum drinks wine, not every Dad likes cricket, and these sort of super-binary gender stereotypes are a bit old and easy humour. Even acknowledging that there are many different family structures might help all kids feel included.

The final monologue confused the junior reviewer – revealing how to annoy your parents the most. Most kids would be entering like her, expecting a sort of tool-kit of how to annoy, so the finale could be shifted to that view. Reviewer Jr said, “I just didn’t get that last bit.”

Overall, it’s well-executed and light entertainment that is good for kids and appealing for children over eight years and over. Some of the jokes and concepts, whilst not being offensive or too adult, are too complex for the very young. Reviewer Jr said, “It was good, funny and disgusting. I give it three out of five.”

This review also appears on It’s On The House, and check out more reviews at Dark Stories Theatre to see what else is on in your town.

Spread the word on your favourite platform!