Tom Ballard’s Problematic is a hilarious stand-up comedy show that explores the problematic behaviours and attitudes in society, whilst also drawing on comedy gold that practically writes itself… Australian politics. Ballard's Problematic is currently being performed at the Corona Theatre at The Garden Of Unearthly Delights before presenting his Boundless Plains To Share show at Tandanya Theatre next weekend.
For those who don’t know, Ballard is a stand-up comedian, actor and writer but notably known for hosting the Triple J Breakfast show for many years. Since leaving the youth radio station, he has focused on his stand-up career and humanitarian efforts, recently appearing in SBS documentary series, Frist Contact, which explores the cultural differences and perceptions between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians. Last year, he was also nominated for Best Show at two of the biggest comedy awards in the world, Melbourne Comedy Festival and the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.
Ballard’s Problematic is built on the concept of political correctness, as he explores the different extremes of PC, at different ends of the political spectrum. He begs the question whether anything can be funny anymore and whether words can be just ‘words.’ Ballard draws on his own experiences to deconstruct and acknowledge his own privilege, whilst sharing his internal struggle between being politically correct and trying to decide where to draw the line when it comes to comedy.
Nothing is off-limits for Ballard's Problematic, as he explores sexuality, classism, Islamophobia, white privilege and hot people as a minority group. He draws on his own experience working with One Nation co-founder, David Oldfield and Australian singer, Natalie Imbruglia for SBS' First Contact, as well as Oldfield and Pauline Hanson's absolute sheer denial of being a racist.
Ballard’s performance is politically insightful, as he hilariously drops truth bombs about racism, sexism, privilege and political correctness. His use of irony, dark humour and self-depreciation will have you absolutely in stitches, as he pushes the crowd’s limits to see how far he can go until he’s offended everyone in the room. He’ll make you feel guilty about society’s preconstructed views and the ‘lefty bubble’ some of us live in, filled with smashed avocado, lattes and bearded hipsters; but hey, just like Ballard shares, guilt is good, it means you have a conscience. Ballard is hilarious yet brutally honest as he deconstructs the problematic concept of political correctness and his show is definately not one to miss!
Where: Corona Theatre at The Garden of Unearthly Delights
When: 21-26th of February
Star Rating: 5/5
All images via Tom Ballard