Comedian Mat Kenneally talks to Matt Smith about his comedy festival show ‘The Great Escape’, which tells the harrowing tale of being locked in a detention centre (the guards forgot about him) and how he managed to escape (he attracted the attention of the cleaners).

Podcast link: A Talk with Mathew Kenneally

Tell me about your great escape
Late last year I was working for the asylum seeker research centre, I went out to see a client Maribyrnong Detention Centre. And for an hour I was locked in the visitor’s centre by the staff, and I remember thinking at the time that this could be the basis for a comedy festival show. Any less than that wouldn’t have been a big deal.

Were you saying ‘let me out’ or ‘keep me in, I have my notebook’?
Keep me in, I wanted to be kept in just long enough so that it was a story. I figured out I was locked in after about 45 minutes of waiting, after that long I started wondering where my client was. I went and tried all the doors and realised I was locked in, I thought I’d leave it 15 more minutes, and then it can be told as a story at the pub.

What did your great escape entail?
The security guard coming and getting me. I waved to the cleaners until they noticed me, and mimed keys and opening the door until they went and got a guard. Not much of a great escape. No motorbikes involved!

Matthew Kenneally and The Great Escape, Portland Hotel at 9:45pm until 24th April.