Patrick O’Duffy writes…

‘Nob Happy Sock’? What does that mean? Wait, check the poster. Apparently this is a show by Simon Keck about… how he tried to kill himself a few years ago? Does that sound like a good night out?

Possibly not, but here’s the thing – yes, it’s a comedy show about attempted suicide. But it’s a bloody good one that’s often hilarious.

With a mix of wit, sensitivity and a deep, sympathetic sadness, Simon spends the next hour working his way through his journey from Sydney to Melbourne, his attempts to get his life in order and his failure to do so due to an inability to ask for help, all culminating in his eventual decision to pack it all in. That might sound grim, but along the way there are stories of filth lattes, Redfern cockroaches, why he can’t get arts funding, the call of the inner Sherpa, Iron Chef, failure tennis, a sexual Mexican standoff and a near-death experience with a beloved Muppet. And while the destination of the trip is serious, getting there is both moving and utterly hilarious.

Nob Happy Sock (a strange title, yes, but it makes sense in the end) is both a confronting emotional examination of depression and a very funny comedy show, and Simon deserves all the credit for somehow pulling the mix off. His mix of smart, self-aware writing and polished performance gives this show a visceral weight, while the jokes and stories stop that weight from crushing the audience.

This isn’t a show for everyone, because it does get confronting and uncomfortable at times, but if you can handle the subject matter then you’ll be rewarded with a powerful, intelligent and very, very funny show. Go see it. It’s worth it.

Simon Keck in Nob Happy Sock is on at the Portland Hotel, Tues – Sat 6pm, Sun 5pm until April 21st.

You can visit Patrick O’Duffy’s website or follow him on twitter: @patrickoduffy.