Thursday, December 3, 2009

Noodle Frontity

Hung Le Gilded Balloon Comedy

The fall of Saigon and the plight of its boat people may not sound like the stuff of a stand-up comedy routine, but for Hung Le, a lot of funny things happened on the way to Australia.

This year Le returns for the first time to Vietnam, from whence he escaped to Australia in a prawn trawler 23 years ago.Don't, however, expect much meaningful discussion of his roots, for this is meant to be comedy. Meant to be: instead it's full of sick jokes and supposedly smart remarks about Japanese tourists. Even back in his homeland, Le didn't seem to do much beyond looking for sex and getting pissed in nightclubs and Mamma Hung's boat restaurant.The portrayal of Vietnam and the Vietnamese is insulting, patronising, shallow and exploitative. Despite the laughs from antipodeans in the audience who got the references, I wasn't the only one to be not at all amused by this show, and if I were Vietnamese, I'd make sure he didn't come back.

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