Be lured into Paul Culliver’s Honeypot as part of the Melbourne Fringe Festival for an informal and pleasant chat about privilege.
Culliver leans on a rail at the Belleville performance space and could easily be confused with a guy holding conversation at a party except for the funky 80s décor. He entices the cautious yet curious audience into a discussion. His intellectual antidotes immediately give the audience an excuse to laugh at controversial matters.
Culliver has a satirical comedic style. We soon discover why he has an awkward obsession with being a stereotypical white-single-straight-male devoid of the diversity of the average Australian.
He openly mocks his advantageous middle-class upbringing. He recalls a conversation with his father, discussing their seemingly uneventful day. Culliver gave another of his ABC radio broadcasts, whilst his father hung another door, which just happened to be one of the seventeen doors in their family home.
Culliver keeps the evening current and colloquial with references to pop culture, Facebook, and all the accompanying acronyms. He indulges us with taboo subjects that afflict the middle class of society. He will make you cringe and laugh at the same time.
No topic is off limits. Culliver touches on the contentious subject of vaccinations causing Autism in children. His vivacious expressions provoke laughter as he blatantly labels the audience as neurotypical anyway.
The body of his performance revolves around a Facebook post and the ridiculous platform social media has become for venting or as a substitute for Psychiatry. He reads verbatim an antagonising text conversation from his mobile phone. We hear how Culliver goaded his victim with perfectly timed pauses and his no-nonsense responses.
Culliver has a laid back and candid perception of his world. His Honeypot show pokes fun at topics most people would normally shy away from in a public forum. He respectfully addressed racism with a bemusing story of his biased views. A stint of babysitting his niece at the local playground ends in disaster when another child assaults her. His inappropriate reaction is hysterical.
He does stall on a few occasions, which appeared to be deliberate and actually quite funny. His apparent forgetfulness and wandering tangents included everyday reflections. The audience identified with his witty account of ATM transactions and the annoying automated favourite transaction response.
Culliver gave an exceptional and professional performance considering he admitted to taking tablets for the flu. An entertaining hour of delving through sticky situations came to an end all too quickly. Paul Culliver’s Honeypot is a polite, relaxed giggle about the obvious.