Aaron Chen: Sorry Forever

Comedy, Comedy festival
A close up of comedian Aaron Chen in glasses
Photograph: Supplied

Time Out says

The homegrown hero is blowing up into the big time, big time

When Sydneysider Aaron Chen first sat down to write this show pre-lockdown drama, it was called Mr Cigarette. It’s now been rebranded as Sorry Forever, but that doesn't stop a boss-like digital avatar of Chen calling the show Mr Cigarette in the opening salvo.

Who can say how much of that original take has survived? What we do get, however, is deceptively charming. Expect a cute, multi-part bit about him and his dad’s years long quest to cut down a towering gum tree in their backyard, fighting against the deafening silence of local council bureaucracy. He says that may have been a defining feature of his disarmingly nerdy style, and also notes that his therapist left him hanging last year on a possible autism spectrum diagnosis when his ten free sessions ran out.

Working visual gags aplenty on a big screen behind him, some are daggy, and one leads to a bit about the need for empathy (no confirmation if he uses the same consultant as the prime minster). Others bite harder.

Chen leans into his gawkiness and extended pauses, bringing the audience with him, extracting maximum chortles and gladly owning the jokes that don’t land. He secured a nomination for Most Outstanding Show at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival, so expect his star to keep rising.

Tickles your funny bone? Find more Sydney Comedy Festival shows here.


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