Randy Adeva: Hello Players! {Melbourne International Comedy Festival} – Comedy Review

Rating: 4 out of 5.

In his solo show debut, Filipino-Australian comedian Randy Adeva is living out his hip-hop king dreams in ‘Hello Players!’.

The scenario follows an established hip-hop artist (also named Randy Adeva) and his music manager B-Dawg (played by producer, co-writer and friend Brendan Wan) who have just come to the realisation that they’re not invited to the big celebrity party that they’re usually always invited to. Blaming this on Adeva’s low album sales and a couple of dud albums, the plan is, with the audience in tow, to create a new album recorded live. So, what do the audience do? They provide the cheers, moral support and watch as Randy attempts to entertain and create while having a very public meltdown in the process.

Don’t fret! The chaotic energy in Hello Players! is fully intentional. While most hip-hop artists tend to be cocky and in your face, we quickly discover that Randy is not these things. Pinoy proud and tall enough (for a Filipino – according to him), Randy is actually super shy, has social anxiety and would much rather stay home than go to a big celebrity party. B-Dawg on the other hand loves going to the events that Randy gets invited to as his plus one, he just doesn’t like it when Randy bails on him at the last minute.

Thus ensues Randy dishing out fast raps with very entertaining, despite B-Dawg’s protests, relatable content. His music is inspired by the likes of Lin Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton, the existence of LeBron James and his decorated career (despite being in that rubbish of a Space Jam sequel), the happiness of convenience, and even the bullshit of bus replacements. My favourite song of Randy Adeva’s music is ‘Ducky Beak’ which is a certified banger.

When Brendan Wan and Randy Adeva are on stage together, their natural chemistry is infectious, they get along like a house on fire and they make you want to roll with them. Even when the jokes aren’t delivered the way they initially intended, everything still comes off as hilarious regardless.

However, Randy Adeva shines just as brightly on his own when he pulls down his walls and gets personal and honest with the room. I loved this and wanted more of it, although given the context of the narrative, I understand why this wasn’t displayed as much.

In a very impressive solo debut, my only criticism is that I wasn’t sold on segments of the show that had Adeva conversing with an imaginary version of a celebrity, one who I’ve admittedly never really heard much of. When Adeva would frequently return to these segments to converse with this character, the liveliness in the room would damper and would only pick back up when Adeva would speak to his audience again, bounce off Wan’s energy, or jump into the next song. Perhaps this would have been better executed had the character that Adeva battle be completely original and not based off a real person.

Overall, Hello Players! is a fun and refreshing solo show debut. I’m keen to see what else Adeva and Wan come up with, both collectively and individually in the future. The pair are incredibly funny and Randy Adeva is a humble rap beast.

Randy Adeva’s Hello Players! is currently playing as part of the 2024 Melbourne International Comedy Festival at Theory Bar until April 7.
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