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Jack Gow – A Quarter Life Crisis in 27 Parts
Enmore Theatre, May 3

Young Man Badly in Need of a Hug would be an appropriate alternative title to this show.

It's a tough life, and Jack Gow is happy to tell you all about it.

Photo: supplied

Sitting front row in a small, dark space the audience becomes agreeable therapist to Jack's movingly told outpourings. Like much oif his generation, Sydney's housing crisis troubles him deeply.

To remain in his preferred "community", he is compelled to stay put in a small, inner-west terrace that is so mouldy and damp his girlfriend's health is compromised.

His toxic neighbours complain about non-existent noise and throw dog shit over the fence in retribution. They look down on him for being rental scum.

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And for this he pays over market rates. Is it too much to ask to be able to afford a house, Jack begs of the audience, and who could argue with his compellingly told tale?

Referencing Paul Kelly, he wants the cake and the candle but can't get them despite his best efforts. A soul-destroying stint in advertising (the office being located right next door to his toxic home front) with his Eastern Suburbs entitled douchebag colleagues and pushy South African supervisor has him asking Henry Thoreau where is the life he had imagined, an intelligent guy lucky to have been born in Australia to good parents.

How can he go confidently in the direction of his dreams when the odds, as calculated by the Baby Boomers and Negative Gearers, seem stacked against him.

It's a little sad that the biggest laugh of the night comes from an anecdote involving his colleagues teasing him about his name (Jack Gow, san choi bow, lettuce cup, lettuce cup!)

This is not wet-your-pants absurdist comedy, but rather wry, gentle storytelling from a soft soul.

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