FRINGEWORLD 2022 | Hello, Asteroid | 4 Stars

Review | Laura Money

What would you do if it was the end of the world? If you only had an hour left before an asteroid crashes into the earth? Would you visit your loved ones? Rob a bank just to see if you could? Hamish chooses to spend his final hour alone singing to his house plants. It’s not as dire as it sounds, Hamish Pickering is a young piano-based comedian who revels in eccentric songs with hilarious, yet poignant lyrics. He spends his potential final moments of his life reflecting on love, family, hope, and despair – Hello, Asteroid is a warm fuzzy existential crisis performed by a kind-hearted and endearing young man. And the songs are catchy as hell!

Welcome to Hamish’s apartment – it’s full of records, wine, a television, house plants, and his precious piano. There’s also a phone with dwindling battery and no charger, but Hamish does his best to avoid looking at it. You see, he’s sad. Not because of his impending doom but because of his failed romance. The show features gentle audience participation – Hamish gives a pot plant each to various people in the crowd so that his plants can answer his questions. He has a great energy, opening the show with a dance like nobody is watching! A bit of air guitar and a few silly dance moves later and Hamish is ready to get to the crux of the show.

Told through silly ponderings like what happens to your Flybuys when you die, to reflections on what real love means and how you know when it’s the real deal, Hamish approaches everything with a wry smile and depth that belies his youth. It is his ability to tap into a wider collective psyche that cement his songs firmly in your head. That and the fact that they’re brilliantly composed and cheekily performed. Hamish scathingly attacks slow walkers in ‘Move You Slow Walking Bastards’ – a refrain that will stay in your head long after you finish singing along, contemplates love, and even sings a cute yet hilarious musical autobiography. This one hits hard, and even though it’s a self-confessed very silly show, seeing footage of a baby Hamish being nurtured and happy in his family home accompanied by reflections of home elicits a strong emotional response.

Hamish Pickering is an endearing and charming performer. Completely at home behind his piano, his unique brand of musical comedy shines as the whimsical yet touching lyrics of his compositions trip elegantly over the melodies. Hello, Asteroid may be a nihilistic look at missed opportunities, but it is also a beautifully poignant exploration of all the little ponderings one makes throughout everyday, ordinary life. It’s definitely one to watch – especially if there’s nothing else to do before your doom!

You can catch Hello, Asteroid at Subiaco Arts Centre until 22nd January 2022. TICKETS

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