Matt Harvey brings Wage Against The Machine to comedy festival stage

Matt Harvey brings Wage Against The Machine to comedy festival stage

CBD resident and award-winning comedian and storyteller, Matt Harvey, is gearing up to perform his latest show Wage Against The Machine as part of the Melbourne International Comedy Festival (MICF) from March 29 to April 21.

While first falling into comedy “more by accident than initial desire”, Mr Harvey has seized the spotlight, establishing himself as a formidable talent in the comedy scene.

“A good friend of mine who used to be a comedian would drag me to a lot of his gigs, and post-gig was almost always a night of karaoke where he would inevitably drag me on stage,” Mr Harvey told CBD News.

“There was increasingly more need for me to be comfortable in front of people because he was very persistent and insisted that I get up and sing with him.”

Unique to other offerings in this year’s festival, Mr Harvey’s focus on relatable storytelling ensures a captivating experience for spectators.

“Writing my own stuff has been really good because I can talk about things that I really care about – that’s the driving force behind it I think,” he said.



Touching on themes such as “my old dodgy jobs, my $20,000 Robodebt, and the time that I broke a 100-year-old roller coaster”, Wage Against The Machine promises an engaging exploration of the “big topics” through humour.

“I talk about wage theft, and I talk about workplace exploitation, and I use some of my sillier jobs as a means of exploring some of those topics with people,” he said.

“If I just got up there and lectured to people nobody would care, but because I make them laugh, it gives them a minute to think and absorb it – as Mary Poppins said, ‘a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down’.”

For Mr Harvey, the true joy of performing lies in the shared camaraderie with his audience, relishing the opportunity to forge connections through “shared experiences”.

The Sunday to Thursday shows will also be running a “pay what you can” model, with audience members invited to donate at the end of the show rather than paying a fixed ticket price.

“We’re trying to open it up a bit and try and actually make comedy that is about working-class issues, affordable for people who are working class,” Mr Harvey said.

“Especially at the moment when everything’s just so expensive and everything’s going up in price, it’s just impossible to go and see all these shows in the festival. We can only pick so many, but if shows were a bit more affordable, everyone might have slightly bigger audiences.”

Wage Against The Machine will run from March 29 to April 21 at Caz Reitops Dirty Secrets in Fitzroy. •

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