5 Good Reasons to see We’re Living in the Future – Matt Harvey

1. You’ve already seen it. Like Dr. Manhattan you are an effect of your own cause, you have seen it, you will see it. You can’t fight destiny, you will book your ticket now.

2. Its not purely science fiction! For those afraid they will be lost in references like the above one, it does cater to an audience of varying amounts of knowledge. Its Science, Politics, everyday life all wrapped in a shiny theme, Science Fiction.

3. You like to laugh at the absurd nature of life and the universe.
If I’ve learnt nothing else from Tinder it is people like people who like to laugh, come see my show and then you can tell your Tinder dates about how cultured you are and how much you love to laugh at the absurdities of life.

4. We left 96 bags of faeces urine and vomit on the moon.
That is just one piece of information I learned researching this show. Imagine what you will learn when you come to see it.

5. Steven Hawking has all but confirmed that there is a multiverse, so you want to make sure you are living in Earth Prime, the best universe. In order for that to happen you should be in my audience. All those other multi-verses can suck it!

 

We’re Living in the Future is a one off performance by Matt Harvey on Oct 2 at The Open Stage Melbourne Uni.

https://www.melbournefringe.com.au/program/event/view/cb4018c6-7a49-456e-b039-ea73aa6ffb3e

Joseph Green – ah yes, the music

By Colin Flaherty
Joseph Green

There isn’t a more Fringe venue than a small living room in a flat in Elwood. Joseph Green uses this intimate space to present a series of amusing stories from his life about finding acceptance and love. Not only is he letting you into his home, he is also letting you into his heart…or I’m reading too much into this and he is avoiding paying venue hire.

There was zero signage pointing the way to the venue so you need to head to the first flat on the upper level. With an amplified microphone set up near the front door, you wonder what the neighbours must think of these nightly shenanigans. In spite of jokes about serial killers and orgies, the awkwardness of being in a stranger’s home quickly subsided.

Each night has two guest performers who serve as warm ups and emcee for Green’s performance. On this night we were treated to tight-ish fives by Adam Jacobs and Jacqueline Mifsud. Jacobs was a rather dapper gent who delivered plenty of wacky observations with plenty of pregnant pauses and a bit of mugging that was a delight. Mifsud told a number of amusing tales about living in Paris and dating a French fella which was a little raunchy at times.

Green gently eased himself into to the show proper, a collection of stories about the amusing situations he found himself in as he searched for a vocation and a soul mate. He was an engaging storyteller and had plenty of amusing gags peppered throughout but he tended to include excessive details. Even though these tales had hilarious payoffs the journey often became a bit of a slog. I’m sure further experience will see him tighten these tales into lean and punchy stories.

With these informal environs the show had an extremely relaxed atmosphere around it, causing Green to have a major issue with time management. He had given himself quite a lengthy script to deliver, that had to be digested in full so that the show could neatly wrap up, which easily exceeded the advertised 50 minutes on its own. Factor in the two support acts and opportunities to banter with the audience, and this show ran way over time. Punters should ensure that their schedules are clear immediately following this performance until Green does some major editing.

Despite its flaws, this was an entertaining show in a unique setting that was an experience worth undertaking.

ah yes, the music is on at Treehouse (& two nights at Longplay) until October 3rd

https://www.melbournefringe.com.au/program/event/view/8ede0c5a-2bc8-4f8a-a95c-6a06ff155129

Pat and Josh – Decent Human Beings

By Elyce Phillips DecentHumanBeings

Josh Chodziesner and Patrick Rehill are decent human beings, or at least they try to be. In this hour of sketch, they dissect what it means to be a good person, poking fun at the well-intentioned, yet misinformed. The result is a hilarious bunch of sketches that sometimes stray painfully close to the truth.

Decent Human Beings is a sketch show both for and taking aim at the politically informed and socially aware. Chodziesner and Rehill skilfully skewer the deluded end of do-goodery, featuring smug, self-righteous male feminists, a cool but ultimately conservative pope, and politicians that aim for relatability over sound policy. The humour is sharp, but never cruel, firmly punching up at people on high horses of questionable moral standing.

Pat and Josh are a well-balanced comedic team. Rehill brings a manic, nervous energy that is offset by Chodziesner’s cool and collected straight man. Although these roles are generally maintained throughout Decent Human Beings, the duo show versatility in the characters they create. Rehill’s recurring character ‘Technically Correct Guy’ was particularly successful, as was Chodziesner’s turn as a sanctimonious radio host. The writing in this show is confident and thematically strong. The performances are a little shaky at times, but the odd verbal stumble is well and truly overshadowed by the quality of the material.

Decent Human Beings is a promising first outing from Chodziesner and Rehill. They tackle some potentially tricky topics with great wit and intelligence. It’s a wonderfully funny show that just might leave you questioning how decent a human being you are.

Decent Human Beings is on at The Improv Conspiracy – Office until September 25

https://www.melbournefringe.com.au/program/event/view/5abe25dd-a643-4072-8e79-71125fa7a039

Trillcumber – Is This Intimacy?

By Elyce Phillips Trillcumber

Have you ever been the uncomfortable one at a party, standing around the edges, not quite connecting with those around you?  If so, this is a show for you. Trillcumber (Simon McCulloch, Hayley Tantau and Mario Hannah) have composed a slick hour of sketch in Is This Intimacy?  As well as being terrifically funny, the show explores the awkwardness of relationships in their various forms, from first introductions to fraught romantic entanglements.

Trillcumber have created some wonderful characters in this show. Even in the more bizarre sketches, everything has a real, emotional base. You find yourself having sympathy for foxes and rooting for anthropomorphic planets. Tantau’s powerhouse of empowerment, Cindy Salmon, was a stand-out, aurally assaulting the audience with a combination of harsh feminist truths and even harsher air horn. McCulloch and Hannah’s performances as a serious actor and comedian-turned-serious actor starring together in a film were hilarious – a classic clash of drama and absurdity.

The sketches in Is This Intimacy? are filled with relationships that occupy a space of slight discomfort. They’re often a step shy from full-on conflict, characters swallowing their issues to keep the peace. Trillcumber deftly mine these social ineptitudes for laughs. The trio does a great job of highlighting how we all share something in feeling like outsiders, without coming across as preachy or smarmy. They have a strong rapport on stage, and their performances feel really natural. All three performers have previous experience with The Improv Conspiracy, and it shows – Is This Intimacy? is a very confident, polished first show for Trillcumber.

There’s great honesty in Is This Intimacy? Trillcumber present gloriously ridiculous scenarios, populated with characters that feel genuine. It’s sketch that brings together humour and heart.

Is This Intimacy? is on at The Improv Conspiracy – Theatre until September 25

https://www.melbournefringe.com.au/program/event/view/d3ba8bd3-52df-4e3a-8b66-102e37d3b697

Sure Sign of Love – Elena Gabrielle

By Lisa Clark Sure sign of Love

Sometimes it does a Squirrel good to slip out of the Comedy section in a Fringe Festival programme. This year’s Cabaret section of Fringe boasts such wildly talented and hilarious women as Geraldine Quinn and Yanna Alana. Cabaret requires a lot of skills in a performer, who needs to be adept at all that they choose to present. Elena Gabrielle’s show Sure Sign of Love required, singing, storytelling, character work and a passion for its subject matter. Unfortunately despite her winning personality and confidence, Elena didn’t quite have the skills to pull it all off.

There were positive signs that this was going to be a show that would shamelessly celebrate astrology and have a bit of fun. Elena was wearing a fabulous dress made from bedazzled fabric covered in zodiac signs. She had spoken of her mum’s love of Astrology and described Sure Sign of Love as “A universal guide to dating the Zodiac” but somehow the show turns out to be something quite different. I got the impression that she had become disillusioned about astrology since she planned the show and it had taken a more negative turn.

The structure of the show itself was a bit of an endurance test for the audience. The bulk of the show is a warning list of all the worst traits in (specifically) males born under each star sign which she blames for her unsuccessful love life. The only interest in the list was that she did the star signs out of order, so the audience did not know which would be next. The only relief was a sudden break out in to a game show, where she changed characters briefly into a sleazy ocker game show host which went against the usual slick and smarmy type but the aim of the game was not made very clear. Was it a kind of perfect match? No, because the man and woman were asked about their own respective partners. What were the stakes and how did it fit in with the rest of the show? These were not explained, there was a sense that this was here because it was the sort of thing traditionally expected in a cabaret show.

The list itself lacks any astrological jargon that would suggest she’s done more research than looking up one shallow website and each description sort peters out instead of ending on a snappy punchline. Each starsign is accompanied by an annoying monotone voiceover guy who can only do one voice and a song from Elena (often lip-synched rather than sung) that sometimes only bears a passing connection to her description. Her closing number is a badly sung version of Age of Aquarius, which showed her weak high register. Surprisingly her strongest moment in the show is belting out a snippet of ‘Pants Around Your Feet’ by Nickelback. The performance is topped and tailed by a muddled and dismissive intro and conclusion suggesting that it is all rubbish and that Astrology only exists to screw money out of you. That’s fine but is somewhat confusing, considering all the other stuff in the show. If her plan is for the show to debunk Astrology, then more focus should have gone into it.

The thing Elena should have asked herself before planning this show was “Who is this show for?” If you are a sceptic or uninterested in Astrology then let’s face it, you are not likely to fork out money to go see it as advertised. If you do see it as a skeptic then you are going to be bored and confused with the main body of the piece that goes through aspects of every sign of the Zodiac as if it is real, and its limp half-hearted mockery at the start and at the end. If you are into Astrology you are more likely to go along but also likely to be insulted by her disparaging attitude and lack of knowledge. If you are a fan of slick, or even daggy musical comedy you’re not going to be exactly bowled over either.  Sadly I can’t recommend this to comedy fans at all.

https://www.melbournefringe.com.au/program/event/view/ec7e25ca-7d61-44a9-b44e-aeb057f5bb97

5 Good Reasons To See Trillcumber – Is This Intimacy?

1. What they lack in Tinder/Abbott references, they make up for in heart-warming/breaking, character-driven sketch.

2. You’ll be empowered (whether you like it or not) by Cindy, in her first public appearance since new Australian variety show Amateur Hourhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mBkCeLGULu8

3. Amazing! You won’t believe their new workout plan that guarantees results in just 25 years!

4. It’s an hour of unrequited, interconnected sketch, and their 2015 MICF show sold out.

5. Hayley, Simon and Mario have spent so much time training at Chicago’s iO and Second City Theatres, and with Melbourne’s Improv Conspiracy, that they can only really communicate through sketch. Please “talk” to them.

Trillcumber’s Is This Intimacy? is on at The Improv Conspiracy Theatre