#ShitMickNevenSays

By Colin Flaherty

Incorporating Social Media and related technologies into comedy shows has been increasing within the past year or so. Pushing it even further, Mick Neven makes extensive use of twitter in an ambitious attempt to engage his audience. Audience members are encouraged to tweet comments during the show at any time. There is also a fun guided walk via podcast to get you to the show.

We find Mick tweeting observations and instructions to us as we take our seats which is an interesting take on pre-show banter. The freedom to interact makes for some creative audience heckling later on, although it isn’t as immediate as it could have been due to imposed continuity measures. When the iPad is entrusted to a mischievous “Secretary”, the risk of distraction is high and some of Mick’s jokes may be missed.

The structure of the show comprises of stand up with regular refreshing of the twitter feed (projected onto a screen for all the room to see) so that Mick can comment upon the tweets sent from both within the room and the outside world. Most of these off the cuff remarks tend towards crude lines and the insulting of the sender. They still manage to elicit voyeuristic laughter from the punters as a certain anonymity factor provides a safety barrier when it is Mick’s name being associated with the replying tweets.

Adding the odd reply and retweet, the show attempts to expand into the Twitterverse but sometimes the context is a little skewed. Tweets from audience members can only provide a glimpse into the material covered (as well as the obligatory superficial observations) which makes for some amusingly odd responses from those situated elsewhere.

Mick’s scripted material is solid observational gear with various amusing rants. He covers many stupidities of the modern world, usually with the addition of a “when I was young we had to…” routine; ensuring that the stand up is tied securely to the concept of the show. Some of the routines fail to end on a big finish but they always contain enough humourous lines and ideas to keep the punters laughing constantly throughout the show.

The guided walk requires at least forty minutes of your time, as Mick and his guests provide colourful banter while you make your way to Roxanne Parlour from the Town Hall. There’s the extra incentive of a free beverage as the tour takes in a pit stop at the Portland Hotel. This podcast is both entertaining and informative, even if Dave from the Brewhouse is a little dry in his presentation.

Certainly a unique and intriguing concept, this is a well structured and amusing show that goes beyond a mere technological gimmick. If you can tolerate his constant dropping of the “f-bomb” you will certainly have a fun time.

#ShitMickNevenSays is on at Roxanne Parlour

http://www.comedyfestival.com.au/2012/season/shows/shitmicknevensays/

 

Daniel Kitson – Where Once Was Wonder

By David Slattery

Well you will certainly get your money’s worth for this show. Introduced as a show about “what life is”, and how “the impossible becomes the inevitable”, there is certainly no skirting around the serious topics at hand. While I am reluctant to compare his work to any other, his masterful Stephen Fry-ish use of the English is entertainment on its own. I genuinely think I could listen to him talk on the most mundane of topics and find it both enlightening and entertaining. The fact that he is also hilarious is a bonus.

There have certainly been a few changes to this show, compared to his earlier work. While in previous shows he has given off a fairly self-deprecating vibe, in this tour he has thrown all that away in favour of being “awesome” instead. Also, possibly more obviously, he has shaved his head and beard. This relatively insignificant act actually goes on to spark a large portion of his inspiration for this show; a myriad of metaphors about perception, prejudice and rebirth.

One of Kitson’s great skills which is certainly demonstrated in this show is his ability to create vast amounts of comedy while remaining firmly within the theme of his show. Generating comedy from topics not inherently funny with his unmistakeable use of language, he also weaves some compelling, and often poignant arguments seamlessly into the show. Arguments and philosophies that are cynical and heartfelt, logical and completely contradictory.

Despite the wordiness of his content, there is no sense of alienation for the audience. He balances his language perfectly with his subject matter to ensure that everything he says can be understood completely by virtually any audience. Whether or not any individual member appreciates the full extent of his cynical philosophies is of course a different matter.

As always with Kitson’s shows, be prepared for him to ramble on past his allotted time frame, but I guarantee you will be left with a kind of warmth, and a moral that I for one have never experienced from any other artist.

Daniel Kitson -Where Once Was Wonder is on at The Playhouse, Melbourne Arts Centre

http://www.comedyfestival.com.au/2012/season/shows/where-once-was-wonder-daniel-kitson/

The Melbourne International Comedy Festival 2012

The Melbourne International Comedy Festival is finally here and Melbourne is rocking with laughter in every nook and cranny.  But “What shall I see?”, “Who’s Hot & Who’s Not?” and “Am I going to ever get any sleep?” I hear you ask, well the Squirrels are here to help. We will be posting reviews, every day and keeping you up with any news or changes in the programme. Don’t forget to check the 5 Good Reasons to see festival performers’ shows and our interviews with performers who also give their 5 Good Reasons at the end of the interviews.

Let us know what you are seeing or enjoying or any important news on Twitter and on our Facebook page and email us at Squirrels@squirrelcomedy.com with pictures of you with your favourite comedians or any great festival pics and we’ll post them in our Gig Pics.

Our exciting news is that throughout the festival we are posting the MICF Daily podcast on our front page. This will take the place of our Podpick during the Festival. The team from Friggen Podcasts are comedy geeks Mike Brown who interviews Festival comedians and his sidekick Evan who reads the MICF Daily News. It will only take about 10 or so minutes out of your busy day and is packed with information.

Have a fabulous festival and don’t forget to eat some healthy food occasionally!

See you around the festival!

5 Good Reasons to see Celia Pacquola, Dave O’Neil, Felicity Ward, Lisa-Skye and Dave Callan

5 Good Reasons to see CELIA PACQUOLA DELAYED:

1. I won’t make you feel bad about what you’re wearing. (Sometimes I go out and I feel like people are trying to make me feel bad about what I’m wearing… probably because I’m a grown woman who dresses like a 15 year old boy, anyway.

2. It’s better than a kick in the teeth.

3. My last 2 shows sold out, I know I sound like a wanker saying that, but they did, so, um…I’m a wanker aren’t I?

4. It’s a secret, but I am in charge of karma and if you come I’ll give you some. The good stuff.

5. You know you want to.

http://www.comedyfestival.com.au/2012/season/shows/delayed-celia-pacquola/

 

5 Good Reasons to see DAVE O’NEIL – YOU DON’T HAVE A REAL JOB DO YOU DAD 

1. It’s a brand new show full of laughs, tears, vomiting.. however you react will be fine.

2. There is no audience participation. Oh except I do get one audience member up and shave their eyebrows, but apart from that..

3. You will get an insight into what it’s like to be a working comedian, from Hollywood to Hollywood-on-the-Gold Coast.

4. I have three children, I need to feed them. So if you can’t afford the ticket price, bring a loaf of bread.

5. It’s on at the Hairy Little Sista, right around the corner from the town hall in Little Collins st- it’s got a great bar, restaurant, you can meet me, I clean the toilets as well as performing.

http://www.comedyfestival.com.au/2012/season/shows/you-don-t-really-have-a-job-do-you-dad-dave-o-neil/

Dave O’Neil’s other show is a panel show at the Wheeler Centre called Get Fact on the 13th & 20th of April at 7pm

http://www.comedyfestival.com.au/2012/season/shows/get-fact-dave-o-neil/

 

5 Good Reasons to see FELICITY WARD – THE HEDGEHOG DILEMMA

1. It’s the funniest show I’ve ever written.

2. I will tell you how hedgehogs anatomically “do the sex”.

3. This show was just nominated for BEST COMEDY at Adelaide Fringe 2012.

4. People point out that I’m very skinny. The only way I can change that is if I buy more food. The only way I can do that is if you buy more tickets.

5. How do you get to five without sounding like a dick? Just come. It’s heaps good. You’ll laugh’n’shit. Promise.

http://www.comedyfestival.com.au/2012/season/shows/the-hedgehog-dilemma-felicity-ward-in/

 

5 Good Reasons to see LISA-SKYE – LADYBONER

1. Throughout the show, you will laugh, get terrified and get hard. But at which points will you do each? The answer says more about you then it does about me.

2. There’s a 1-minute video that EVERYONE will be talking about. (It made someone faint during my sold-out Melbourne Fringe Season). Get in on it.

3. I’m very sparkly.

4. I have a motherfucking metronome. This is not a drill, people.

5. The show is called LADYBONER, for Christ’s sake. LADYBONER.

http://www.comedyfestival.com.au/2012/season/shows/ladyboner-lisa-skye/

 

5 Good Reasons to see DAVE CALLAN: THE GRAVEYARD SHIFT

1. Because it defies the space time continuum by having ‘me present’ introduce ‘me past’ talking live.

2. It features many people on drugs, drunk or of questionable mental health unchained and on air.

3. All the cool people are going who are also good looking.

4. My Mum said it was heaps good.

5. Its actually hard to breathe at parts its so funny (not me, the callers) obviously this is not a selling point if you have breath problems.

http://www.comedyfestival.com.au/2012/season/shows/the-graveyard-shift-dave-callan/

Backstage at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival.

Melbourne collective Little Picture Box have been busy producing “Backstage” at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival.
Headed by Amanda Reedy, Little Picture Box and her team have produced a couple of seasons of Channel 31′s Studio A and have also produced comedy short films and sketches for online.

The “Backstage” project is a collaboration between Reedy, her team at Little Picture Box and comedians Tommy little, Dave Thornton and Nat Harris. They’ll be producing exclusive online content including interviews, sketches and other funny stuff during the festival plus a half hour Comedy Festival special to air on Channel 31, April 14 at 8.30.

There’s a bunch of videos online now including Tommy Little interviewing Tom Green, Frank Woodley, Tom Ballard, Paul Foot and more. Here’s a few of our fav’s. You can check out more on Little Picture Box’s YouTube Channel.

 

 

 

 

Tommy Dassalo- Pipsqueak

By Jayden Edwards

Since coming runner up in Triple J’s Raw Comedy competition and debuting at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival in 2006, Tommy Dassalo has pushed himself: dabbling in theatrics, illustrations, voice-overs and complex story telling. But its in his new show that he takes on his biggest challenge yet.

He’s a young, baby faced, squeaky voiced, self proclaimed “Little Buddy” to all and believe it or not, Cancer survivor. Yep, as a young child, Tommy was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer and spent much of his childhood in hospital, and it’s this that Tommy ambitiously chose to source material for his new comedy festival show “Pipsqueak”.

Performing to a small Wednesday night crowd at Brisbane’s Powerhouse Theatre minus his desired backing artwork that Officeworks fucked up, Tommy jumps onto stage and dives into some casual stand up and banter, then drops the C bomb… (Cancer, not that other word). The audience is taken aback at first and things are a little uncomfortable but, like ripping off a band-aid, the worst part is over and the show comes into it’s own.

Tommy cleverly structures the show around a few letters he wrote and received during his childhood. It’s these letters that produce some of the more sobering moments of the show, and some great comedic opportunities to riff off little Tommy’s apparent naivety during the whole ordeal (like totally screwing up his Make-a-wish!). Tommy masterfully uses light and shade throughout the show, brilliantly using the darker moments to surprise attack the audience with punchlines.

The heavy subject matter of the show was risky, and to revisit and retell this story mustn’t have been easy for Tommy, let alone to an audience night after night. But with comic timing and story telling skills well above his years, the underlying trauma just adds a whole lot of heart and soul to an hilarious story based show.

Tommy’s style of stand up and mannerisms are not dissimilar to that of Micheal Chamberlin. On stage he’s quick, witty, confident and just so bloody likeable. He really is ‘the little buddy that could’, sure to be a highlight of this years festival, and in years to come.

Reviewed at Brisbane Comedy Festival

Performing at Melbourne International Comedy Festival
at Victoria Hotel – Acacia Room
215 Lt Collins St, Melbourne
29 March – 22 April
Click here for tickets and more infomation