UNPACK THIS – Review from 4/11/11

By Colin Flaherty

In this largely autobiographical tale, Geoff Paine explores the ridiculous aspects of anger management while delving into some serious issues. The show, which involves several clients in a court-ordered group workshop, does a wonderful job of shedding light on the topics while providing enough levity to avoid a heavy slog.

The social workers Trevor (Syd Brisbane) andLorraine(Michelle Nussey) have an interesting dynamic, starting out with awkward boundary crossings that quickly escalates.Lorrainecontinually spouts the irritating counselling jargon as a well-meaning voice of reason, almost out of her depth in this sea of testosterone. Trevor is the ham-fisted bloke providing hilariously bizarre analogies who tries to keep the discussion on track, even if that means stepping on toes.Brisbanedominates the show with brilliantly exaggerated alpha male bravado while Nussey plays her nuanced role well; bouncing off the others with appropriate restraint.

The participants are portrayed by Paine and Ross Daniels, who each take three characters. Using simple props such as hats and glasses or minor adjustments to their clothing, Paine and Daniels switch swiftly between these characters. Each are given unique mannerisms and voices to help emphasise the humorous lines.

One of Paine’s characters is essentially himself. He spends most of his dialogue butting heads with the counsellors with plenty of witty interchanges, while managing to take a swipe at his own real life background. He also brings to life a suburban bogan, Nicholas, whose bluntness is to the horror of the politically correct counsellors. His third character is Nguyen, a Vietnamese gent whose exchanges are filled with misunderstandings that lead to comical shouting matches.

Daniels’ characters are also well drawn and played brilliantly. Junky Bogdan provides plenty of comic relief to contrast the seriousness in this play. He is a wonderfully edgy ball of energy spouting plenty of wacky lines that could only come from a drug-addled brain. The downtrodden Brian makes for a contrast to the larger-than-life characters – not contributing much humour to proceedings but instead anchoring the show in reality so that it doesn’t stray into farce. The senior citizen Reginald is a character of attrition and sorrow who adds deep sombre moments while piping in with the odd amusing dithering comment.

The script is lively in both comedy and drama. It trades heavily on stereotype which brings humour and gets the points across, doing so in an even-handed manner. The overriding impression is that regardless of the characters’ backgrounds they are all in this mess together and should ‘let shit go’. It’s a fascinating and entertaining play.

Originally published in Chortle Au Tuesday 4th Oct, ’11 During Fringe Festival

Information about the 2012 Season here

Five Good Reasons to See: Lessons with Luis, Elbowskin, Gordon Southern & Die Roten Punkte

Five good reasons to see LESSONS WITH LUIS PRESENTS
KIDNEY KINGDOM

1. My dad, my little brother and me just won the the Victorian Raw Comedy final with our funny jokes.

2. My dad is not feeling well and we need to be famous to help him get a new kidney.

3. I will teach you about different things and you will learn about different things.

4. I will sing fun songs! There will be a song about cats, because I love cats.

5. My mum will be proud of me from heaven.

http://www.comedyfestival.com.au/2012/season/shows/luis-presents-kidney-kingdom-lessons-with-luis/

 

Five good reasons why ELBOWSKIN’S – ‘HEY DIDDLE DIDDLE’ is a must!
1. “It’s Elbowskin’s greatest achievement to date… They just got
really good” – reviewer

2. Elbowskin are unleashing their debut hip-hop performance

3. We told our mums we’re really famous and that we’ll be playing to
sold out audiences… And they’re actually going to come this year….
+ it’s really cheap.

4. What you thought was right is wrong

5. What you thought was left is actually stage right

http://www.comedyfestival.com.au/2012/season/shows/hey-diddle-diddle-elbowskin/

 

Five good reasons to choose GORDON SOUTHERN – A BRIEF HISTORY OF HISTORY

1. It’s the entire history of the world, with jokes, in an hour. You will not find a faster comedy show, or one with more jokes/ facts/ tiny historical raps.

2. A brief history of history is a must see for all people who remember the past. History is literally in the title of the show… Twice!

3. I’m a good comedian.

4. It is a multi- media extravaganza from the 1990’s. There is a battered old digital sampler from the early days of big beat dance music, a powerpoint presentation and a comedian who was also a comedian in the (late) 90’s.

5.  Some people saw it in Adelaideand it made them happy.

http://www.comedyfestival.com.au/2012/season/shows/a-brief-history-of-history-gordon-southern/

 

Five Good Reasons to see DIE ROTEN PUNKTE – EUROSMASH!

1. These are the last gigs Otto and Astrid are doing in Australia before they head off for another long tour in north American.

2. Astrid has a new song called Body Slam about wrestling, food and sex. She also has an incredible new silver dress!

3. There’s more choreography than ever before.

4. Otto has a new song about a date he went on inNew York called Look at my Fruit.

5. It’s in the most beautiful venue at the festival, The Famous Spiegeltent.

Astrid

http://www.comedyfestival.com.au/2012/season/shows/eurosmash-die-roten-punkte/

Five Good Reasons to go to Rue Bebelons to see Neil Sinclair, Victoria Healy and Cam Marshall

For casual Festival goers it is easy to think that The Melbourne International Comedy Festival is all about The Town Hall, but to serious comedy fans, we know there is some fabulous comedy happening in smaller venues all over Melbourne. Rue Bebelons is a groovy little bar just off Swanston st and the performance space is out a side door and up some outside steps that leads above the building next door. Last year it was the venue for Victoria Healy’s debut show For The Experience, this year they are hosting three new productions, Victoria is doing a new show ‘Independent Women Part 2’ about growing up in the 90s, Cam Marshall is talking about being a dad and his own dad in Father, Father and Neil Sinclair… Neils Electrics Neils Electrics…sorry, is back from over a year in the UK with a show that talks about living through the London riots last year that unsurprisingly called Panic! Here are five good reasons to see them.

Five Good Reasons to see VICTORIA HEALY – INDEPENDENT WOMEN PART 2

1. That’s easy! Beyonce, Shania, Fergie, Destiny’s Child and the Spice Girls!!!!! Need I say more? Only the best for my audience.
2. Oh more? Well how about this? It’s a perfect way to kick off a girls night out. A couple of cocktails with the girls downstairs, then see a great show about the female pop anthem of the late 90′s & early 2000′s. Then finish off the night reminiscing about Y2K, leopard-print onesies, Lois & Clark and what you did under
the influence of Girl Power.
3. But it’s not just for the girls. Guys have enjoyed this show plenty, when it was performed at sell-out shows at the 2011 Melbourne Fringe and most recently at the Inaugural 2012 Fringe World – Perth.
4. Also, it’s got a story! Like, with a beginning, middle and end. Expect to be taken on a journey of discovery: learning to become an Independent Women.
5. And finally, come see for yourself the comedienne, Victoria Healy, who’s been called many things including “…an excellent comic characters actress” – ChortleAU, “…dances around like a drunken uncle…” – West Australian and “File this lively new performer under ‘one to watch out for’” – RHUM,

http://www.comedyfestival.com.au/2012/season/shows/independent-women-part-2-victoria-healy/

 

Five Good Reasons to see NEIL SINCLAIR IN PANIC!

1. It’s a first hand account of one of the most significant events in the last 10 years… except maybe the Arab spring or Gadaffe being overthrown. So maybe it’s a first hand account of one of the most significant events that’s even been turned into a stand up comedy show, in the last 10 years.
2. It includes the song “Neils Electrics”
3. It’s the only show in the festival with sock puppet karaoke.
4.I will be saying this joke: “Laminator, a robotic sheep that covers paper in plastic… and cannot be stopped.”
5.It will teach you the basics of crisis management: Panic, and make sure those around you are doing the same.

http://www.comedyfestival.com.au/2012/season/shows/panic-neil-sinclair/

 

Five Good reasons to see CAM MARSHALL IN FATHER, FATHER:
1. It’s an entertaining story with jokes about my dad but not dad jokes
2. It’s a compelling tale with jokes about being a dad but no references to nappies
3. I compare being a 70s child to a child now without the need to reference Atari or Nintendo Wii
4. It’s a great opportunity to deal with your daddy issues for only $15
5. A 7.00pm start means you’re not out late on a school night!

http://www.comedyfestival.com.au/2012/season/shows/in-father-father-cam-marshall/

Five Reasons to See Justin Hamilton, Story Time, Josh Earl, Jonathon Bennett and ARBITRARY MONIKER.

Five Good Reasons to see JUSTIN HAMILTON – THE GOODBYE GUY
Justin Hamilton
1. It will be the final solo MICF show I will perform for the foreseeable future.

2. The show is my favourite type of MICF show that combines my love of stand up with a theatrical bent.

3. If you like your shows to have an emotional arc then this is the one for you.

4. If you were a fan of shows like Three Colours Hammo, Goodbye Ruby Tuesday and Purple Cows you will be in for a real treat.

5. I’ve taken some chances with this show, especially the ending.  It is feeling like the most satisfying show I have written.

http://www.comedyfestival.com.au/2012/season/shows/the-goodbye-guy-justin-hamilton/

 

Five Good Reasons to see DYLAN COLE & STUART DAULMAN IN STORY TIME
DYLAN COLE & STUART DAULMAN
1. You get to drink milk. (Alcohol is also available – but not for free like the milk)

2. Our show has a morals, a moral and general morality

3. See us now before we make a video aboutafricaand become really famous.

4. You’ll laugh til the milk comes out of your nostrils

5. You can prove how good you are at making Paper Aeroplanes.

http://www.comedyfestival.com.au/2012/season/shows/story-time-dylan-cole-stuart-daulman/

 

Five Good Reasons to see JOSH EARL IS XXX
Josh Earl
5. XXX refers to Roman Numerals not pornography,

4. In my show I defeat racism (well one racist, but still, one small step for man…)

3. I have a song entirely about the politics of Scrabble, if you like Scrabble or its cheaper cousin Words With Friends, you will like my show

2. If you saw my show three years ago (XXVII) this is a somewhat sequel. It’s a bit like 7 Up (the movie not the drink) with a much smaller budget

And 1. It contains (partial) nudity (in a tasteful way*)

*This depends on your definition of the word ‘tasteful’

http://www.comedyfestival.com.au/2012/season/shows/xxx-josh-earl-is/

 

Five Good Reasons to See JON BENNETT – MY DAD’S DEATHS
JON BENNETT
WARNING:

1. This show contains truths, emotions, real themes and bad poetry.

2. It also contains feelings of shame, fear and sadness.

3. This show contains no ‘gags’. (Ok, there is possibly one ‘gag’. See if you can spot it.)

4. This is not a ‘stand up comedy’ show.

5. This is a story about a man who has died…   More than once.

http://www.comedyfestival.com.au/2012/season/shows/my-dad-s-deaths-jon-bennett/

 

Five Good Reasons to See ARBITRARY MONIKER BY JACKSON VOORHAAR & LYNN WILLIAMS.
ARBITRARY MONIKER
This is The Zodiac speaking…

1. Film/Heavy Metal references (see above)

2. My lanky frame can provide amusement even when the jokes do not

3. I have a partner in crime. (Hi Lynn!)

4. I promise, no Irwin jokes this year*

5. It’s DEFINITELY finished. Definitely.

See you there!

*Unless Bindi dies, obviously.

http://www.comedyfestival.com.au/2012/season/shows/arbitrary-moniker/

Four’s Kin – Review from 3/10/11

By Colin Flaherty

Given the pronunciation of the show title, it’s inevitable that sex features as a topic. In fact all the performers fall back to smutty jokes when their other material doesn’t get the big laughs. Timothy Clark, Morven Smith, Dilruk Jayasinha and Suren Jayemanne (aka Jay E Manne) are joined by a guest MC to bust out their best ten to twelve minutes. Despite mining similar topics, the performers are varied enough to provide an interesting taster plate of new comics on theMelbournecircuit.

The guest on the night I attended was Aiden Pyne who is an excitable wild man. He attempted to whip the crowd up into a frenzy with some dodgy puns, crazy poetry, weird rapping and plenty of shouting but he soon settled down with self deprecating tales of his lack of action in the boudoir. I was intrigued by his modus operandi of digging a comedy hole before introducing the next act, going against the first rule of being an MC. I’m not sure how others viewed it but I found his mini attempts at sabotage hilarious.

First to hit the stage is Clark with plenty of witty wordplay and puns of varying quality. His jokes go to very dark places with filth, offence or a combination of the two being the order of the day. It’s not delivered with any real nastiness, instead he adopts a confident smart-arse persona. He spouts these lines in a rather dismissive manner which manages to elicit laughter and then cause you feel guilty immediately afterwards. A fair chunk of his jokes can be telegraphed, giving you plenty of time to prepare your groan.

Smith is the token female, who delivers tales of sexual predators and jilted love, treading similar ground to the males on the program, albeit from a different perspective. She has an upbeat yet bitchy and cynical air to her stage persona that fits. The tried and proven method of delivering punchlines with biting sarcasm or feigned ignorance reinforces the amusing irony of her material.

The supremely charismatic Jayasinha is next to strut his stuff and impresses with his storytelling. We hear all about his disillusionment with his career, the apathy that struck during university and his lack of luck with the ladies. His main story about a mugging isn’t full of laughs but goes in some unexpected directions to maintain interest and deliver a satisfying pay off.

Rounding out the evening is Jayemanne who bills himself as deadpan but doesn’t really nail it. He is far too animated and expressive to develop the correct atmosphere for the form but his material is certainly subversive. A centrepiece routine about a full body massage manages to combine truncated storytelling with clever wordplay and puns. He comes across as a light hearted version of Clark, neatly bookending this amusing hour.

Originally reviewed at The Melbourne Fringe Festival and published by Chortle.Au on Monday 3rd Oct, ’11

Shaping Up for The Melbourne International Comedy Festival 2012

The Melbourne International Comedy Festival is quickly approaching and we are getting very exited! So many shows and less than a month to see them all! To help you through the madness of it all, we your busy, bushy tailed Squirrels will be helping you decide what shows to see.

We will be asking comedians to give us Five Good Reasons for you to choose their Festival show over  the hundreds of others that are happening.

We will also be publishing reviews of festival shows that we have already seen.

During the Festival we will be putting up masses of reviews, pictures and interviews and have other exciting plans in the works.

Meanwhile it’s still a great time to be out at comedy clubs so keep an eye on our fabulous Gig Guide. Many comedians who are performing at the festival are out and about testing their material and big names often suddenly surprise everyone by dropping in. At the same time you might be discovering next year’s festival newcomers. All of Melbourne is buzzing, get out and join the buzz!