5 Good Reasons to see Shane Matheson, Jenny Wynter & Elegant Heroin

5 Reasons to See “Shane Matheson and his Fabulous Singing Bucket of Gravel”

1.It’s AT LEAST the second funniest show with a singing bucket of gravel in the festival.

2.You’ll be pleasantly surprised how quickly you can get to the venue. I visited it carrying a bucket of gravel and it not only took ten minutes from the city, but a pregnant lady stood up for the bucket of gravel because it looked tired.

3.I’m giving away a free car* with every ticket

4.My tickets will be much more expensive next year because St Ali hasa knack for discovering great things, like that time they discovered Australia! (Sure, there were already people living here but that’s never counted before).

5.I’m a lovable kook.

http://www.comedyfestival.com.au/2012/season/shows/and-his-fabulous-singing-bucket-of-gravel-shane-matheson/

 

5 Reasons to See “An Unexpected Variety Show”.

1. Because the 7 people who saw it last time it was in Melbourne (for the Fringe, where it ended up winning the Award for Excellence in Cabaret), cannot be wrong.

2. Because you simply cannot pass up an opportunity to bathe in cheesy 80’s dance references.

3. Because after sampling the incredible array of comedic talent on offer this Comedy Fest, you feel like trying something a little different on your palate in the form of an emotional roller coaster. Wheeee!

4. Because you relate to your life not having turned out the way you wanted (this show is all about the unexpected twists in life, from unplanned pregnancy to having your wedding interrupted by an elderly man wearing Speedoes.)

5. Because you get to come to the fabooshy Butterfly Club, which is an evening well spent even if the show sucks buttocks.

http://www.comedyfestival.com.au/2012/season/shows/an-unexpected-variety-show-jenny-wynter/

 

5 Reasons to See “Bosco & Jekyll – Elegant Heroin”

1. It contains a safe alternative to Auto-erotic asphyxiation .

2. A guy eats a lightbulb with his mouth hole.

3. Instruments featured include: Kazoo, Spoons & beatbox loopedaling.

4. 2 Sydney-based stand-ups who spent over $150 on petrol to get to Vic.

5. There are no references to social networking – that’s a HUGE plus!

http://www.comedyfestival.com.au/2012/season/shows/elegant-heroin-bosco-jekyll/

Dave Thornton – The Some of All The Parts

By Jayden Edwards

The incredibly down to earth Dave Thornton returns to the comedy festival fresh from killer runs at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and all over the place. His head’s increasingly on the telly, on the radio, man, he must be doing something right.

Dave’s new show “The Some of All The Parts” is just another big fat slice of that “something”. The show is structured around an impending gig for a group of 12 year old private school kids, a terrifying thought, even for a seasoned professional public speaker like Dave. It’s the lead up to that faithful day that Dave draws his material, fleshing out hair-brained schemes to spark inspiration on how to inspire, like a well timed dream opportunity to interview a personal hero and an awkward sit-in on his mums sex ed class.

Dave squeezes every conceivable laugh from the story aspect of the show, while managing to tie in some general observational told with expert comic timing and larrikinism. Dave riffs off the audience with the best of them, the show flows effortlessly, there’s heart and soul behind the jokes, he’s charming, quick, witty…. I could go on and on! I guess what i’m trying to say is, Dave just doesn’t put a foot wrong. The ending is a classic underdog tale of conquering fear and kicking 12 year old school kid butt! Well, if they kids weren’t inspired, I was.

The simple fact is, stand-up just doesn’t get much better that this. Just straight, witty, accessible stand-up. A Dave Thornton gig is guaranteed gold. (Trust me, I saw him perform twice that night.)

Dave Thornton is on at Swiss House.

http://www.comedyfestival.com.au/2012/season/shows/the-some-of-all-the-parts-dave-thornton/

Xavier Michelides – The Brain Whisperer

By Lisa Clark

Xavier is one of those comedians who’s talent can make your jaw drop and your brain think, “why isn’t he more famous yet?” There are so many superb zany ideas, whacky characters and silly voices packed into his show that in other hands it might have been a bit messy but Xavier’s brain has not let him down.

Xavier has crafted an ingenious network of sketches, monologues, mime and even interpretive dance to map the many aspects we associate with the complex and mysterious brain. The membrane holding the show altogether is a fictional relationship Xavier has with his own brain and although there is much silliness and amusement in them chatting, bickering and splitting up to find new partners, it is this story that gives us a real insight into the brain of a working comedian and an idea of where the show’s concept may have originated.

Xavier’s sketches are all brain related, of course and if I have any faults to pick it would be that there are slightly awkward pauses between them where the audience was unsure about whether to clap and that their might have been a few too many characters for the audience’s poor brains to keep up with. Though Xavier does have a knack for picking the perfect comedy voices to go with his characters. The sketches include; the relationship between Emotions and Memory which were portrayed beautifully as characters in conflict, the inevitable psychiatrist and patient relationship and God and Gabriel discussing faith. A regular running gag is some sudden brain related commercials for products such as drugs to make your dreams continue or ‘celebrity brain snacks’.

A strong aspect of the show is blocks of straight standup comedy by Xavier which are attached to the main membrane of plot, but also inspires off shooting skits. These are conventionally funny and are exceptional examples of how the best comedians are able to slot their stand up gear into an interesting hour long festival show. In one of the skits, Xavier has written a call back that is so impressive that it receives a round of applause.

Xavier has been blessed with a comedian’s funny face and anyone who has seen his nutty TV adverts for this year’s Melbourne International Comedy Festival will agree that his face alone can make you laugh. This is beautifully combined with intelligent writing, perfect comic timing and superb character acting skills. He reminds me a little of a young Rowan Atkinson with loads of potential and a definite star on the rise. This is not a personal heart on sleeve show but it is a very entertaining look into the mind of a very funny guy.

Xavier Michelides – The Brain Whisperer in on at The Portland Hotel
http://www.comedyfestival.com.au/2012/season/shows/the-brain-whisperer-xavier-michelides-is/

This is Siberian Husky – Boneshaker

By Cathy Culliver

If there’s one thing This is Siberian Husky are definitely not, it’s lacking in energy. Duo Dan Allemann and Simon Godfrey are known for their quirky brand of frenetically-paced sketch comedy, and their latest offering, Boneshaker, is no exception. This show is lively, fervent and above all highly entertaining, though it’s certainly not for anyone looking for a relaxing hour of traditional stand up and ordinary humour.

Absurd but thought-provoking at the same time, Boneshaker takes its audience through highs and lows, from creepy to mundane, from touching to the downright silly. The show covers everything from the Melbourne housing crisis to expired yoghurt to the pros and cons of boiling cats. So to say you never quite know what’s coming next would be a fair understatement.

This is Siberian Husky are a slick, tight unit, never dropping a beat throughout the hour-long show. Switching effortlessly from posh English gents to deranged monsters in a matter of seconds, the duo change characters in the blink of an eye; as an audience member, it’s part of the fun just to see them do it.

The duo’s mime skills also certainly deserve a mention. Armed with the most minimalist of props, Allemann and Godfrey never leave the audience doubting that they are being guided through a dark, twisted world of fascinating characters, even though in reality it’s just a couple of guys on a stage, putting on accents and standing on boxes.

The pace with which the duo perform the show is impressive, and it’s obvious how much hard work has gone into making the skits flow so effortlessly from one to the next. The energy both guys put into the show is intense and passionate, so it’s no wonder than Allemann had to apologise for sweating onto an audience member during one of the skits.

This show is definitely a must-see if you like comedy to be silly, surprising and just that little bit unsettling. But in a good way, of course.

This is Siberian Husky – Boneshaker is showing at the Lunch Room, Melbourne Town Hall.

http://www.comedyfestival.com.au/2012/season/shows/boneshaker-this-is-siberian-husky/

DeAnne Smith – Livin’ the Sweet Life

By Lisa Clark

 Canadians are so gosh darn adorable, no matter how filthy they are or even when they are insulting the audience and I think we have found the most adorable Canadian of all. Even before DeAnne Smith had officially began her show, she was heckled rudely and her handling of it was breathtaking. Her ability to put him in his place while make the audience laugh and feel at ease suggests years of stage experience and excellent people skills. It also failed to throw her off from performing another ace comedy festival show which confirms why she was nominated for The Barry last year.

The title, Living the Sweet Life is unsurprisingly ironic and to help demonstrate this DeAnne picks an audience member out for special consideration. It may or may not be in your interest to sit in the front row, depending on how shy you are. Her own sweet life includes parent’s who have become too comfortable with her sexuality, her middle class liberal guilt, a date that ends in the emergency department of a major hospital and a disturbing wax incident. Waxing was a bit of a passe subject a few years ago, usually talked about by wide eyed comedians who had not been through it, but DeAnne’s experience is astounding and hilarious. Another highlight for me was her participation in a ten day silent meditation retreat, not unlike the one Judith Lucy went through in her Spiritual Journey.

If you are seriously, easily offended this one might not be for you, DeAnne discusses lesbian oral sex, watching straight porn and she tells some dick jokes, but then maybe you should try a different festival altogether. It’s hard to imagine anyone being offended by DeAnne, she puts on a strong hour of bright, perky comedy which occasionally touches on dark subject matter. The show is bookended by hilarious songs that she plays on the ukulele, surely the cheeriest of instruments. The first is a chirpy tune about death and the last about nerdy pickup lines which really reminds me of Josh Earl, as does her haircut.  A fabulous show for a girls night out at the comedy festival, everyone is bound to have a great time and if you’re lucky, you’ll catch one of her chocolates.

Livin’ the Sweet Life is on at the Meeting Room at Trades Hall

http://www.comedyfestival.com.au/2012/season/shows/livin-the-sweet-life-deanne-smith/

Sarah Quinn – Weird Lonely Strangers

By Annette Slattery

In her festival show, Weird Lonely Strangers, Sarah Quinn performs a composite of unrelated, solo sketches. Interspersed with smoky jazz, Quinn uses voiceovers and simple costume changes to relocate from one scene to the next. Quinn’s array of characters includes a regular, single young woman, a beauty pageant organiser, a private investigator, an English author and a prudish burlesque dancer.

Quinn’s performances are strong, however the writing is weak. There is one piece about a “reformed” lesbian which is very clever and funny, and which has the potential to be developed into something more substantial, but apart from that there is little to recommend here in terms of content. A lot of the ideas are weak, unoriginal or over done and the better jokes within the script are often camouflaged by some confusion in the writing.

Some of the sections of the show are presented simply as a pre-recorded voice over, with Quinn behind the curtain and the polite, but clearly unamused audience left staring at the empty stage. This only further sapped the remaining energy in the room.

That said, Quinn, as I mentioned, is a strong performer and those skills alone make this show watchable. However Quinn does not have the comedy chops to pull this off as a festival show.

Sarah Quinn – Weird Lonely Strangers is on at Tuxedo Cat, Flinders Lane.

http://www.comedyfestival.com.au/2012/season/shows/weird-lonely-strangers-sarah-quinn/