Shows at Adelaide Fringe Festival previously reviewed by Squirrel Comedy.

The Adelaide Fringe is soon upon us, it’s a fabulously varied festival with a big comedy contingent that gives punters a chance to catch up with shows from last year’s festivals as well as discovering exciting brand new work, some of which will make it’s way to other capital cities throughout the year.

This year we hope to bring you some reviews in the early part of the Festival. Meanwhile here are some reviews we prepared earlier.

Eurodad – Adam Rozenbachs 
Palace Nova – Cinema 9

Luke McGregor – My Soulmate is Out of My League
Garden of Unearthly Delights – The Spare Room

The Producers Bar

Radio Variety Hour
The Producers Bar

Rom Com Con – Mace & Burton
Bakehouse Theatre – Main Stage

Simon Taylor – Funny
Garden of Unearthly Delights – The Spare Room

The Last Temptation of Randy
Garden of Unearthly Delights – Le Cascadeur

Wolf Creek The Musical
The Producers Bar

Wizard Sandwiches: The Last Lunch
Tuxedo Cat @ Raj House – Room 2

The above shows were all very popular and are highly recommended by us, some are even award winners.

The Adelaide Fringe Festival is on from the 14th of February til the 16th of March. All  information can be found at their website

Radio Variety Hour

By Colin Flaherty

At the tail end of the golden age of radio, the Radio Variety Hour soldiers on. We were privy to the back stage / off-mic banter between the cast (bickering about the onset of television) and saw them transform to all smiles once the microphones were switch on. The looming domination of the cathode ray tube gave them the opportunity to make some jokes about modern day technologies and the arguing was the basis for a subplot involving the cast’s lives away from the studio. The main focus of the show was the radio show segments with their hilariously out-dated sponsorship announcements, amusingly antiquated moralities and some good old fashioned audio drama with plenty of laughs thrown in.

Being a radio program our attention was on the wonderful vocal performances and inventive sound effects. Una Broben (played by Lauren Bok) handled the parts of a feisty detective with film noir stylings, a strangely alluring alien cat and a creepy “children of the corn” type child with brilliant confidence and style. Bert Maverick (Bert Goldsmith) handled announcing duties with faux authority and played a comically stoic space captain (a combination of Futurama’s Zapp Brannigan and Captain Kirk) with consummate ease. Johnny Ray styled crooner and wannabe teen heartthrob George Hunt (Ben Vernel) belted out a hilariously soppy over-sung song and played a wonderfully evil crime boss (ala Peter Lorre).

It was interesting to see that they didn’t employ a dedicated person to franticly generate the foley, instead each actor took turns in using the props to bring the stories to life. Popped balloons, punched lettuce and tin can echoes added to a pre-recorded soundtrack to tell these hilarious stories in a fun, chaotic manner. We even got laughs when devices didn’t make the appropriate noise and the performer attempted to explain it away.

The script was witty with charming period phrasing and amusing word play. It was fun to see the cast throw in left-field comments, not necessarily to make the others corpse but to cover mistakes. These minor errors would have passed by the audience unnoticed if they hadn’t drawn attention to them but they added some extra lunacy nonetheless. There was the odd stifled giggle but they were able to recover quickly and dive straight back into the script. All were very expressive in their radio performances both vocally and physically, and even included the odd visual joke for the in-studio audience.

We laughed, we cheered and were regularly on the edge of our seats. This was a fun hour of nostalgia with brilliantly constructed stories to enthrall all ages.

Radio Variety Hour is on at the Lithuanian Club until October 5

Sullivan and Bok

By Colin Flaherty

Two relative newcomers to the Melbourne stand up scene, Claire Sullivan and Lauren Bok have joined forces for their debut festival show. The result is a wild hour of stand up and general mucking around.

Of the two, Bok is the most conventional stand up the two; regaling us with routines about working in retail and her unusual surname. It is solid material with a plenty of verbal imagery to bring her jokes to life.

Sullivan is the veritable loose cannon with plenty of random thoughts and surrealism while frequently interacting with audience members with silly acts or questions. Her on-stage persona is a ditzy bundle of hyperactivity which was a joy to watch.

At various intervals throughout each stand up set, the performer not currently on stage comments from the other side of the room (usually about how the show was going) or instigates a random segment of craziness (a particular highlight was the literal enactment of a pop song). Afterwards, the stand up set continues as normal; an interesting format choice that keeps the audience on their toes.

The show gets very self-referential at times (much to the delight of the comedian heavy audience I was in). Comedy savy punters don’t mind having the veil lifted occasionally but it is often pushed to breaking point. They manage to get away with it by being highly engaging and coating everything in a liberal layer of wackiness.

The girls remind me of that other Melbourne duo Dingo and Wolf without the comical aggressiveness. Sullivan assumes the role of the silly one but doesn’t suffer the humorous torment from the more serious Bok as you would normally expect from the classical comedic duo. I sensed that the interaction between the two had been tacked on to their individual stand up sets later in the development process. Even so, these exchanges are rewarding in the way they revel in a pure silliness and the audience can’t help but get swept up in it. It’s a great first outing for a couple of ladies to keep an eye on.

Sullivan & Bok are on at The Imperial Hotel