Eddie Pepitone’s Bloodbath

By Lisa Clark

There’s been a bit of buzz about town about Eddie Pepitone being a “Comedian’s Comedian” and there were certainly a few up the back the night I saw him. Eddie’s not sure how to take this as comedians can be a weird lot, often taking joy in another comedian’s self destruction. I think the reason that he stands out is that his act actually has a style and structure that goes back to the comedy of the great lounge style American comedians such as Bob Hope, Don
Rickles, but pairs this with the modern style self mocking and deprecation of Larry David, then throws in some surreal stories about made up characters and versions of himself that are silly and scary and arse-achingly funny.

There is an overall sense of Jeckle and Hyde about Eddie’s performance of taking us to dark places and shouting obscene, angry thoughts but then he always turns it around to show us the daggy, silly man behind the cloak, giggling at his own nerve. It’s a deconstructional side that hints at some of Daniel Kitson’s work and is just as endearing although there are times when I feel a bit disappointed that Eddie keeps pulling back as if afraid the audience won’t go all the way with him into the darkness.

The reason Eddie’s style is connecting with a modern audience is that it all comes from a real place. He’s not a political comedian, though he’s angry at society and he’s not an observational comedian, though there are a lot of things that happen that he can’t stand, the stories are all about himself, his feelings and experiences. His comedy comes from random ideas from his daily life and he works on them, often in front of an audience to build them out into a solid routine. Older style comedians often had gag writers create the jokes for them, Eddie’s act clearly comes from his heart and soul and luckily they’re both highly amusing.

Eddie Pepitone’s Boodbath is playing at Just the Tonic at The Caves

My Stepson Stole My Sonic Screwdriver by Toby Hadoke

By Colin Flaherty

‘My Stepson Stole My Sonic Screwdriver’ is Toby Hadoke’s loose sequel to his previous show ‘Moths Ate My Doctor Who Scarf’. A warm, heartfelt exploration of father-son relationships (that covers not only the titular stepson but other offspring, his wives and an absent father) he wraps it in the framework of Doctor Who to make this story highly personal and attract an audience who perhaps wouldn’t normally go to see a show about abandonment issues

This is yet another show about Doctor Who fandom that also appeals to a wide audience by justifying the devotion and explaining the impact on the fan’s relationship with others. In doing so, Toby presents plentiful Who facts and opinions to delight/ignite the fans (his demonstrations of uber-devotion puts many others to shame) while progressing the story without getting sidetracked too much from the main story. He even throws in plenty of political and pop-culture references to prove that he isn’t a complete basement dweller.

On stage Toby comes across as eccentric enough to be individualistic but not so weird as to be a pitiful loner. He is wonderfully animated as he presents his views of the Who Universe, bouncing around the stage like an excited puppy, that it’s impossible not to get caught up in his enthusiasm. Even when not geeking out he tells his tale with genuine passion that sells the material perfectly. He makes use of enough gentle self-deprecation to portray himself as flawed without being a sad sack.

The staging of this show includes some visual elements via a video screen that go beyond merely illustrating points to the uninitiated by creating an amusing autobiographical photo album. The addition of some amusing captions provided some wonderful jokes on the peripheral that linked in to the main thread. Also on the AV front is a special audio treat by a revered figure in the Who Universe that will delight.

This is a brilliant hour in the company of a great storyteller that will delight all. It is sure to encourage you to go home and give your dad a big hug.

Toby Hadoke is on at the Gilded Balloon Teviot.
http://www.edfringe.com/whats-on/comedy/my-stepson-stole-my-sonic-screwdriver

Ethan Addie: Rookie Mistakes

Ethan Addie is a young gay comedian that grew up in homophobic regional Australia – you’re laughing already right? He certainly is.

Ethan identifies with Beyoncé – but not the gay community. A self confessed ‘gay anti-hero’, he has made a lot of ‘Rookie Mistakes’ (Hey! That’s the name of his show!) After just twelve months of doing stand-up comedy Ethan is going to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Here are five agayzing reasons you should see his show ‘Rookie Mistakes’:

1. He is the epitome of an ‘underdog’. He has only been doing stand-up comedy for twelve months and is doing what even veteran comedians fear – their first show at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

2. Ethan is actually pretty funny. After just 6 months on the Melbourne comedy circuit he appeared in the Grand Final of the 2012 St Kilda Laughs Festival new comic competition and the Preliminary Final of the prestigious 2012 Australian Raw Comedy national talent search. He has since performed at the 2012 Melbourne Midsumma Festival, and the 2012 Melbourne International Comedy Festival.

3. There is a hysterical surprise in the show. He won’t say much about what it is – it could involve Beyoncé herself (it doesn’t) and it could involve whipped cream (it doesn’t either).

4. Ethan’s story is unique. There isn’t a single reference to the good old fashioned gay-comedian-fallback-jokes (think MY MUM LOVES WINE AND IS AN ALCOHOLIC – LOL). From dating a Jehovah’s Witness to living with a Rent Boy to studying chemistry, Ethan enjoys sharing his ‘Rookie Mistakes’ with an unsuspecting audience. Even gay men are enlightened (usually terrified) by the stories that Ethan eases his audiences into *cough* so to speak.

5. The reason Ethan is doing the show. Ethan ran into an ex-boyfriend who was doing much better than him. Refusing to admit defeat, Ethan told a white lie. Everyone has done it. His lie was that he would be doing a solo stand-up show at the Edinburgh Fringe. Imagine his surprise when his ex replied that would be there, and would love to see the show. Was he serious? Ethan thought so.

Ethan is apart of PBH’s Free Fringe and the show runs from the 15th – 25th of August at The Street (Venue 239) at 6.30pm.

Ethan Addie: Rookie Mistakes listing in the fringe guide is here: http://www.edfringe.com/whats-on/comedy/rookie-mistakes

 

5 Good Reasons to see Sarah Jones Does Not Play Well With Others – at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival

Sarah Jones is a Ventriloquist / Comedian from Melbourne currently living in London. She recently took a trip to Fort Mitchell, Kentucky for the World Ventriloquist Convention Vent Haven and is preparing for her first go at the Edinburgh Fringe. She’s found some time to give us all 5 Good Reasons to see her show…

1. The show has puppets. The quirky, whimsical kind, not the kind that come alive in the night and eat your soul. It’s a great show to see if you love puppets, like puppets, are indifferent to puppets or have a debilitating fear of puppets that you wish to overcome.

2. There’s a pretty funny Star Wars bit in. If you like Star Wars you will really enjoy it. If you don’t like Star Wars, well, it only goes for a few minutes so you can just close your eyes for a bit and think of things you do like. Like sex and cake and pugs wearing bow ties.

3. You can use it as an excuse to ask your crush on a date. If they say no you just say “yeah, I was totally joking! As if I would ask you out to a ventriloquist show. I don’t even like you anyway.”

4. If your crush says yes and you go to my show you will definitely get a second date. We can even secretly arrange for me to turn up at the next date and pretend that we’re friends. Your crush will be impressed that you know someone famous (we’ll lie and tell them that I’m super famous in Australia.) I’ll come up to you and say “Hi!” and you can say “Not, now I’m kinda busy.” Your crush will swoon because you are so badass and important.

5. It’s a ventriloquist show! Everyone likes ventriloquism right? Right? No, wait, don’t leave! Love me! Love me like I love you!

My show is this one:  http://www.edfringe.com/whats-on/comedy/sarah-jones-does-not-play-well-with-others

Sarah Jones Does not Play Well with Others is on at C Venues – C Aquila from the 19th to the 27th of August at 2.30pm

5 Good Reasons to see Jennifer Carnovale in Scraping the Barrel – free – in Edinburgh

Jennifer Carnovale has gone solo.
Previously half of Carnovale and Culp, who won Best Newcomer at the 2010 Sydney Comedy Festival, Jennifer is performing in Scraping the Barrel as part of the Free Fringe in Edinburgh.

Here are the 5 Good Reasons that you should see her show.

1. You have an interest in hating call centres, how London can cure depression, my fear of toddlers and everything else I’m going to talk about.

2. You have no interest in getting picked on, yelled at, preached to or any of the other things that have no place in this classy show. Though I may ask you to sign a petition to make pole dancing an Olympic sport. keep on slidin’ girls!

3. You have a spare 45mins in Edinburgh and know the best thing to do is to see my free show at The Three Sisters, while eating haggis soaked in whiskey with a Scotty dog, rain, Sean Connery and a highland cow*  A truly Welsh experience.

4. You find 5:30pm to be the perfect show viewing time. It’s too early to be drunk and too late to be sober, perfect!

5. I will at no point talk about my penis even though it pains me not to.

*Whiskey, haggis, rain, Scotty dogs, Sean Connery and Highland Cows are welcome and considered audience.

Show Link: http://www.laughinghorsecomedy.co.uk/edinburgh/show.asp?ShowID=875        (Laughing Horse)

or http://www.edfringe.com/whats-on/comedy/jennifer-carnovale-scraping-the-barrel-free   (Edinburgh Fringe)

And here’s her blog so you can keep up with her adventures in Edinburgh.
http://jennifercarnovale.com/

An Interview with Paddy Magee about going to his first Edinburgh Fringe Festival

By Lisa Clark

I recently recieved an email from Paddy Magee kindly informing me that I had missed him in our list of Aussies performing in Edinburgh this year. You might know him as Patrick Magee, one of the brilliant performers in Sydney sketch troupe Comicide (described by our reviewer Dan Nicolls as ‘Fucking Hilarious”). He, like many other local performers, has taken the plunge to move to London and this year and will be performing a show at The Edinburgh Fringe Festival for the first time. I took the opportunity to ask him a few questions about his experiences and ask him for ‘5 Good Reasons’ to see his show Do Not Trust the Animals – free.

What/Who inspired you to work in comedy?

Actually, I wanted to be a serious grown-up actor and play Doctor Who on the telly. But while I was doing drama at Uni, I met Dan Ilic and one night in 2005 he asked me to do some stand-up for a night he was running (I think the bill was running short). And from then on I was bitten by the bug.

Just kidding! My material was awful and it was a horrifically traumatic experience. I didn’t perform stand-up for another two years after that.

The first time we discovered you was performing in Sydney sketch group Comicide at MICF 2008 along side the likes of Dan Illic and Toby Truslove. How long were you involved in Comicide?

I think by MICF 2008 Comicide had been running for six months. I was involved from the very beginning when Dan first set it up as a fortnightly show running out of the upstairs of a small pub in Sydney’s Inner West. I have no idea why he kept asking me back, I guess I was punctual.

After 2008, Toby and Dan moved to Melbourne, which was a real shame. Comicide limped along for another couple of years but it was never the same, and I quit after the 2009 MICF show. That was an awful time in everybody’s life.

God I miss Toby Truslove. I hope he’s doing okay for himself.

Did you do solo stand up previous or subsequent to this?

I did it here and there, and performed the first iteration of the Aesop show  [Do Not Trust the Animals – free] at the Sydney Fringe last year. It’s not my favourite type of comedy, to be honest; I much prefer sketch, but you have to do all these rehearsals and get other actors and sweet Jesus it’s a lot of effort. With stand-up, there’s a lot less organisation.

How long have you been in London and what took you there?

I’ve been over here since early October. What took me here? An aeroplane! It’s just somewhere I’ve always wanted to go, and eventually my (now ex) girlfriend said “right, let’s move.” Also, I have an English accent because when I was 14 I listened to Doctor Who audio dramas in my sleep.

It’s famously expensive to live in London, has it been worth it in terms of comedy work and experience?

Expensive in terms of rent and transport, yes, but you can buy 500g of Quorn meat substitute for only £4. Also, store-brand vodka tastes almost as good as the real thing and no one’s gone permanently blind yet.

It’s been incredibly hard starting at the bottom rung of the stand-up ladder over here. Comedy is held in such high esteem in the UK that every moron who’s ever had a friend say “mate, you should give stand-up a go” has taken the advice seriously, and so rooms are flooded with people who have no experience or talent or jokes. Also, they seem pathologically incapable of keeping a room to time, so most nights end between 11 and 11:30 at night after twenty-something open-mikers have overrun their five minutes.

But I’m meeting some pretty great people. Celia Pacquola, who I only knew vaguely before coming over here, is now my best friend. She doesn’t realise this yet, but she will. She will.

Any advice you’d like to give comedians over here thinking of taking the plunge and moving there?

Don’t do it. There’s enough competition from no-hopers, I don’t need people with actual talent coming over here as well.

Have you been to Edinburgh as an audience member before?

No, this is my first time ever going to Edinburgh. I’m following in the footsteps of my friends Madeleine Culp, Jen Carnovale, Ryan Withers, Eric Hutton and Shane Matheson who went up last year.

Did you always intend to do an Edinburgh show when heading over to the UK?

I did, yeah. In fact, I’ve been hoping to do an Edinburgh show since 2006, but for various reasons things haven’t materialised. In 2008 there was some idle talk of Comicide heading up; that was scuppered by the fact that three cast members (and I’m including myself here) had embezzled a LOT of our ticket revenue to get drunk during the MICF. We wouldn’t have taken so much but blimey, have you ever bought a drink from the Town Hall bar?

There are many other comedy festivals in the UK, have you performed in any of those?

I haven’t performed in any of the dedicated comedy festivals over here yet (and given how insecure I am about competition, I’m not sure if I would) but I have plied my trade at a couple of more general arts festivals and weekenders, like the Norwich and Norfolk festival and the Nabokov Arts Club weekend.

There are also a ludicrous number of comedy competitions over here, but most of them seem to be excuses for promoters to encourage acts to stack the audience. Actually, that’s a real problem over here: because there are so many rooms in London, many venues won’t let you perform unless you bring an audience member along. I tend to think that should be the promoter’s job, but I’m old fashioned like that.

Does the Free Fringe make it easier for an unknown performer to get a festival show on?

The Free Fringe is an absolute godsend for an unknown performer like me to get a foot in the door. The costs of theatre hire alone are so high that it would be almost impossible for me to perform otherwise, which is why they were set up in the first place. And with the passing round a hat at the end of the show, there’s the potential to earn a decent amount of money each night. Enough to keep me in Tesco brand vodka at least.

Was organising accommodation difficult?

Organising accommodation isn’t difficult per se, but it is incredibly expensive. As an example, I’m paying £500 to share a room, and that’s considered pretty reasonable. What happens is that, with something like 10 000 artists descending on the city for the month, landlords know that they can charge whatsoever they want because they will always find somebody willing to pay. It’sa rough system, but what can you do?

Where did the idea of a show about fables come from?

I’d been doing a bit about one of Aesop’s fables (The Man & the Satyr) for a year or so, and at some point literally nobody said “Hey Patrick, you should do an hour-long show about Aesop’s Fables.” The rest, as they say, as they say, is history.

It looks like there will be some audience participation and it sounds like it might be a bit more creative that simply straight stand up.

That’s not a question Lisa, but I’ll treat it as one. Yeah, during the show we write our own fable and I draw some pictures to go along with it based on suggestions shouted out by the audience. It gives them the opportunity to shout out stuff without it being a heckle, which I can’t handle or respond to without crying. Also, I don’t have an hour’s worth of material, so drawing pictures is a good way to eat up five, ten, twenty or even thirty minutes of my timeslot.

In the program you say you are ‘award winning’ which award is it?

Ah, look… Up in Sydney there’s a man called Stu. He comes to every single comedy show there is; he never talks to anybody, drinks scotch and Coke in a corner and is generally kind of enigmatic and mysterious. And he runs a blog called Sidney Critic, which isn’t a misspelling of Sydney but instead the name of the dog that apparently writes the blog. In that blog, he reviews all the comedy shows he sees and also drops tantalising hints about his past, like the time his best friend shot him in the hand or the day he went to a BDSM club and cried while a woman had sex with him.<

Every year he hands out awards on the blog, and in 2010 my show Hing & Magee: Illustrious Physicians of Romance won the Sticky Awards for Best Overall Show and Best Scripted Show. So… those are the awards that I definitely won.

Here is his website if you don’t believe me: http://www.myspace.com/blackbalckfalcon

Give us 5 Reasons to see Do Not Trust the Animals – free.

1. It’s free.

2. It’s on at five in the evening, so you can pop in and then see a show you actually like later on.

3. There’s a character called Hipster Pug.

4. At least one good joke about badgers, possibly more.

5. It’s free.

Paddy Magee’s show Do Not Trust the Animals – free is part of The Laughing Horse Free Festival. For more info see the Edinburgh Fringe Website.
http://www.edfringe.com/whats-on/comedy/do-not-trust-the-animals-free