1: I’m the actual, real, proper star of The Chaser’s TV shows. I know, it’s easy to get us lot confused, but basically Chris is the posh one, Chas is the Italian one, Julian’s the bald one, Craig’s the woke one, and I’m Andrew – I’m the talented one. I am the only member of the group who’s even capable of doing a live music comedy show, so there’s no other option.
2: My show features golden oldies from The Chaser TV songbook, performed live in your face. I’m including a specially updated version of ‘The Eulogy Song’ to pay tribute to all the famous pricks who’ve died since the original.
3: I rarely tour solo. So rarely, in fact, I’ve never toured solo.
4: Unlike some Chaser-branded live shows of recent years, my ‘Solo Show’ even has someone from The Chaser in it.
5: I’ve already polished the show up during a season at Adelaide Fringe, and by the end of the run many audience members required counselling to cope with how much they enjoyed it. I’ve even been forced to add a ‘trigger warning’ to my show because it can trigger feelings of overwhelming good cheer and appreciation.
6: My show is the only one in Squirrel Comedy’s ‘Five Reasons’ series that demands six reasons to see it.
Solo Show is on at Trades Hall from March 26 to April 5
By Elyce Phillips
When you walk into the Forum Theatre for In Conversation With Lionel Corn, you could easily be walking into any Wheeler Centre event of the year. Tonight’s guest is Lionel Corn (Andrew Hansen) in discussion with a Radio National host (Chris Taylor).
Taylor does a great job of playing the poncy interviewer. Hansen’s author is bizarre, but consistently so – it’s a nice contrast to Taylor’s straight-laced performance. After some wonderfully silly introductions, we get to the conversation at hand. The opening salvo is perfectly long-winded and wanky. A collection of pre-recorded questions from the audience were a beautiful touch. Some were so subtle that they could have passed for genuine festival questions, clichéd to the point of self-parody.
However, despite a strong start, In Conversation… loses its charm as the show wears on, largely because the show loses focus. The faux event we’re attending is an amalgamation of the Festival of Dangerous Ideas, the Melbourne Writers’ Festival and an episode of Q and A. Lionel Corn himself is part Salman Rushdie, part George RR Martin, part Billy Connolly’s accent. The whole thing is too nebulous to provide any really biting satire. It feels like Taylor and Hansen have tried to cram too much into their characters, and they lose their shape. Tension between Corn and his interviewer that is introduced at the start doesn’t really go anywhere and you don’t get a sense that their relationship develops over the hour.
The jokes strayed into easy stereotypes – fantasy readers are fat, activists whinge about panel diversity. A puerile bit of physical comedy towards the end ran too long and felt disconnected with the tone of the rest of the show. Perhaps this was an attempt to broaden the appeal of the show beyond an audience of lit geeks and #qanda twitter fiends, but it was out of place next to the subtler material.
In Conversation With Lionel Corn is entertaining, but it never quite reaches the heights you hope for. As a long-time fan of the Chaser guys and a big old book nerd, this show should have been right up my alley.