MELBOURNE FRINGE FESTIVAL 2013

By Lisa Clark

Spring has sprung, Melbourne is sparkling, our eyes are itchy and that means it’s time to get ready for the Melbourne Fringe Festival. Melbourne Fringe is an open-access, multi-arts Festival, that actively encourages diversity and is thus a great space for performers to experiment with new and unconventional ideas. The Festival encompasses theatre, music, circus, magic, furniture design, art and craft and more, but here at Squirrel Comedy we are nuts about comedy and thus we will be covering the comedy side of things which is pretty big. Some comedians use Fringe to reprise a successful Melbourne International Comedy Festival show (often new and improved versions) and others to give a new show a run leading up to next year’s MICF. There are wacky one off shows that can only be seen at Fringe and you never know when you’ll make a delightful surprising new discovery, as we did with Slutmonster and Friends last year. So it’s always worth going out of your comfort zone to try something new. Hey that is why Fringe exists!

There is so much comedy to choose from and it is our job to give you a hand as you make your way through the Fringe programme. Below are links to all the shows we’ve previously reviewed, many of which will have been tweaked and improved since their last outing and that’s followed by some recommendations for shows we’ve seen and/or are excited by. As usual we’ll be publishing ‘5 Good Reasons to see…’ leading up to the the festival and reviewing shows throughout.

Shows at Melbourne Fringe that Have Been Previously Reviewed by Squirrel Comedy.

Barry Morgan: Organ Is Not a Dirty Word
Squirrel Review: http://www.squirrelcomedy.com/?p=3986
Barry Morgan is playing his magnificent organ at the Lithuanian Club at 7:30pm
http://www.melbournefringe.com.au/fringe-festival/show/barry-morgan-organ-is-not-a-dirty-word/

Lessons With Luis Famoucity!
Squirrel Review :  http://www.squirrelcomedy.com/?p=3372
Famoucity is playing at The Butterfly Club at 7pm
http://www.melbournefringe.com.au/fringe-festival/show/lessons-with-luis-famoucity/

Luke McGregor – My Soulmate is Out of My League  [Winner of The Best Newcomer at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival]
Squirrel Review :  http://www.squirrelcomedy.com/?p=3389
It’s playing at The Loft, Lithuanian Club at 9.15pm
http://www.melbournefringe.com.au/fringe-festival/show/luke-mc-gregor-my-soul-mate-is-out-of-my-league/

Khalad Khalafalla – Devious
Squirrel Review :  http://www.squirrelcomedy.com/?p=3810
Devious is Playing Upstairs at Errol’s at 10.30pm
http://www.melbournefringe.com.au/fringe-festival/show/khaled-kalafalla-encore/

Michael Burke in Cubehead
Squirrel Review : http://www.squirrelcomedy.com/?p=4134
Cubehead is playing at The Tuxedo Cat – The Jackle at 7.00pm
http://www.melbournefringe.com.au/fringe-festival/show/michael-burke-in-cubehead/

Nob Happy Sock – Simon Keck [Winner of The Golden Gibbo at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival]
Squirrel Review: http://www.squirrelcomedy.com/?p=3550
It’s on at Son of Loft, Lithuanian Club at 6.30pm
http://www.melbournefringe.com.au/fringe-festival/show/nob-happy-sock/

Political Asylum
Squirrel Review: http://www.squirrelcomedy.com/?p=3785
Political Asylum is on at the Festival Club (North Melbourne Town Hall) on 1/10 at 9:30pm
http://www.melbournefringe.com.au/fringe-festival/show/political-asylum/

Satan’s Finest Mitch Alexander & Jackson Voorhaar
Squirrel Review: http://www.squirrelcomedy.com/?p=3889
Satan’s Finest is on at the Tuxedo Cat at 9:30pm
http://www.melbournefringe.com.au/fringe-festival/show/satan-s-finest/

Other recommended shows at the 2013 Melbourne Fringe.

Lisa-Skye – Songs my Parents told me

was a delightfully warm biographical story show that somehow missed out on a review during MICF. Lisa-Skye lovingly explores her parent’s generation and how it compares to and influences her own creative and interesting life. Lisa-Skye is just back from her first trip as a performer in Edinburgh, she should be on top form. It will be on at The Tuxedo Cat – The Jackle

Lisa-Skye will also be hosting a late night chat show at The Tuxedo Cat called Art Sex and Snacks, she will be interviewing performers about their craft.

http://www.melbournefringe.com.au/fringe-festival/show/songs-my-parents-taught-me/

http://www.melbournefringe.com.au/fringe-festival/show/art-sex-and-snacks/

Sammy J’s 50 Year Show 

which is a deliriously silly idea of Sammy’s to perform one big long show in parts, once every five years, for 50 years. I attended the 1st part five years ago and it was a whole bunch of crazy fun in the packed North Melbourne Town Hall. Many projects were begun by guest comedians that will be repeated or added to and the time capsule will be opened. One Night Only! Don’t miss it or you’ll have to wait another five years.

http://www.melbournefringe.com.au/fringe-festival/show/sammy-j-presents-the-50-year-show/

Comedy Pick and Mix 

is a one off Festival Club night curated by Melbourne comedy goddess Janet A McLeod and hosted by Andy McClelland and Oliver Clark in their personas of El Grande and Mr Nightlights. A creative mix of performers creating all sorts of mayhem and hopefully at some point El Grande will be tipping pot pouri down Mr Nightlights underpants. You won’t want to miss that.

http://www.melbournefringe.com.au/fringe-festival/show/comedy-pick-n-mix/

The Experiment curated by Asher Treleaven. 

A late night show at The Lithuanian Club during Fringe showcasing a great line up
of alternative comedy acts encouraged to take risks. There will be an air of competition to the show and the comedians will be competing with small dogs. I will leave it to Asher to explain:

“Each show I’m inviting members of the public to bring their small dogs to compete with the acts so we can finally discover whether Melbourne’s best Alternative comedians are more entertaining than a small dog. There will be a $15 prize for best small dog and at the end of the show the audience will judge who has been more entertaining. There will be excellent comedy, sketches and music but its mainly about ze dog”

Hopefully there will be a pooper scooper on hand in case of nerves.

http://www.melbournefringe.com.au/fringe-festival/show/the-experiment/

Tony Martin – The Yeti 

Probably the most highly anticipated show at this year’s (maybe any years!) Melbourne Fringe Festival. I don’t know if Tony has ever performed a solo festival show before and although he has recently tread the boards as a guest at The Shelf. it’s been a long time since he’s performed in his own festival show. This will be a narrative drawn from his autobiographical novel  Lollyscramble. A book that had me laughing out loud on public transport. Tony is what’s known as a ‘comedian’s comedian’ with a huge following so tickets are bound to sell out. He’s at The Butterfly Club.

http://www.melbournefringe.com.au/fringe-festival/show/tony-martin-the-yeti/

Shows at 2013 Melbourne International Comedy Festival that have previously been reviewed by Squirrel Comedy.

By Lisa Clark

Waiting for reviews to come in to make a decision about what shows you are seeing this year? Well we’ve already reviewed quite a lot of shows that are on at this year’s Melbourne International Comedy Festival. Of course some of the shows reviewed here may have been reworked, improved or changed in some way. Hang the DJ has a new DJ, Eddie Pepitonne’s show isn’t called Bloodbath and some of these shows will be different at every performance. Hopefully the past reviews that you will find linked here in alphabetical order will give you an idea of what to expect and help you work out what you are going to see this year. Look out for our new reviews from this years comedy festival, coming soon to Squirrel Comedy!

 

AUNTY DONNA AND THE FAX MACHINE SHOP

Aunty Donna’s first show Aunty Donna in Pants Suits got them nominated for a Golden Gibbo Award, this new show, originally performed at Melbourne Fringe 2012 made them winners of the People’s Choice Award. Aunty Donna are a sketch troupe of four guys performing very adult humour. Cathy enjoyed it and thought it was ‘a very slick production. It’s tightly scripted and well-performed.’

http://www.squirrelcomedy.com/?p=2043

Aunty Donna will be late at The Portland Hotel

http://www.comedyfestival.com.au/2013/season/shows/aunty-donna-and-the-fax-machine-shop

 

BEN POBJIE – LET’S PUT ON A SHOW

Ben’s show is a collaboration with the audience to explore the nature of putting on a comedy show. Elyce thought the show was fun and that’ the more the audience puts into this show, the more you will get back’.

http://www.squirrelcomedy.com/?p=2020

Ben Pobjie will be on at Gertrude’s Brown Couch

http://www.comedyfestival.com.au/2013/season/shows/let-s-put-on-a-show-ben-pobjie

 

EDDIE PEPITONE

I adored Eddie when I first saw him in Edinburgh at the recording of Stuart Goldsmiths’  Comedian’s Comedian podcast. I knew I had to see his solo show Blood Bath and was not disappointed. I described him as ‘arse-achingly funny’.

http://www.squirrelcomedy.com/?p=1804

Eddie’s solo show is on at 11pm on April 5th at Victoria Hotel – Banquet Room

http://www.comedyfestival.com.au/2013/season/shows/one-off-solo-show-eddie-pepitone

He’ll be doing seven shows as part of Headliners

http://www.comedyfestival.com.au/2013/season/shows/in-headliners-eddie-pepitone

and there will be a showing of his documentary Bitter Buddha is on at the Hifi Bar 4pm on April 6th

http://www.comedyfestival.com.au/2013/season/shows/eddie-pepitone-documentary-the-bitter-buddha

 

FELICITY WARD – THE HEDGEHOG DILEMMA

Felicity’s only appearance at this year’s comedy festival will be a reprise of her stunning, hilarious and moving show The Hedgehog Dilema. She’s filming it for prosperity and I can’t recommend it highly enough. It was one of the first shows I saw last year and her story stayed with me for a long time. ‘Her ability to keep the audience in stitches throughout all of this is a testament to her stunning talent.’

http://www.squirrelcomedy.com/?p=1237

The Hedgehog Dilemma will be on at the Atheneum Theatre on April 15

http://www.comedyfestival.com.au/2013/season/shows/the-hedgehog-dilemma-felicity-ward

 

GIRLS UNINTERUPTED ARE GOOD VALUE

Cathy thought that it was criminal that Louise Joy McCrae and Nicolette Minster don’t have higher comedy profiles on the Australian Comedy Scene in her review from Melbourne Fringe 2012

http://www.squirrelcomedy.com/?p=2082

They’re performing at Portland Hotel in the Portland Room

http://www.comedyfestival.com.au/2013/season/shows/are-good-value-girls-uninterrupted

 

HANG THE DJ – ANDY McCLELLAND & KIEREN O’SULLIVAN – 

This now has a different DJ to the one reviewed at Melbourne Fringe 2012. But Andy is still there in a show where he gets to share his passion for music and hilarious tales of being a DJ. Colin said ‘This fusion of comedy, music and dancing was a brilliant way to end an evening.’

http://www.squirrelcomedy.com/?p=2085

Hang the DJ is on late at Trades Hall in the Quilt Room<
http://www.comedyfestival.com.au/2013/season/shows/hang-the-dj-feat-dj-kieran-o-sullivan-andrew-mcclelland-s

 

HOW TO GET RICH ALEISHA McCORMAC

Originally directed by Julia Zemiro for the 2012 Melbourne Fringe, I thought this one woman play was ‘a  pretty light and fluffy soufflé of a show that would suit a girls’ night out or hen’s night’

http://www.squirrelcomedy.com/?p=2052

Aleisha will be performing at Trades Hall – The Meeting Room til April 7th

http://www.comedyfestival.com.au/2013/season/shows/how-to-get-rich-aleisha-mccormack

 

LIVE ON AIR WITH POET LAUREATE TELIA NEVILE 

When I first saw Live on Air it was really a work in progress but I still found it very entertaining and Telia was ‘able to consistently create new ways to make her audience laugh with her clever poetry and personas.’ She’s apparently put a lot of work in it since so it should be a pretty fabulous show.

http://www.squirrelcomedy.com/?p=2016

Live on Air will be on at The Northcote Town Hall

http://www.comedyfestival.com.au/2013/season/shows/live-on-air-poet-laureate-telia-nevile

 

NICHOLAS J JOHNSON – TODAY TONIGHT, TOMORROW THE WORLD

Based on his own true experience appearing on Today Tonight and Cathy thought it was ‘a cracker’

http://www.squirrelcomedy.com/?p=1956

Today Tonight, Tomorrrow the World will be at Comedy on Collins at The Scots Church Assembly Hall

http://www.comedyfestival.com.au/2013/season/shows/today-tonight-tomorrow-the-world-nicholas-j-johnson

 

 ROB HUNTER – LATE O’ CLOCK WITH ROB HUNTER

In the tradition of Alan Partridge and Dame Edna amongst other purveyors of Theatre of Cruelty, Rob Hunter’s interview show satirises chat shows while being pretty mean to the guests, who are mostly in on the joke. Our reviewer wasn’t when he saw it at last year’s Melbourne International Comedy Festival and did not have a very good time as he explained ‘ The MICF blurb about this show being “uncomfortably tense” and “not for the squeamish” was a freaking understatement for me personally’ Well if Rob Hunter is hoping to provoke strong reactions, it certainly worked with Andrew who gifted Rob with the poster quote ‘I fucking hated this show’ . We’ll be giving another reviewer a go at it this year.

http://www.squirrelcomedy.com/?p=1380

Late O’Clock with Rob Hunter is on at Melb Town Hall  in the Cloak Room

http://www.comedyfestival.com.au/2013/season/shows/late-o-clock-with-rob-hunter-rob-hunter

 

SIMON MUNNERY – FYLM MAKKER

Simon Munnery has been around a long time is always up to something creative, original and silly. We think Simon is a comedy genius and this was the highlight of Colin’s 2012 Edinburgh Fringe. He describes it thusly; ‘Broadcast via video link from the middle of the room, he performs sketches, monologues, puppetry and songs to camera using all sorts of video trickery to create a unique and hilarious show.’

http://www.squirrelcomedy.com/?p=1861

Simon is performing at The Victoria Hotel in the Vic’s Bar

http://www.comedyfestival.com.au/2013/season/shows/fylm-makker-simon-munnery

 

SLUTMONSTER AND FRIENDS

This was a show that blew the minds of everyone who saw it at last year’s Melbourne Fringe Festival. You came out wondering ‘What the hell was that?’ and ‘Why am I still still laughing hours later?’ Beautifully designed, sharply written with clever catchy songs, surprises and lots of rude bits. Colin said ‘It’s a sick, twisted and perverted play that’s gutbustingly hilarious.’

http://www.squirrelcomedy.com/?p=1985

Slutmonster will be Strutting her stuff at the Northcote Town Hall
http://www.comedyfestival.com.au/2013/season/shows/slutmonster-and-friends

 

TRYING HARD – ALASDAIR TREMBLAY-BIRCHALL

Alasdair gives us two shows for the price of one in what Cathy describes as ‘some entertaining and delightfully original comedy’

http://www.squirrelcomedy.com/?p=2026

Trying Hard is on at the Forum Theatre – Carpet Room
http://www.comedyfestival.com.au/2013/season/shows/trying-hard-alasdair-tremblay-birchall

 

VICTORIA HEALY ‘S ANATOMY

Victoria Healy is not very comfortable with her body but manages to spend an hour exploring it for laughs. Elyce described Healy as ‘a quick-witted and talented comedic performer, who is only getting better and better at her craft.’

http://www.squirrelcomedy.com/?p=1965

Victoria is on at the Imperial Hotel

http://www.comedyfestival.com.au/2013/season/shows/victoria-healy-s-anatomy

MICF 2012 Shows on sale now

Tickets are now on sale for shows in this years Melbourne International Comedy Festival.

The Comedy Festival Gala is being hosted by Sammy J & Randy and has already sold out, but there are still tickets available for some of the festivals biggest events including the Opening Night Comedy Allstars Supershow, RAW Comedy National Grand Final, The 23rd Annual Great Debate Upfront and more!

Highlights in 2012 include American comedy legend Wanda Sykes, the return of UK based comedians Dave Gorman, Shappy Khorsandi, Glenn Wool Tim Key and Aussie born Sarah Kendall. Simon Munnery’s two shows, including his conceptual restaurant ‘La Concepta’ which we tasted a sample of during his show last year and, as always, a new one from Daniel Kitson. Four of Australia’s best comedians are getting together to perform a live silent film; Andy Mclelland, Asher Trelevan, Celia Pacquola and Sammy J in Tie her to the Tracks. Interesting pairings include Bob Franklin and Steven Gates (of Tripod) in Stubborn Monkey Disorder and the husband and wife team of Mike McLeish & Fiona Harris in …..Plus One. There is also Rod Quantock’s Mystery Comedy Tour which is garanteed fun if you don’t mind walking and don’t forget to try something new. You might discover the next big name! Of course there are many, many more shows happening, so get to it.

To get in early and secure your seats, check out the full list of shows on sale here. New shows are being added as they go on sale.