Squirrels Top 5 Picks of the Festival

Well the 2013 Melbourne International Comedy Festival is winding down this weekend.

We no longer hand out awards, because it is just too difficult for us to see everything, or even see the same shows as each other. Instead most of the Squirrels have picked their Top 5 shows. If they are still running we recommend that you might like to see some of them this weekend. It was really hard to narrow it down to only five.

Of course the festival isn’t over yet and we may see something that changes our list but we wanted to put this up before the festival was over so you could gain from our recommendations.

You’ll notice a few of the names crop up more than once. Some sold out shows are putting on extra performances in the final weekend like the play Choir Girl that had finished its run of three performances, but has added one on Sunday afternoon.

Check out the Melbourne International Comedy Festival website for details and keep festivalling ’til you drop!!

Lisa Clark 

Hannah Gadsby – Happiness is a Bedside Table

Dave Bloustien – The Grand Gignol

The Writers

Luke McGregor – My Soulmate is Out of My League

Sammy J – Potentially

 

Caitlin Crowley

Luke McGregor – My Soulmate is Out of My League

Hannah Gadsby – Happiness is a Bedside Table

Michael Workman – Ave Loretta

Best Comics Worst Gigs

Dave O’Neil – 33 Things I Should Have Said No To

 

 

Cathy Culliver 

Dayne Rathbone – It’s Me Dayne

Luke McGregor – My Soulmate is Out of My League

Simon Keck – Nob Happy Sock

Dr Professor Neal Portenza

Ryan Coffey – Late & Loud

 

Colin Flaherty 

Fabian Lapham & The Actual Musicans:God Fights the Dinosaurs & 9 Other Stories That Will Awesome You in the Face.

Simon Keck – Nob Happy Sock

Set List

Choir Girl – Sarah Collins

David Quirk – Shaking Hands with danger

 

Elyce Phillips 

Lessons with Luis – Famoucity!

Lords of Luxury

Sam Simmons – Shitty Trivia

Lawrence Leung’s Part-time Detective Agency

Mike Birbiglia – My Girlfriend’s Boyfriend

 

Luke Simmons 

Khaled Khalafalla – Devious

Brendon Walsh

Bev Killick – Goes “There”…Again

Daniel Connell – Mr Personality 1988

Trevor Noah – The Racist

 

2013 Melbourne International Comedy Festival finishes on Sunday 21st of April

Lawrence Leung’s Part-time Detective Agency

by Elyce Phillips

In past comedy festival shows, we have seen Lawrence Leung breakdance, solve Rubik’s cubes and teach us about the many benefits of jetpacks. Now, taking inspiration from Jason Schwartzman’s character in ‘Bored to Death’ and the BBC’s reboot of Sherlock Holmes, Leung has decided to try his hand at becoming a detective. The resulting hour of comedy has as many twists, turns and surprises as any Raymond Chandler novel.

Leung impresses with his well-honed skills of deduction – well, he was outwitted by a couple of audience members on this occasion, but assured us all that he usually gets it right – and after a failed attempt to find cases online a la Jonathan Ames, Leung turns to a great unsolved mystery of his youth. As a team of detective assistants, we learn about tells and interrogation as we all attempt to find the culprit. When it comes to the narrative content of the show, the less said the better. Some of the best moments of the show really need to be a surprise. I can’t stress that enough. If you see this show (and you should), don’t go spoiling it!

The night I attended, the room was sold out and the atmosphere was wonderful. Leung has a great conversational style that really draws you in. There’s a little audience participation, but it’s always in the spirit of fun – even if the couple he got up on stage were terribly nervous. His use of multimedia is slick and adds to the show in a wonderful way.  The ‘Law & Order’ sound effect was used effectively and with remarkable restraint.

‘Part-Time Detective Agency’ is smart, charming and very, very funny – everything that we’ve come to expect from a Lawrence Leung festival show. If you’re a fan of his past work, you really don’t want to miss this one.

Lawrence Leung’s Part-Time Detective Agency is on at the Swiss Club until April 21.

http://www.comedyfestival.com.au/2013/season/shows/part-time-detective-agency-lawrence-leung-s

The Art of the YouTube Promo

by Colin Flaherty

Comedians have been using YouTube as a promotional tool for their Festival shows for several years now. One of the most notable was by Australian expatriate Yanni for his 2012 Edinburgh show “Numb and Number” (It’s still online on his YouTube Channel ). In the lead up to this years’ Melbourne Comedy Festival, it seems as though every comedian and their tech savvy dog has filmed a video to lure punters to their show.

Some videos simply have the performer addressing the camera to tell you what to expect from their show, usually with a wacky angle to prevent it from becoming too dry. Others present an excerpt from the show to literally give the potential audiences a taste of the actual performance.

The road of YouTube trailers is rife with dangerous pitfalls. A rough, quick shoot with a handycam may paint the whole production as amateurish (unless this is exactly what you are aiming for!). A lengthy running time may be too much for the short attention spans of some folk unless it has a rewarding punchline.

Amongst the deluge of promotional material are some wonderful examples of promo videos that rise above the mere show reel and really make a lasting impression…


For his show Can you do this? No you can’t, Ronny Chieng runs literally with the title and presents a montage of mundane tasks to prove that he can do anything better than a mere mortal. It gives you a clear idea of what to expect from Ronny and his hyper confident stage persona.


Utilising various colourful online characters for a nominal fee, Nicholas J Johnson has created a series of videos (the above puppet example is my personal favourite) to sell his show Today Tonight, Tomorrow The World. It has a very shyster air that is appropriate for this show about the dirty tabloid world of “Current Affairs” television and his work in general as swindler extraordinaire.


Ross Daniels has gone the music video route (there is also a full length version of this song here) to promote his character piece about 80s Synth Pop musician Graham Clone for the show The Future is Incorrect. It is so well done that it could easily pass as an actual music video of the period in spite of the numerous silly touches.


For their new show Once Were Planets, Watson employ spiffy animation. The Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy styled infographics format fits in perfectly with the subject matter and includes many of the pop cultural references that are littered throughout a Watson show.


Lawrence Leung takes a leaf out of Yanni’s book by editing some existing television footage and inserting himself into the action. Rather than re-edit all the dialogue to suit his plot, he cleverly works around the existing lines of Benedict Cumberbatch to create a wonderful humourous exchange. A clever and entertaining invite to his Part Time Detective Agency.

Ronny Chieng’s Can you do this? No you can’t is on at Melbourne Town Hall – Council Chambers

http://www.comedyfestival.com.au/2013/season/shows/can-you-do-this-no-you-can-t-ronny-chieng

Nicholas J Johnson’s Today Tonight, Tomorrow The World is on at Comedy On Collins

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

Ross Daniels’ Graham Clone: The Future is Incorrect – is on at Three Degrees

http://www.comedyfestival.com.au/2013/season/shows/graham-clone-this-future-is-incorrect-ross-daniels

Watson’s Once Were Planets is on at Trades Hall – Old Council Chambers

http://www.comedyfestival.com.au/2013/season/shows/once-were-planets-watson

Lawrence Leung’s Part Time Detective Agency is on at Swiss Club

http://www.comedyfestival.com.au/2013/season/shows/part-time-detective-agency-lawrence-leung-s

Melbourne International Comedy Festival 2013 Program Launch

By Lisa Clark

Aaaaaaand we’re off! The Melbourne International Comedy Festival was officially launched today at The Famous Spiegeltent at the Arts Centre with deliciously dry host Hannah Gadsby being appropriately disrespectful toward the ‘VIP’s and cheeky to the officiating Lord Mayor. Most comedians are interstate or overseas, with the Adelaide Fringe Festival in full swing, but spotted in the audience were Lawrence Leung (Part-Tme Detective Agency), Aamer Rahman (The Truth Hurts), Brian Nankervis (Rockwiz), Andrew Goodone (voice of the Melbourne International Comedy Festival Gala), Janet A McLeod(Cinema Fiasco), Jessie Ngaio (Slutmonster & Friends), Hayman Kent (The Comedy Zone).

Over champagne and lamingtons we were given a taste of some of this year’s talent and the official speeches. Bite sized performances to whet our appetites for the Festival were served up by Moosehead Awarded Kate McLennan & Wes Snelling in Double Standard which will be performed in a hotel room at The Blackman (Justin Bieber stayed there apparently) as well from Windmill Theatre who dazzled us with some nerdy choreographed energetic bike riding from their show School Dance.

From Festival Director Susan Provan we learned that this year there are over a (record breaking) thousand participants in RAW comedy, Matt Okine will be this year’s host for the National Grand Final and that for the first time one of the finalists will be drawn from India. She also spoke about a new movement of comedians who are proving themselves on YouTube and have well selling shows at this year’s MICF despite not having tread the boards in comedy clubs. The Festival crew are particularly proud that this year’s program features an entire page of Daves. (p49, though in one case it’s not the name of the comedian)

We were all given the first programs to study, and they’ll be out for the general public with sponsors The Herald Sun on Saturday 23rd of February. We’ve previously reviewed some of the shows on offer and will be doing a story about that soon. We’re also currently publishing lots of “5 Good Reasons to see” MICF shows to give you more information in helping to organise your Festival calendar. We’ll be bringing more interviews, news and reviews as they come in. So stay tuned to Squirrel Comedy for all your Melbourne International Comedy Festival information.