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

5 GOOD REASONS TO SEE – SLUTMONSTER AND FRIENDS, THE MOULIN BEIGE AND MAX ATTWOOD’S AM I BETTER THAN GANDHI?

5 Good Reasons to see  Slutmonster and Friends.
1. It’s a musical comedy starring a pink polar-fleece monster with furry boobs and a giant fluffy cock.

2. We were awarded ‘Highly Commended in Comedy’ at the 2012 Melbourne Fringe, so it’s a fairly safe bet we’re not shit.

3. We’ve been practicing a cool move and we want you to see it.

4. We can be your secret shame, like an occasional sex partner who won’t stop chuckling during intercourse, and it fully creeps you out in a sort of carnival clown way but it’s actually so gross that you’re also kind of into it, but you’ll never admit it, not even to yourself.

5. All profits raised from the show will be great.

http://www.comedyfestival.com.au/2013/season/shows/slutmonster-and-friends

 

5 Good Reasons to see The Moulin Beige.
1. Because it is a VARIETY show which is WAY more digestible than an hour of the same thing.  I simply can’t do a whole block of Bega but give me the cheese platter any day.

2. (still on the cheese platter metaphor) Stand up comedian on a cracker anyone?  Mmm… that hoola hoopist goes really well with a dry white.  Have you tried the low fat burlesque with bocconcini?

3. Oh yes and The Moulin Beige is in a bar, so you can drink or six while you watch the show- Genius.

4. And we have an interval, so you can catch up with your friends or even go for a pee!  Double genius.

5. Because flying to France to see The Moulin Rouge is way over rated… we are in Fitzroy and much, much funnier (especially if you’re drunk).

http://www.comedyfestival.com.au/2013/season/shows/the-moulin-beige

 

5 Good Reasons to see Max Attwood’s Am I Better Than Gandhi?
1. You have often caught yourself wondering if you’re better than famous and historical figures, and want someone to address this strange quandary in a humorous and ultimately witty manner.

2. Being unemployed, how difficult dating is, Ricky Nixon- these are the jokes that are going to be in every show this year, but not this one! This show has jokes about toddler armies, sexy Mother Teresa and evolutionary hooves.

3. It will be genuinely thought provoking. No, seriously, it will provoke thought in you. You’ll have a thought. Maybe even a think.

4. There’s a slim chance that you think I am your long lost father and you want to meet me in person to confirm your suspicions. However, upon seeing me you realise I’m way too young to be your dad but you stick around because I’m in the middle of an awesome stand-up show.

5. It would be really good for my self-esteem.

http://www.comedyfestival.com.au/2013/season/shows/am-i-better-than-gandhi-max-attwood

Slutmonster and Friends

By Colin Flaherty

Slutmonster and Friends tells the tale of two bickering brothers, Larch (Lucas Heil) and Bovril (Wes Gardner) who find themselves at Death’s Door in a strange land. They meet a furry hermaphroditic creature (Jessie Ngaio) and her woodland friends, and proceed to descend further into madness. It’s a sick, twisted and perverted play that’s gutbustingly hilarious.

With a brightly coloured day-glo set featuring phallic mushrooms and tit covered trees, it was apparent that this was going to be a gaudy, over the top and lewd production. The monster’s bright pink costume complete with breasts and large schlong was as brilliant as it was disturbing and is sure to grasp the attention of the Furry crowd. Colourful, innocent puppet characters (operated by each of the trio when their characters were off stage) were a perfect contrast to the dark story by adding some cheerful optimism to the events.

At it’s core this show was a musical with many jaunty songs giving background details to the action. This contrast between content and delivery provided the comedic power. The graphic lyrical imagery provoked guilty nervous laughter as well as belly laughs as you tapped your toe to the upbeat music.

Heil and Gardner bounced brilliantly off one another as a comedic duo. They stuck to their roles of straight man and wacky guy but each got their fair share of amusing Pythonesque lines. The script delivered plenty of laughs while progressing the plot at a quick clip. The duo also got to flex their dramatic muscles as the story approached the gates of hell. Their physical performances were great with slapstick and exaggerated simulated sex pulled off with ease.

Ngaio’s performance as the monster was wonderful; grinning like an ignorant idiot as all sorts of deviant sexual acts were performed on her and plenty of gruesome carnage occurred. The strange animalistic eroticism exuded by her was exploited for many laughs. It was the classic portrayal of the misunderstood monster protagonist.

The dramatic structure to this show was brilliant. Animated segments employed the “unreliable narrator” literary device by portraying a fairytale-style sanitised version of the depraved events taking place on stage. When the shit hit the fan at the dramatic apex, the darkness was drawn out beyond breaking point; a point which would kill any other comedy show. Following it up with the stupidest sequence imaginable to release the tension was a master stroke. There were plenty of plot twists to keep the audience on their toes and divert the plot from obvious places. Although some action took place off stage, hints in the form of clever props and off the cuff remarks by particiants let the audience put together the gruesome details.

This show may look simple and purely base on the surface, but there is a depth to it that will provoke discussion afterwards. Allusions to The Tempest and a visual nod to a CSI trope had it pulling literary references from all corners with many elements still being discovered on the drive home. In fact most audience members were laughing and chatting about it all the way onto the street. It’s such an affective piece that I could have sworn I heard someone humming the Slutmonster’s theme song!

Despite the use of puppets, the late night time slot and vivid language in the blurb ensure that this show won’t be mistaken for family friendly fare. It certainly won’t appeal to the prudish but if you like your humour on the perverted side, you’ll be gagging for more.

Slutmonster and Friends is on at Club Voltaire until October 14.
For Further info visit the Melbourne Fringe website http://www.melbournefringe.com.au/fringe-festival/show/slutmonster-and-friends/