5 Good Reasons to see A Very Merry Blimpmas

1) It’s an all-out Christmas SPECTACULAR! That’s right! We’re doing a full-blown Carols By Candlelight in March/April, so you can expect plenty of lively songs, expert choreography and a whole lot of tinsel. Why? Because there’s no better time than Easter to make you realise how much you miss Christmas.

2) We’re award-nominated! Our last show I’m Here was nominated for Best Comedy at Melbourne Fringe in 2017, alongside great company such as The Travelling Sisters, Rama Nicholas, Josh Glanc and PO PO MO CO. This show isn’t nominated for anything because it’s a debut but we CAN promise you that we’ve worked really hard and we haven’t let the fame go to our heads.

3) David Campbell and Sonia Kruger will NOT be there.

4) We’re on at Trades Hall which is such a nice venue! It has it’s own bar and lounge, and there’s a heap of other great shows on, and you can even buy a Trades Hall 3 Show Pass which gets you into three shows for cheap! We love trading things, and we love big halls, so it’s a match made in heaven.

5) You like gingerbread? We got plenty of gingerbread. Lots of gingerbread.

Hit By A Blimp (Tiana Hogben, Caitlyn Staples and Jayden Masciulli) performs A Very Merry Blimpmas at Trades Hall – 28 Mar-7 Apr

https://www.comedyfestival.com.au/index.php/2019/shows/a-very-merry-blimpmas

 

Melbourne International Comedy Festival 2018 – Previously reviewed shows

The 32nd Melbourne International Comedy Festival has been officially

Lano & Woodley

Launched for 2018. Hosted by comedy legends Lano & Woodley, their reunion this year, after 12 years apart, in their new show Fly is one of the big thrills causing quite a buzz in a gigantic, exciting programme. There are more than 620 shows in this years festival. Some of the shows are encore performances and others that we Squirrels managed to catch and review at other festivals.

Feel free to click on the links below and read what we thought of these earlier iterations, keeping in mind that festival shows are ever evolving beasts that change and develop over time, so the new version may be quite different to one we saw.

See a favourite off the telly, See someone you’ve never heard of. Most of all have a wonderful time and keep an eye on Squirrel Comedy as the new reviews roll in and we keep you up to date on what’s happening via our Social Media.

Previously Reviewed Shows:

The Bear Pack
Phoebe O’Brien’s review from Edinburgh Fringe 2017 : http://www.squirrelcomedy.com/?p=11820
Booking details:
https://www.comedyfestival.com.au/2018/shows/the-bear-pack

Ben Volchok Presents…
Lisa Clark’s review from Melbourne Fringe 2017: http://www.squirrelcomedy.com/?p=12001
Booking details:
https://www.comedyfestival.com.au/2018/shows/ben-volchok-presents

Chris Lassig Dr Chris’s Theory of Everything
Conor Merrigan-Turner’s review from Melbourne Fringe 2017: http://www.squirrelcomedy.com/?p=11940
Booking details:
https://www.comedyfestival.com.au/2018/shows/dr-chris-s-theory-of-everything

Elizabeth Davie – Super Woman Money Program
Lisa Clark’s review from Melbourne Fringe 2017: http://www.squirrelcomedy.com/?p=11987
Booking details:
https://www.comedyfestival.com.au/2018/shows/super-woman-money-program

Geraldine Hickey – It’s My Show
Lisa Clark’s review from Melbourne Fringe 2017: http://www.squirrelcomedy.com/?p=12005
Booking details:
https://www.comedyfestival.com.au/2018/shows/it-s-my-show

Hit By A Blimp – I’m Here
Colin Flaherty’s review from Melbourne Fringe 2017: http://www.squirrelcomedy.com/?p=11906
Booking details:
https://www.comedyfestival.com.au/2018/shows/i-m-here

Impromptunes
Elyce Phillips’review from Melbourne Fringe 2013: http://www.squirrelcomedy.com/?p=5083
Booking details:
https://www.comedyfestival.com.au/2018/shows/the-completely-improvised-musical

Laura Davis – Ghost Machine
Elyce Phillips’review from MICF 2013: http://www.squirrelcomedy.com/?p=8543
Booking details:
https://www.comedyfestival.com.au/2018/shows/ghost-machine

Lauren Bok – Between a Bok and a Hard Place (Originally performed as A Bok In Progress)
Colin Flaherty’s review from Melbourne Fringe 2017: http://www.squirrelcomedy.com/?p=11903
Booking details:
https://www.comedyfestival.com.au/2018/shows/lauren-bok-between-a-bok-and-a-hard-place

Luke McGregor – Almost Fixed it
Lisa Clark’s review from MICF 2017: http://www.squirrelcomedy.com/?p=11056
Booking details:
https://www.comedyfestival.com.au/2018/shows/almost-fixed-it

Matt Harvey – War of the words
Conor Merrigan-Turner’s review from Melbourne Fringe 2017: http://www.squirrelcomedy.com/?p=12035
Booking details:
https://www.comedyfestival.com.au/2018/shows/war-of-the-words

Phil Wang – Kinabalu
Colin Flaherty’s review from Edinburgh Fringe 2017: http://www.squirrelcomedy.com/?p=11627
Booking details:
https://www.comedyfestival.com.au/2018/shows/phil-wang

Political Asylum Comedy – Late Night Riot!
Angela East’s review from MICF 2017: http://www.squirrelcomedy.com/?p=11271
Booking details:
https://www.comedyfestival.com.au/2018/shows/political-asylum-late-night-riot

Rob Hunter – Late O’Clock
Andrew Holmes’review from MICF 2012: http://www.squirrelcomedy.com/?p=1380
Booking details:
https://www.comedyfestival.com.au/2018/shows/late-o-clock

Sean Bedlam – Death to America
Colin Flaherty’s review from Melbourne Fringe 2017: http://www.squirrelcomedy.com/?p=12011
Booking details:
https://www.comedyfestival.com.au/2018/shows/death-to-america

Soothplayers -Completely Improvised Shakespeare
Lisa Clark’s review from Melbourne Fringe 2015: http://www.squirrelcomedy.com/?p=9433
Booking details:
https://www.comedyfestival.com.au/2018/shows/completely-improvised-shakespeare

Snort With Friends
Elyce Phillips’review from MICF 2017: http://www.squirrelcomedy.com/?p=11053
Booking details:
https://www.comedyfestival.com.au/2018/shows/snort-with-friends

Wanda and Mel
Lisa Clark’s review from Melbourne Fringe 2017: http://www.squirrelcomedy.com/?p=12008
Booking details:
https://www.comedyfestival.com.au/2018/shows/wanda-and-mel

Lemon Comedy Queer Showcase

By Peter Newling 

A sell-out crowd packed into the warm and welcoming Hares & Hyena’s bookshop in Fitzroy for Lemon Comedy’s only foray into the Midsumma Festival for 2018. A small stage has been erected in the corner of the store, surrounded by chandelier, regency wallpaper and thousands of books. Complete with friendly bar service, who could ask for a better venue?

Lemon Comedy bills itself on its website as a “new global stand-up showcase that aims to promote diverse, sharp voices in comedy”. Younger performers get the chance to strut their stuff in front of a large and supportive crowd, while more seasoned performers can try out new material in a safe space. And, on this balmy Tuesday evening in Melbourne, they didn’t disappoint. The organisers brought together an eclectic mix of performers and performance styles for this one-night-only show. In fact, the audience was treated to seven classy acts across two hours of joy.

The quality of any gala often rests largely with the ability of the host – and in this role, Alistair Baldwin excelled. He kept the audience’s energy up between comics with warm repartee and generous introductions. His own material is terrific, managing to cover off topics ranging from Australia Post to cuttlefish in his mild-mannered, seemingly good natured shtick.

Space does not allow a full run down of all performers – so let me instead tell you about some acts to keep an eye out for in the future.

Melbourne comic Kit Richards was a stand out, giving the audience a sneak preview into the new musical that she is writing – which explores elements of early white Australian history and the difficulties of English folk adapting to Australian conditions. The songs were cleverly constructed, hilarious, and lovingly delivered. If that musical ever gets made, I’ll be first in line to buy a ticket.

Comedic trio Hit By A Blimp (aka Caitlyn Staples, Tiana Hogben and Jayden Masciulli) gave us an energetic mixture of sketch, song and interpretive dance in their Coldplay inspired portrayal of the pros and cons of Uber Eats. Well regarded improviser Nikki Spunde made a welcome return to stand-up and proved to be an audience favourite with her languid homage to sleep and haunting things.
Headlining the evening was the evergreen Geraldine Hickey. Whilst her choice of material – a set based on common fears – wasn’t the most imaginative of the evening, she won over the crowd with her trademark dry, laconic delivery, astute observations and easy-going nature. It was great for the younger comics to be able to enjoy a masterclass from such an experienced and assured performer, and provided the audience with a worthy pinnacle to their night’s entertainment.

Other performers rounding out this excellent, varied bill included Pat McCaffrie, Gamze Kirik and Liv Hewson.

Congratulations to Lemon Comedy on bringing together a great night out, and for giving us the gift of an inspiring celebration of diverse comedy. If you missed Lemon Comedy’s Midsumma gala, never fear. Their next gig will be on Valentine’s Day, and will celebrate, appropriately enough, the joys of singledom. Sounds like fun to me.

Lemon Comedy Queer Showcase was a One Off performance on 16 January 2018 at Hares & Hyena’s bookshop in Fitzroy

Hit By A Blimp – I’m Here

By Colin Flaherty
Hit By A Blimp

I’m Here is the second Fringe outing from the collective Hit By A Blimp (Caitlyn Staples, Jayden Masciulli and Tiana Hogben), this time exploring the intricacies and minefields of social interactions. Through sketches and musical numbers, we see awkward small talk between two strangers narrated through song, all the possible reasons why your crush hasn’t answered your messages, a third wheel overdoing it trying to join an activity and creative ways to exit a dull situation.

The trio bounced off each other effortlessly and brought their individual talents to the table. Hogben was the strongest singer while the others endeared with their exaggerated performances and interpretive dance. Masciulli sold his comedic anxiety well and along with Hogben acted as straight people to Staples’ wonderful hammy wackiness.

There were plenty of brilliant ideas in this show but in terms of strength of sketches, it was a mixed bag. Some scenes used extensive props for nothing more than lukewarm punchlines. Others were strong concepts that petered out at the end. When they did manage to pair the brilliant ideas with enough hilarious material to fill the sketch, they had me and the rest of the audience laughing heartily.

The way each scene interconnected with the others was a little confusing at times, often with only a throwaway line later on to connect the dots. Minimal costuming meant that many characters seemed so interchangable that you didn’t realise they were different until several lines in. Some sketches seemed to be out of place amongst all the sketches set at parties and with recurring 20 something characters even though they stuck to the theme. With their strange settings and characters, it was these scenes that really stood out and impressed. You’ll certainly never see marine buoys or your food deliverer the same way again!

This show was a fun hour of sketch. Despite the patchiness of some of the jokes, there were plenty of laughs to keep the audience chuckling throughout.

I’m Here is on at Courthouse Hotel – The Jury Room from September 13 to 17

https://www.melbournefringe.com.au/event/im-here/

Who We Were

By Elyce Phillips

Who We Were is a flashback to the ‘90s, packed with the kind of little details that are guaranteed to delight anyone who grew up in the age of MSN chat and My Chemical Romance. Written by and starring Caitlyn Staples, Jayden Masciulli and Tiana Hogben, it’s a cleverly composed compilation of sketch, storytelling and song.

The show centres around the stories of Amanda (Staples), Katie (Hogben) and Max (Masciulli) – three school mates who are struggling through their awkward teen years and hoping for better things to come. Using the device of a tape-recorded message, Who We Were threads through the storyline of each of the main characters, diverting off into sketches that skewer the specifics of the era. Each performer is given their moment to shine. Staples hams it up brilliantly as two henchmen in an underground Pokemon card trading ring. Masciulli was wonderful as a reluctant wizard who desperately wants to be a spy. Hogben’s presentation of a gloriously dark PowerPoint on her school holidays was absolutely inspired, from the sound effects to the overuse of clip art. The three performers work together beautifully, each bringing a distinct comedic energy and style.

The musical elements in the show were a particular highlight. A reworking of Avril Lavigne’s Complicated in which Staples and Hogben played bratty, entitled kids to Masciulli’s browbeaten mother was hilarious, as was a bright little ditty about childhood fortune-telling methods. The final number ended the show on a beautifully bittersweet note, the three kids reuniting as adults and looking back on their childhood with the clarity of hindsight.

Who We Were is a very funny effort from three fresh, young comedic minds. You’re likely to get the most out of the show if you grew up in the late ‘90s/early ‘00s as the nostalgia factor is definitely at play. However, the characters here are strong enough that you’ll get a kick out of this even if you sit outside that age bracket.

Who We Were is on at the Improv Conspiracy theatre until September 23rd

https://melbournefringe.com.au/program?event/who_we_were/62f59e98-f7d2-4a5b-a552-69e8beb8125c/