Jon Walpole – One Man Performing A Two-Man Show

By Colin Flaherty

Slapstick bits about performing a double act solo have been seen before in short spots but Jon Walpole has taken the concept to its logical conclusion, an hour length show where one performer is in absentia. What results is a hilarious and clever performance with plenty of pathos thrown in.

He raises the stakes and shows all the obvious pitfalls and pratfalls of performing one man down early. His Aunty Donna styled opening song clubs us over the head that this is a double act. He shows the pregnant pauses for lines that are never returned, the absent physical contact and the risk of injury when the other person is not there to catch you.

The remainder of the show gradually reveals facts about Jon and Tim’s relationship as he nervously waits for the tardy appearance of his partner. To keep things on the road, urged on by words of encouragement from his tech James and an audience happy to play along with the conceit, Jon performs amusing sketches using props and assistance from members of the audience. Crowd work and audience participation play a huge part in this show but none of it is embarrassing or complicated.

With a background in clowning, Jon is a wonderfully physical performer and has constructed a world that shows this off. He manipulates his imaginative props, mimes his way through sketches and interacts with weird and wonderful characters that inhabit this strange theatrical world. The whole room becomes a playground and everyone is a part of the experience.

A shout-out must go to the tech James who holds this show together audibly. Hilarious reactive sound effects play a large part in the performance and Jon reacts to many sound cues and recorded dialogue that largely go off without a hitch. This is an audio visual tour de farce.

One Man Performing A Two-Man Show is on at The Motley Bauhaus until April 23

Christina Schmidt & Miso Bell – Fear Us (Please)

By Colin Flaherty

After being Victorian State Finalists in last year’s RAW Comedy, Christina Schmidt and Miso Bell teamed up for their debut Festival two hander. This show of short sets of “edgy” stand up was an ambitious venture but their combined inexperience loomed large.

First the positives – there were plenty of interesting ideas in here. There were wacky twists given to seemingly straightforward topics to produce fun surreal results. The conceit of the pair desperately trying to come across as Bad Arses but failing in every metric was a solid one that they were able to sell.

The major problem was in the rambling, rushed and often mumbled delivery of each performer. Schmidt was somewhat timid in her stage persona which only weighed her down further. Bell had some scripted items read from pages that were well written but suffered from the same messy presentation. She briefly showed that she was capable of a clear, measured performance during a rare contemplative section of the script but immediately went back to blurting out the rest of the tale. When they shared the stage for some banter, their interactions were stilted, awkward and showed very little on stage chemistry.

The gimmick of polluting an ocean diorama when the punters didn’t respond appropriately was a promising idea but ultimately didn’t really go anywhere. They had a clever postscript video to end the show but not many people will see it. The duo had already announced that the show was over and most punters had already left the room or begun loudly chatting to each other.

The audience clearly enjoyed the wackiness of this duo but their execution cause them to miss most of the clever lines buried within. Here’s hoping that they can build up their experience and develop their stagecraft without losing too much of their interesting voices.

Fear Us (Please) is on at Bard’s Apothecary until April 22

Aiden Willcox & Isaac Haigh – Songs from the Heart in the Hole of my Bottom

By Colin Flaherty

What better way is there to finish your night at the Festival than transporting yourself back to a smoky nightclub club (without the actual cigarette smoke) to be entertained by all round entertainers Aiden Willcox & Isaac Haigh? Along with their wonderful “50 piece orchestra”, Willcox and Haigh sang and joked their way through an hour of solid gold entertainment.

Our dynamic duo portrayed these big and brash 70s crooners perfectly. They only briefly touched upon some Martin and Lewis animosity so even without a focus on comedic conflict their interactions were delightfully amusing. They added in a bit of Tim and Eric strangeness to keep us on our toes and their banter was full of hilariously lame (and often nonsensical) jokes that highlighted the somewhat damaged Haigh versus the unhinged Willcox.

Both performers could really belt out a tune with song topics covering strangely mundane themes that were given a unique twist. “Mommy Issues” and Willcox’s “expertly improvised” songs about audience members were highlights. They made liberal use of overtures and exit music which could have been some sly padding but it was delightfully apt for these old school song and dance men.

It was interesting that this wasn’t a period piece. While this duo were outdated, hard drinking lounge lizards in the Vegas mould, they set this show in the modern day and relied on some fish out of water elements to joke about how the business of show and societal values have changed over the decades.

The rare and brief appearances of their lovely manager who was spotted stumbling from back stage before the show, made me disappointed that we didn’t see more of her. Perhaps she was constantly visible from the rear of the room and I missed these treats from my seat up front. Our pair of crooners regularly ventured into the aisles as the other sang a solo tune so it pays to keep alert to catch all the action.

Songs from the Heart in the Hole of my Bottom was a brilliantly, hilariously chaotic show that was perfectly executed. It’s no wonder this won the Best Comedy gong at last years Melbourne Fringe.

Songs from the Heart in the Hole of my Bottom is on at Trades Hall until April 9

Joshua Ladgrove – Baba

By Jess Welch

If you thought you had a tough lockdown, try being the sole caretaker of your 97 year old Ukrainian grandmother, the titular Baba. You might not think a comedy show about caring for, and subsequently losing, a grandmother during the pandemic could possibly be funny. It doesn’t exactly seem like prime comedy material. But Joshua Ladgrove is no ordinary comedian.

Ladgrove weaves the story of not just caring for his grandmother while dealing with a global pandemic, but the wider stories around them. From his Baba’s upbringing in Ukraine, he details her life of ups and downs, triumphs and tragedies. He recounts his own upbringing, surrounded by family. It is a story of love and loss and hope and despair. It touches on so many heavy topics that to list them all would put anyone off buying a ticket. But that wouldn’t be doing it justice. It’s something that will stay with you, long after you leave. It’s one of those shows that’s more than comedy, yet still has more than enough light-hearted and hilarious moments to keep from dragging you too deep into the darker side. It’s comedy plus tragedy.

Ladgrove has been a familiar face at MICF for many years, though perhaps not always a familiar name. As a character performer, he won acclaim and more than a few awards. Now, in a completely startling departure from the world of character comedy, he takes to the stage as himself. It’s raw, powerful, hilarious and heartbreaking. Above all, it’s truthful – something most comedy can’t boast. It has moments of shock and discomfort. But all of that is soothed by equal moments of peace, calm and, most importantly, love. Ultimately, it is a tribute to the matriarch of his family and it is an incredibly beautiful one.


Elyce Phillips Pretends To Be On Tropical Holiday For 50 Minutes (Definitely Not A Scam)

By Colin Flaherty

It has been a rough couple of years for everyone, we all deserve a break and Elyce Phillips is here to help. Sit back and relax as we all experience the  delights of the “luxury resort” Poseidon Sands from the comfort of a Butterfly Club seat. On this surprisingly wild adventure we learn more than we bargained for on topics such as marine life, the shonky and just plain creepy people in this world, and Elyce herself.

This is a brilliantly chaotic experience with silly props, unexpected characters, silly (Covid safe) audience interactions and wild plot twists. There was a sense of comedic desperation to the performance that belied the fact that Elyce was in complete control, creating superb characters and owning the room.

Most characters we encounter are variations of needy individuals on the brink of a breakdown but Elyce gives them plenty of warmth and depth. Through clowning, dodgy puppetry, animated characters and silly costuming she plays each role loud and large, addressing the audience in a hilariously forced self-effacing manner. We see that she certainly is a performer unafraid to look the fool while getting good and messy.

The small sized onstage screen is regularly very text heavy with blurbs selling the resort to potential guests but thankfully a voiceover introducing each segment helps if you are up the back. The slides benefit speed readers so if you can read quickly enough you will catch some truly bizarre & hilarious descriptions to tickle your funny bone.

There is an amusing companion website ( ) for this “resort” where you can not only buy tickets (to the show), but can leave reviews of your “visit” (guest roleplay is most welcome alongside any genuine feedback).

The show title betrays what comedic treasures lie beneath the surface. What starts as a silly bit of theatre has plenty of clever, shrewd and biting societal satire waiting to pounce. So pull up a virtual deckchair and laugh yourself stupid in this whacky “paradise”.

Elyce Phillips Pretends To Be On Tropical Holiday For 50 Minutes (Definitely Not A Scam) is on at The Butterfly Club until April 7

Australians at Edinburgh Fringe 2022

The 75th Edinburgh Fringe Festival begins this week and, after a bit of an enforced break, there will be a strong contingent of Australian acts (as well as Aussie Expats and adopted Aussies) back in Auld Reeky town raring to tread the boards again. Here is a list of those we could find along with any reviews we have previously written.

Our British Correspondent Ron will be seeing a whole slew of shows and reviewing them for us.

To all those performers in Edinburgh, Chookas from The Squirrels and have a wonderful Fringe.

Adam Knox, Luka Muller and Peter Jones – 3’s Comedy




Aboriginal Comedy Allstars (Sean Choolburra, Janty Blair, Kevin Kropinyeri and Jay Wymarra)




AC/DC: Australian Comedians / Dope Comedy (Hosted by Daniel Muggleton)




Adelaide vs Edinburgh: The Clash of the Fringes




Adults Only Magic Show (Sam Hume and Justin Williams)




Aidan Jones – Looking for Work





Aidan Jones – Taco





Alcohol Is Good For You





Alice Fraser: Chronos





Ange Lavoipierre: I’ve Got 99 Problems and Here’s an Exhaustive List of Them



The Anniversary (Claire Barthomew & Daniel Tobias)




Anthony Jeannot: The Middle Bit





An Aussie, African and Englishman Walk Into a Bar…




Beak: Cocktail Boys (previously part of Burger King Illuminati)





Best of Adelaide’s Fringe Comedy





A Bookish Comedy Show





Comedy Boxing





Comedy Hour: Prue Blake, Peter Jones and Sonia Di Iorio




Comedy Striptease (Hosted by Kyle Legacy)




Dan Rath: Cockroach Party





Dan Wills: Australia: A Whinging Pom’s Guide




Daniel Muggleton: Oh, More Mr White Guy?




Danielle Walker: Nostalgia

Here is what Bren Carruthers thought of it at MICF 2022:


David Boyle: Stranded





Dean Misdale: Life’s a Drag





Dolly Diamond’s Hi T





Dolly Diamond’s Bosom Buddies





Erin Fowler: EGG





The Eric Tinker Experience





Gabbi Bolt: I Hope My Keyboard Doesn’t Break




Garry Starr: Greece Lightning





George Dimarelos – 3am Brain





Geraldine Quinn: BROAD





Grant Busé: SentiMENTAL!





Haus Party with Otto & Astrid





He Huang : Crazy Broken Chinese





How to Converse





Matt Harvey : I Got Bit by a Monkey Once

Here’s what Peter Newling thought of this show at MICF 2019:


The Importance of Being Earnest as Performed by Three F*cking Queens and a Duck



Jimeoin: The Craic!





Josh Glanc: Vrooom Vrooom





Karen from Finance is Out of Office





Late Show Great Show (Featuring 3 mystery Australian comedians!)




Laura Davis: If This Is It





Liars and Clowns: A Late Night Comedy Show (Presented by Kyle Dolan)




Life Drawing With a Comedian





The Listies: Hamlet – Prince of Skidmark





Lloyd Langford: DILF





Maryellen : Call Me Me





Michelle Brasier: Average Bear

Here’s what Lisa Clark though of it at MICF 2022:


Mick Neven: Nevolution





Nikki Britton: One Small Step





Oliver Coleman: Sublime





Olivia McLeod: PASH





OZmosis: The Great Australian Variety Pack  (Hosted by Dane Simpson)




Randy Feltface: Alien of Extraordinary Ability




Ray Badran: Sweet Baby Ray





Reuben Kaye: The Butch is Back





Rhys Nicholson – Rhys! Rhys! Rhys!





Sam Campbell: Comedy Show





Sam Taunton: Yoho Diabolo





Tim Ogborne : The In-Laws





Tina del Twist: Caravan in the Sky





Tom Walker: Javelin





Troy Kinne : Live