Backstage at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival.

Melbourne collective Little Picture Box have been busy producing “Backstage” at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival.
Headed by Amanda Reedy, Little Picture Box and her team have produced a couple of seasons of Channel 31′s Studio A and have also produced comedy short films and sketches for online.

The “Backstage” project is a collaboration between Reedy, her team at Little Picture Box and comedians Tommy little, Dave Thornton and Nat Harris. They’ll be producing exclusive online content including interviews, sketches and other funny stuff during the festival plus a half hour Comedy Festival special to air on Channel 31, April 14 at 8.30.

There’s a bunch of videos online now including Tommy Little interviewing Tom Green, Frank Woodley, Tom Ballard, Paul Foot and more. Here’s a few of our fav’s. You can check out more on Little Picture Box’s YouTube Channel.

 

 

 

 

Tommy Dassalo- Pipsqueak

By Jayden Edwards

Since coming runner up in Triple J’s Raw Comedy competition and debuting at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival in 2006, Tommy Dassalo has pushed himself: dabbling in theatrics, illustrations, voice-overs and complex story telling. But its in his new show that he takes on his biggest challenge yet.

He’s a young, baby faced, squeaky voiced, self proclaimed “Little Buddy” to all and believe it or not, Cancer survivor. Yep, as a young child, Tommy was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer and spent much of his childhood in hospital, and it’s this that Tommy ambitiously chose to source material for his new comedy festival show “Pipsqueak”.

Performing to a small Wednesday night crowd at Brisbane’s Powerhouse Theatre minus his desired backing artwork that Officeworks fucked up, Tommy jumps onto stage and dives into some casual stand up and banter, then drops the C bomb… (Cancer, not that other word). The audience is taken aback at first and things are a little uncomfortable but, like ripping off a band-aid, the worst part is over and the show comes into it’s own.

Tommy cleverly structures the show around a few letters he wrote and received during his childhood. It’s these letters that produce some of the more sobering moments of the show, and some great comedic opportunities to riff off little Tommy’s apparent naivety during the whole ordeal (like totally screwing up his Make-a-wish!). Tommy masterfully uses light and shade throughout the show, brilliantly using the darker moments to surprise attack the audience with punchlines.

The heavy subject matter of the show was risky, and to revisit and retell this story mustn’t have been easy for Tommy, let alone to an audience night after night. But with comic timing and story telling skills well above his years, the underlying trauma just adds a whole lot of heart and soul to an hilarious story based show.

Tommy’s style of stand up and mannerisms are not dissimilar to that of Micheal Chamberlin. On stage he’s quick, witty, confident and just so bloody likeable. He really is ‘the little buddy that could’, sure to be a highlight of this years festival, and in years to come.

Reviewed at Brisbane Comedy Festival

Performing at Melbourne International Comedy Festival
at Victoria Hotel – Acacia Room
215 Lt Collins St, Melbourne
29 March – 22 April
Click here for tickets and more infomation

UNPACK THIS – Review from 4/11/11

By Colin Flaherty

In this largely autobiographical tale, Geoff Paine explores the ridiculous aspects of anger management while delving into some serious issues. The show, which involves several clients in a court-ordered group workshop, does a wonderful job of shedding light on the topics while providing enough levity to avoid a heavy slog.

The social workers Trevor (Syd Brisbane) andLorraine(Michelle Nussey) have an interesting dynamic, starting out with awkward boundary crossings that quickly escalates.Lorrainecontinually spouts the irritating counselling jargon as a well-meaning voice of reason, almost out of her depth in this sea of testosterone. Trevor is the ham-fisted bloke providing hilariously bizarre analogies who tries to keep the discussion on track, even if that means stepping on toes.Brisbanedominates the show with brilliantly exaggerated alpha male bravado while Nussey plays her nuanced role well; bouncing off the others with appropriate restraint.

The participants are portrayed by Paine and Ross Daniels, who each take three characters. Using simple props such as hats and glasses or minor adjustments to their clothing, Paine and Daniels switch swiftly between these characters. Each are given unique mannerisms and voices to help emphasise the humorous lines.

One of Paine’s characters is essentially himself. He spends most of his dialogue butting heads with the counsellors with plenty of witty interchanges, while managing to take a swipe at his own real life background. He also brings to life a suburban bogan, Nicholas, whose bluntness is to the horror of the politically correct counsellors. His third character is Nguyen, a Vietnamese gent whose exchanges are filled with misunderstandings that lead to comical shouting matches.

Daniels’ characters are also well drawn and played brilliantly. Junky Bogdan provides plenty of comic relief to contrast the seriousness in this play. He is a wonderfully edgy ball of energy spouting plenty of wacky lines that could only come from a drug-addled brain. The downtrodden Brian makes for a contrast to the larger-than-life characters – not contributing much humour to proceedings but instead anchoring the show in reality so that it doesn’t stray into farce. The senior citizen Reginald is a character of attrition and sorrow who adds deep sombre moments while piping in with the odd amusing dithering comment.

The script is lively in both comedy and drama. It trades heavily on stereotype which brings humour and gets the points across, doing so in an even-handed manner. The overriding impression is that regardless of the characters’ backgrounds they are all in this mess together and should ‘let shit go’. It’s a fascinating and entertaining play.

Originally published in Chortle Au Tuesday 4th Oct, ’11 During Fringe Festival

Information about the 2012 Season here

Five Good Reasons to See: Lessons with Luis, Elbowskin, Gordon Southern & Die Roten Punkte

Five good reasons to see LESSONS WITH LUIS PRESENTS
KIDNEY KINGDOM

1. My dad, my little brother and me just won the the Victorian Raw Comedy final with our funny jokes.

2. My dad is not feeling well and we need to be famous to help him get a new kidney.

3. I will teach you about different things and you will learn about different things.

4. I will sing fun songs! There will be a song about cats, because I love cats.

5. My mum will be proud of me from heaven.

http://www.comedyfestival.com.au/2012/season/shows/luis-presents-kidney-kingdom-lessons-with-luis/

 

Five good reasons why ELBOWSKIN’S – ‘HEY DIDDLE DIDDLE’ is a must!
1. “It’s Elbowskin’s greatest achievement to date… They just got
really good” – reviewer

2. Elbowskin are unleashing their debut hip-hop performance

3. We told our mums we’re really famous and that we’ll be playing to
sold out audiences… And they’re actually going to come this year….
+ it’s really cheap.

4. What you thought was right is wrong

5. What you thought was left is actually stage right

http://www.comedyfestival.com.au/2012/season/shows/hey-diddle-diddle-elbowskin/

 

Five good reasons to choose GORDON SOUTHERN – A BRIEF HISTORY OF HISTORY

1. It’s the entire history of the world, with jokes, in an hour. You will not find a faster comedy show, or one with more jokes/ facts/ tiny historical raps.

2. A brief history of history is a must see for all people who remember the past. History is literally in the title of the show… Twice!

3. I’m a good comedian.

4. It is a multi- media extravaganza from the 1990’s. There is a battered old digital sampler from the early days of big beat dance music, a powerpoint presentation and a comedian who was also a comedian in the (late) 90’s.

5.  Some people saw it in Adelaideand it made them happy.

http://www.comedyfestival.com.au/2012/season/shows/a-brief-history-of-history-gordon-southern/

 

Five Good Reasons to see DIE ROTEN PUNKTE – EUROSMASH!

1. These are the last gigs Otto and Astrid are doing in Australia before they head off for another long tour in north American.

2. Astrid has a new song called Body Slam about wrestling, food and sex. She also has an incredible new silver dress!

3. There’s more choreography than ever before.

4. Otto has a new song about a date he went on inNew York called Look at my Fruit.

5. It’s in the most beautiful venue at the festival, The Famous Spiegeltent.

Astrid

http://www.comedyfestival.com.au/2012/season/shows/eurosmash-die-roten-punkte/

Five Good Reasons to go to Rue Bebelons to see Neil Sinclair, Victoria Healy and Cam Marshall

For casual Festival goers it is easy to think that The Melbourne International Comedy Festival is all about The Town Hall, but to serious comedy fans, we know there is some fabulous comedy happening in smaller venues all over Melbourne. Rue Bebelons is a groovy little bar just off Swanston st and the performance space is out a side door and up some outside steps that leads above the building next door. Last year it was the venue for Victoria Healy’s debut show For The Experience, this year they are hosting three new productions, Victoria is doing a new show ‘Independent Women Part 2’ about growing up in the 90s, Cam Marshall is talking about being a dad and his own dad in Father, Father and Neil Sinclair… Neils Electrics Neils Electrics…sorry, is back from over a year in the UK with a show that talks about living through the London riots last year that unsurprisingly called Panic! Here are five good reasons to see them.

Five Good Reasons to see VICTORIA HEALY – INDEPENDENT WOMEN PART 2

1. That’s easy! Beyonce, Shania, Fergie, Destiny’s Child and the Spice Girls!!!!! Need I say more? Only the best for my audience.
2. Oh more? Well how about this? It’s a perfect way to kick off a girls night out. A couple of cocktails with the girls downstairs, then see a great show about the female pop anthem of the late 90′s & early 2000′s. Then finish off the night reminiscing about Y2K, leopard-print onesies, Lois & Clark and what you did under
the influence of Girl Power.
3. But it’s not just for the girls. Guys have enjoyed this show plenty, when it was performed at sell-out shows at the 2011 Melbourne Fringe and most recently at the Inaugural 2012 Fringe World – Perth.
4. Also, it’s got a story! Like, with a beginning, middle and end. Expect to be taken on a journey of discovery: learning to become an Independent Women.
5. And finally, come see for yourself the comedienne, Victoria Healy, who’s been called many things including “…an excellent comic characters actress” – ChortleAU, “…dances around like a drunken uncle…” – West Australian and “File this lively new performer under ‘one to watch out for’” – RHUM,

http://www.comedyfestival.com.au/2012/season/shows/independent-women-part-2-victoria-healy/

 

Five Good Reasons to see NEIL SINCLAIR IN PANIC!

1. It’s a first hand account of one of the most significant events in the last 10 years… except maybe the Arab spring or Gadaffe being overthrown. So maybe it’s a first hand account of one of the most significant events that’s even been turned into a stand up comedy show, in the last 10 years.
2. It includes the song “Neils Electrics”
3. It’s the only show in the festival with sock puppet karaoke.
4.I will be saying this joke: “Laminator, a robotic sheep that covers paper in plastic… and cannot be stopped.”
5.It will teach you the basics of crisis management: Panic, and make sure those around you are doing the same.

http://www.comedyfestival.com.au/2012/season/shows/panic-neil-sinclair/

 

Five Good reasons to see CAM MARSHALL IN FATHER, FATHER:
1. It’s an entertaining story with jokes about my dad but not dad jokes
2. It’s a compelling tale with jokes about being a dad but no references to nappies
3. I compare being a 70s child to a child now without the need to reference Atari or Nintendo Wii
4. It’s a great opportunity to deal with your daddy issues for only $15
5. A 7.00pm start means you’re not out late on a school night!

http://www.comedyfestival.com.au/2012/season/shows/in-father-father-cam-marshall/

Four’s Kin – Review from 3/10/11

By Colin Flaherty

Given the pronunciation of the show title, it’s inevitable that sex features as a topic. In fact all the performers fall back to smutty jokes when their other material doesn’t get the big laughs. Timothy Clark, Morven Smith, Dilruk Jayasinha and Suren Jayemanne (aka Jay E Manne) are joined by a guest MC to bust out their best ten to twelve minutes. Despite mining similar topics, the performers are varied enough to provide an interesting taster plate of new comics on theMelbournecircuit.

The guest on the night I attended was Aiden Pyne who is an excitable wild man. He attempted to whip the crowd up into a frenzy with some dodgy puns, crazy poetry, weird rapping and plenty of shouting but he soon settled down with self deprecating tales of his lack of action in the boudoir. I was intrigued by his modus operandi of digging a comedy hole before introducing the next act, going against the first rule of being an MC. I’m not sure how others viewed it but I found his mini attempts at sabotage hilarious.

First to hit the stage is Clark with plenty of witty wordplay and puns of varying quality. His jokes go to very dark places with filth, offence or a combination of the two being the order of the day. It’s not delivered with any real nastiness, instead he adopts a confident smart-arse persona. He spouts these lines in a rather dismissive manner which manages to elicit laughter and then cause you feel guilty immediately afterwards. A fair chunk of his jokes can be telegraphed, giving you plenty of time to prepare your groan.

Smith is the token female, who delivers tales of sexual predators and jilted love, treading similar ground to the males on the program, albeit from a different perspective. She has an upbeat yet bitchy and cynical air to her stage persona that fits. The tried and proven method of delivering punchlines with biting sarcasm or feigned ignorance reinforces the amusing irony of her material.

The supremely charismatic Jayasinha is next to strut his stuff and impresses with his storytelling. We hear all about his disillusionment with his career, the apathy that struck during university and his lack of luck with the ladies. His main story about a mugging isn’t full of laughs but goes in some unexpected directions to maintain interest and deliver a satisfying pay off.

Rounding out the evening is Jayemanne who bills himself as deadpan but doesn’t really nail it. He is far too animated and expressive to develop the correct atmosphere for the form but his material is certainly subversive. A centrepiece routine about a full body massage manages to combine truncated storytelling with clever wordplay and puns. He comes across as a light hearted version of Clark, neatly bookending this amusing hour.

Originally reviewed at The Melbourne Fringe Festival and published by Chortle.Au on Monday 3rd Oct, ’11