Melbourne Fringe Festival 2012

By Lisa Clark

The days are getting longer and warmer and its time to come out of winter hibernation and spring into Melbourne Fringe Festival. The comedy section is the biggest category in the programme, but its important not to ignore the comedy related shows in the other categories such as Lisa-Skye’s talk show Art, Sex and Snacks. in the Special Events section, Geraldine Quinn’s The Piano Has Been Drinking in the Cabaret section, Die Roten Punkte’s Battle Royal in the Circus section and Diana Nguyen (from the fabulous Phi & Me) in 5 Ways to Disappoint Your Vietnamese Mother in the performance section and there are plenty of others to discover.

It’s always exciting to get a chance of catching up with Melbourne International Comedy Festival shows you might have missed, esp if they were sold out. This year you can catch up with the Barry Award winning Dr Brown: Befrdfgth, Damian Callinan’s The Merger, RAW and Golden Gibbo winners Lessons with Luis – Luis Presents: Kidney Kingdom, Neil Sinclair in Panic, Best Newcomer at MICF Tegan Higginbotham in Million Dollar Tegan and Truth by Slow Clap.

There are also brand new shows from established comedians and unknowns entering the fray, doing comedy in all sorts of styles and genres with the odd intriguing entry like musician Pinky Beecroft doing a stand up show called Mainstream Freak.

Although the festival has already begun there are a lot of comedy shows beginning this week. Most have only short runs, though, so get in quick.

Information about all things Melbourne Fringe can be found at their website

Die Roten Punkte – Eurosmash!

By Daniel Nicholls 
After six years of rocking, self-titled best band in the world Die Roten Punkte have now become an important fixture in the Melbourne comedy firmament- not just for the annual reprise of their show, but their frequent appearances at Festival Club and their often-epic ‘Haus Parties’. If you’ve not yet seen them live (and if you haven’t, you should), ‘The Red Dots’ are a comedy band comprised of German siblings Astrid and Otto Rot. Perhaps the most impressive thing about the act is that the songs, in addition to being very funny, are actually also very good musically (a frequent failing in other comedy bands)- you can rock out to them completely independently of the context. Musical highlights from their latest festival show Eurosmash!include the opening number ‘Do You Speak Dance?’, a Eurovision-esque vision of breakdancing aliens; and a ‘We Are the World’-like charity-parody that is so bang-on you can’t help but sing along.Almost as importantly, each song also adds a new layer of world-building onto the Die Roten Punkte mythos- there are little callbacks and references to songs and shows throughout the band’s career- you don’t need to get these to enjoy the show, but if you’ve been a long-time fan it really contributes to the sense that this band a has a real, coherent history. This commitment to the illusion is so strong that the characters can go almost anywhere- two hecklers were not just shut down, but actually incorporated into the show in a long running joke that paid big dividends.

The downside of this familiarity is that it is familiar- the characters are so well drawn by this time that you almost know what is going to happen- Astrid will sneak booze behind the drumkit, Otto will try to kiss Astrid- this happens in every DRP show and while it will be no less funny to newcomers, there may be diminishing returns for repeat viewer- while there are all new songs, conceptually there is nothing significantly new here that wasn’t here in previous years.

But the performers are so warm, so full of personality, that I found that personally this didn’t make any difference- I was just as happy and entertained as I was the very first time I saw them. You fall in love with the characters- you wish they were real. The real trick of the show is that, by the end of this highly entertaining show, you almost believe they are. Highly recommended.

Die Roten Punkte are performing Eurosmash! at The Famous Spiegeltent in front of The Arts Centre

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

Five good reasons to see LESSONS WITH LUIS PRESENTS

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.


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



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.


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.