Comedy Xmas Shows Are Coming to Town

By Lisa Clark

All around Melbourne the comedy venues are putting together Christmas shows with more laughs than you’ll find in any Christmas Cracker. We put together a list and you can check it twice. These are all the Christmas shows we know about, coming to Melbourne this December, including some exciting live podcast recordings.

THE BELLA UNION BAR

The Bella Union Bar is in a Seriously Festive mood and has a lot of Christmas cheer to offer. Comedy wise there are three main offerings.

Sweetest Plum – How the Plum Stole Christmas 
Podcasters Nick Maxwell and Declan Fay will present their usual razor sharp banter**, with a star-studded line-up of celebrity guests***

**   Razor sharp banter is not guaranteed.
*** Star-studded line-up may just be Gatesy, on a stool, with a guitar
Date: 14th December, 2014
Time: 5:00pm
Price: $20/15

http://www.bellaunion.com.au/program_guide/show_902/

 

After Dinner Mint Christmas Spectacular By The Lords Of Luxury 
The final After Dinner Mint of the year features:
– Master of the dark arts, David Quirk
– Masters of mayhem, Aunty Donna
– Master of sideburns, Hairy Soul Man aka Kai Smythe
Plus many special guests AND a visit from the one and only Santa Claus!

Hosted by The Lords of Luxury with music from Gillian Cosgriff.

Date: Tuesday December 9
Time: 8:30pm.
Price: Presale $12/9  or $15/10 at the door

http://www.bellaunion.com.au/program_guide/show_838/

 

A Swinging Bella Christmas 

This will be a musical comedy show with MC Casey Bennetto and his co-host being comedy chanteuse Geraldine Quinn with their band the Bella All Stars. On Thursday 18th the special guests will be Alan Brough and Mike McLeish and on Friday the special guests will be Tripod so you can no doubt go to both and are pretty much guaranteed a sensational time.

Dates:
Thur 18 Dec 2014
Fri 19 Dec 2014

Time: 7:30pm
Price: $35 Full $30 Group $25 Conc

http://www.bellaunion.com.au/program_guide/show_656/

 

THE BUTTERFLY CLUB 

What The Dickens!

Travel back in time to 1851, to Victorian England and the great age of discovery and storytelling. Created from your suggestions, tales of sweet-hearted heroes, sickly orphans, bumbling constables and winsome ladies are woven into a new, unique Dickensian tale every night.

Play parlour games like Poor Pussy, the Laughing Game and join Melbourne’s finest improvisors for mince pies and some Christmas cheer in the wonderful ‘curiosity shoppe’ that is The Butterfly Club.

Wednesday 17 December 2014    6:00pm
Thursday 18 December 2014     7:00pm
Friday 19 December 2014  7:00pm
Saturday 20 December 2014     7:00pm
Sunday 21 December 2014       6:00pm

Price $28/23

https://www.thebutterflyclub.com/show/what-the-dickens

 

The Comedy Gallery @ Jacksons Christmas 
Jacksons – 8 Jackson Street Toorak

With Marty Fields, Nelson Twins, Andrew Brown, Dale Craig and Mayumi Nobetsu

Date: Tue  16 Dec
Price: $25 SHOW ONLY  $50 MEAL & SHOW – contact details for dinner and show bookings – 9827 8244
Time: 8.30

 

THE GH HOTEL (formally Greyhound Hotel) St Kilda

Joel Creasey’s Office Christmas Party 

Joel Creasey and special guests share their Christmas tales, disasters and songs. Join Australia’s finest comedians and celebrities at Joel’s office Christmas party!

Seating is unallocated- come down early for some pre-show Christmas cheer!

This is an ALL AGES event however anyone under 18 must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian.

Date: Sat 6th December, 2014
Time: 7:00pm (Doors open at 6pm for 7 – 8:30pm show.)
Price: $30 or $33.80 with Booking fee

Bookings through Moshtix http://www.moshtix.com.au/v2/event/joel-creaseys-office-christmas-party/74160

 

LOCAL LAUGHS presented by Janet A Mcleod 

At The Local Taphouse – 184 Carlisle St StKilda

With Janet’s famous Christmas style, decorations, the inimitable Andrew McClelland as MC and guests who so far include: Matt Elsbury, Rusty Berther, Dilruk Jayasinha and Cal Wilson, it’s sure to be a jolly good wiz bang night.

Date: Mon 22nd Dec
Time: 8.30pm
Price: $15/12

https://www.facebook.com/LocalLaughs

 

PUBLIC BAR 

238 Victoria St Melbourne (opposite Queen Vic Market)

The Public Bar Xmas Show

With Steele Saunders, who will be cooking up an all-star mystery line up.

Date: Wed 17 December
Time: 8.30pm
Price: $5

https://www.facebook.com/ThePublicBarComedy

 

THE SHELF 

At The Toff in Town, 252 Level 2 Curtain House Swanston St Melbourne.

Have a Christmas celebration with The Shelf. For three Mondays in December, The Shelf team will be rocking the night away with their final show being Dec 15 (So it must be a Christmas Show)

Hosted by Justin Hamilton and Adam Richard, regulars include Cal Wilson, sketch troupe Aunty Donna and Claire Hooper and there  is always a huge line up of very special guests

Date: Mon 15 December
Time: 7.30pm
Price – $25/$30

 http://www.moshtix.com.au/v2/event/the-shelf-season-10-15-december/73460

 

COMEDY AT SPLEEN 

Spleen Bar, 41 Bourke St Melbourne

Spleen Xmas  Show is having a huge three bracket show that closes with the naming of the 2014 Spleen Comic of the year.

Featuring:

Harley Breen, Oliver Clark, Tommy Little, Greg Larsen, Gary Chook, Xavier Michelides, Nick Cody, Anne Edmonds, Dilruk Jayasinha, Karl Chandler , Steele Saunders and surprise guests!

Date: Mon 15 December
Time: 8.30pm
Price: Gold Coin Donation

http://www.comedyatspleen.com/

 

YARRAVILLE LAUGHS

The Yarraville Club 135 Stephen St, Yarraville.

Yarraville Laughs has two sparkly fabulous Christmas Shows this year.

The 2014 Christmas Cracker 

Sat 13 Dec

Featuring Denise Scott & Fiona O’Loughlin
Plus Special MC Jeff Green (UK)

A top comedy line-up that will sell out fast.

Tickets: www.yarravillelaughs.com

DOORS
Dinner & Show: 6:30pm
Show Only: 8pm
Show Starts: 8:30pm

TICKET OPTIONS
Dinner & Show $100 (Doors open at 6:30pm)
Reserved Seating $55 (Doors open at 7:30pm)
General Admission $45 (Doors open at 7:30pm)

EFFIE in A Date With Effie – ‘Kiss Me Under The Camel-Toe… Sorry, Mistletoe’ 

Sat December 20

DOORS
Dinner & Show: 6:30pm
Show Only: 8pm
Show Starts: 8:30pm

Ticket Options

Dinner & Show $90 (Doors open at 6:30pm)
Reserved Seating $45 (Doors open at 8pm)
General Admission $35 (Doors open at 8pm)
On the Door $40 (if available)

 

Also Other Pre Christmas Live Podcast Recordings:

I Love Green Guide Letters 15th Episode Live Spectacular 
At the Last Laugh Comedy Club at the Athenaeum Theatre 188 Collins St Melbourne

With a cast of 1,00s including adorable Channel 9 Newsreader Peter Hitchener

Date: Saturday Dec 6
Time: 3.30pm
Price: $20

 

Little Dum Dum Club 4th Birthday Show Live 

At Five Boroughs Comedy, 68 Hardware Lane (upstairs), Melbourne.

Tommy Dassalo and Karl Chandler present the usual dickheadery, tips about fast food outlets and some super special guests. Includes an extra post show by Nick Cody

Date: Sunday, December 7,
Time: 4pm.
Price: $21

Interview with Geraldine Quinn

By Noel Kelso

Geraldine Quinn has been a regular face on the comedy scene in Australia and the UK since 2005. Combining music, comedy and acting into her sell-out shows she presents an imposing figure on-stage in outfits as outlandish as some of the songs she sings. Last year she was busy with three productions – ’80s Apocalyptic sing-along Sunglasses at Night; Bowie-esque musical Stranger (a personal favourite) and touring her show You’re The Voice in Australia and New Zealand.
She has twice won the Brian McCarthy Memorial Moosehead award at the Melbourne Comedy Festival, most recently in 2013 for her new show MDMA: Modern Day Maiden Aunt , a reflection on life without marriage or kids at 30+ which debuts at Melbourne International Comedy Festival 2014.
I asked the self-described ‘ginger idiot’ a few questions about MDMA and more during a gap in her busy schedule.

Noel: Have you always been attracted to performance?

Geraldine: At early primary school, I would devise plays and ask teachers permission to ‘tour’ them from class to class, so…yes. I am sure I was a thoroughly annoying child, but it was my outlet for being incredibly shy. I barely spoke to anyone otherwise.

Noel: What inspired you to first get started in comedy / musical comedy, and why not be a straight musician?

Geraldine: When I was 18 or so, I couldn’t play any instrument well enough to accompany myself, and I didn’t know enough musicians to start a band, and I wasn’t really writing songs. And unless you could do pub circuits, etc. or someone wanted to push you there weren’t really any options. So I went into acting, auditioned for the occasional covers band (and failed to get in) or musical in Dingley, then sort of let it slide. Cabaret was an outlet when I discovered after three years of acting training that there was even less work for thespians.

Noel: Which comedians – past or present – do you admire?

Geraldine: Peter Cook, Dudley Moore, Morecambe & Wise, Lucille Ball, Joyce Grenfell, Terry-Thomas, Carol Burnett, Lynda Gibson, Marg Downey, Eleanor Bron, Rod Quantock, Dave Allen, Jo Brand, French & Saunders, Fry & Laurie, Graham Linehan and Arthur Mathews, Olivia Colman, Sean Lock, Johnny Vegas, Sarah Millican, Armando Ianucci, Chris Morris…not to mention people I know like Anne Edmonda, Kate McCartney & Kate McLennan, Geraldine Hickey, Flick Ward, Celia Pacquola and Lori Bell. There are loads – Denise Scott is an anecdote machine. And Cal Wilson has more energy than all of us. And that’s not to mention the cabaret people.

Noel: Anyone who knows you will know how much you love David Bowie how does he inspire your work?

Geraldine: Bowie is a very clever magpie – he knows how to steal smart, how to search for ideas and sounds and break up traditional formulas for writing to try to get to a fresh idea, a lot of which I think was influenced by the luminary glam-nymph that is Brian Eno. So when I get stuck, I run for my Oblique Strategy cards or put a Berlin album on, because I don’t see much point in producing work that is neither honest nor innovative. One or the other should be true, if not both.

Noel: Who are your other musical heroes?

Geraldine: This list threatens to be as long as the comedians one – Neil Hannon, Andy Partridge and Elvis Costello are all bit songwriting influences. Same for Kate Bush, Kirsty MacColl and Bernard Butler/Brett Anderson, Leon Russell, Mick Ronson, Willie Nelson, Nick Lowe, Thin Lizzy, Toto, Clare Bowditch, Patti LaBelle, Roxy Music, the Finns, Elliott Smith, Divinyls, The Kinks, Vanda & Young, Levi Stubbs, Dusty Springfield, Heart, Hall & Oates, Janelle Monae, Lightspeed Champion, Loudon Wainwright III, Jarvis Cocker, Mina, Peter Gabriel, Vince Jones, Ella Fitzgerald, 10CC…I have a lot of space sucked up by music.

Noel: Which do you find comes first in terms of writing – the music or the comedy? Or do you find they both appear simultaneously?

Geraldine: I think most people who do their job interestingly have a sense of humour. Though it is nice sometimes just to write a song without trying to rhyme a gag in it, I find when I am left to my own devices to write a serious song, I get a bit too Neil Finn and bitsy with my imagery, so I try to follow the Paul Kelly/Neil Hannon/Kirsty MacColl influence and write stories.

Noel: Your shows appear to draw on real life experiences for inspiration. Songs such as ‘Fang It’ and ‘Festival’ are clearly drawn from personal experience. Do you find yourself consciously using real world events as inspiration for your writing?

Geraldine: How can you not? The hard thing is changing some truths a bit to save feelings…or get a better laugh by exaggerating it.

Noel: You were nominated this year for a Green Room award in Cabaret for your show ‘Sunglasses At Night: The 80s Apocalypse Sing Along Cabaret”. Is recognition by your peers important to you as an artiste?

Geraldine: Of course (and you don’t need to put the ‘e’ on the end, I’m not posh!). If you can’t pay your rent and you wonder about your worth every day, it means even more that people who you admire like and respect what you do. It’s what gets you through the day sometimes.

Noel: Your costumes appear to be an integral part of your shows. Do you have an image of what you’d like them to be as you write or is it more of an organic process as you rehearse?

Geraldine: Pretty organic, I tend to have ideas of what I don’t want, and then a stack of broad ideas. I do a lot of Google searches of eras or acts or designers, and then say “let’s make something that mashes up all of these, adds a bit of Bowie, then make it 70% more bonkers”. The people I’ve worked with don’t get given a drawing to create, we sort of work out and brainstorm, and then bear in mind my level of activity, my vanity and whether or not I have to play a guitar!

Noel: Do you make them yourself?

Geraldine: I WISH!! I’ve worked with Tristan Seebohm and Sam Bolton so far, and I am always on the hunt for interesting stitchers. Lately I have got some leads through burlesque circles as well, which is exciting to me.

Noel: What can you tell us about your latest show ‘MDMA: Modern Day Maiden Aunt’?

Geraldine: I’m almost 40 with no kids or spouse, unlike everyone else in my family, and I wondered why having kids was such a focus for everyone else when it wasn’t for me. And as they got older, I wondered what sort of a terrible role model I was becoming to my nieces and nephews. The eldest is about 22 years old.

Noel: How long did it take you to write? And was there a specific process or daily routine for you whilst it was being written?

Geraldine: Who says it’s written yet – I mean, yes,the ideas ping around for months, then I try to cement a structure then the crying and screaming writing process begins and things shift around. Then repeat in microcosm for each song.

Noel: In the past, society tended to pity women who remain single while those around them married. Is this new show intended as a commentary on this outdated attitude?

Geraldine: In a way. I don’t see why a breeding status should have anything to do with a person’s sense of self. That goes for people who make presumptions about parents, as well. Just because they have kids doesn’t mean they are all alike. I suspect if I ever ended up in a mother’s group a) I probably would have got lost and b) I’d struggle not to throw up in contempt on everyone. There’s only so much chat about nappies and schools one can take, and I imagine that’s the same for parents.

Noel: Are you constantly planning for the next project?

Geraldine: For the next festival or grant pitch, yes. But I’ve already done three different shows in 2014 (Sunglasses in Melbourne and Perth, Stranger  in New Zealand and now MDMA  in MICF) and it’s only March, so I might need a rest first…

Geraldine’s MDMA: Modern Day Maiden Aunt  is at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival from March 27 – April 20 in the Melbourne Town Hall – Lunch Room

Details on the website http://www.comedyfestival.com.au/2014/season/shows/mdma-modern-day-maiden-aunt-geraldine-quinn

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 http://www.melbournefringe.com.au