5 Good Reasons to see Victoria Healy Presents We ♥ Comedy

5 Good Reasons to see Victoria Healy Presents We ♥ Comedy:

1.
The Variety

Each night three 15 minute spots of impro, stand up and sketch comedy.
2. 
The Big Names

Jimmy James Eaton, Claire Hooper, Luke McGregor, Girls Interrupted, Lessons With Luis, Geraldine Hickey, Simon Keck plus loads more!
3.
The Cheap Tix

Only $13 presale. $10 on the door
4.
The Hostess

Oh stop it guys….shucks.
5.
The Venue

The Imperial is the home of comedy at Melbourne Fringe. Cheap drinks for any ticket holders and participants.

Cheap Drinks? Surely you only need ONE good reason!  This should be a great way to get a taste of some really fabulous performers who are doing Melbourne Fringe this year and a lovely way to cap off a night at the Fringe.

We ♥ Comedy is on at The Imperial at 10.15 Tue-Thurs

http://www.melbournefringe.com.au/fringe-festival/show/victoria-healy-presents-we-comedy/

5 Good Reasons to see Lessons with Luis – Famoucity

Hello I am Luis from Lessons with Luis thank you for including us. We would love to be a part of ‘5 Good Reasons’ as well

Here are Luis’s 5 Good Reasons:

1 – The show is a 2-for-1 deal! It’s educational AND a comedy show. That means you get to learn information on all kinds of topics AND you get to laugh at the funny jokes. What a bargain!

2 – It’s a family and friend-friendly stage play. There are no rude swear words in it, so you can bring your sons, daughters, nieces, nephews, cousins or young people with you. We have amazing dance numbers that my dad choreographed to keep them entertained.

3 – You will get to see famous faces like Jennifer Lopez, Tom Cruise and Britney Spears. (My dad said I should also say the faces are printed from the internet and stuck onto cardboard in case you come and get upset for not seeing Michael Jackson)

4 – Mr Bianchi, my Spanish neighbour, is acting in it too because he wants to become a professionable actor. He says he is like Antonio Banderas crossed with Don Burke. Please email me if you would like to put him in a movie.

5 – There are cats in it.

Have an excellent week.

The award winning Lessons With Luis are performing Famoucity for 5 nights only at The Butterfly Club

Show times are as follows:
Thurs – Sat 7PM
Wed & Sun 6PM

MELBOURNE FRINGE FESTIVAL 2013

By Lisa Clark

Spring has sprung, Melbourne is sparkling, our eyes are itchy and that means it’s time to get ready for the Melbourne Fringe Festival. Melbourne Fringe is an open-access, multi-arts Festival, that actively encourages diversity and is thus a great space for performers to experiment with new and unconventional ideas. The Festival encompasses theatre, music, circus, magic, furniture design, art and craft and more, but here at Squirrel Comedy we are nuts about comedy and thus we will be covering the comedy side of things which is pretty big. Some comedians use Fringe to reprise a successful Melbourne International Comedy Festival show (often new and improved versions) and others to give a new show a run leading up to next year’s MICF. There are wacky one off shows that can only be seen at Fringe and you never know when you’ll make a delightful surprising new discovery, as we did with Slutmonster and Friends last year. So it’s always worth going out of your comfort zone to try something new. Hey that is why Fringe exists!

There is so much comedy to choose from and it is our job to give you a hand as you make your way through the Fringe programme. Below are links to all the shows we’ve previously reviewed, many of which will have been tweaked and improved since their last outing and that’s followed by some recommendations for shows we’ve seen and/or are excited by. As usual we’ll be publishing ‘5 Good Reasons to see…’ leading up to the the festival and reviewing shows throughout.

Shows at Melbourne Fringe that Have Been Previously Reviewed by Squirrel Comedy.

Barry Morgan: Organ Is Not a Dirty Word
Squirrel Review: http://www.squirrelcomedy.com/?p=3986
Barry Morgan is playing his magnificent organ at the Lithuanian Club at 7:30pm
http://www.melbournefringe.com.au/fringe-festival/show/barry-morgan-organ-is-not-a-dirty-word/

Lessons With Luis Famoucity!
Squirrel Review :  http://www.squirrelcomedy.com/?p=3372
Famoucity is playing at The Butterfly Club at 7pm
http://www.melbournefringe.com.au/fringe-festival/show/lessons-with-luis-famoucity/

Luke McGregor – My Soulmate is Out of My League  [Winner of The Best Newcomer at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival]
Squirrel Review :  http://www.squirrelcomedy.com/?p=3389
It’s playing at The Loft, Lithuanian Club at 9.15pm
http://www.melbournefringe.com.au/fringe-festival/show/luke-mc-gregor-my-soul-mate-is-out-of-my-league/

Khalad Khalafalla – Devious
Squirrel Review :  http://www.squirrelcomedy.com/?p=3810
Devious is Playing Upstairs at Errol’s at 10.30pm
http://www.melbournefringe.com.au/fringe-festival/show/khaled-kalafalla-encore/

Michael Burke in Cubehead
Squirrel Review : http://www.squirrelcomedy.com/?p=4134
Cubehead is playing at The Tuxedo Cat – The Jackle at 7.00pm
http://www.melbournefringe.com.au/fringe-festival/show/michael-burke-in-cubehead/

Nob Happy Sock – Simon Keck [Winner of The Golden Gibbo at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival]
Squirrel Review: http://www.squirrelcomedy.com/?p=3550
It’s on at Son of Loft, Lithuanian Club at 6.30pm
http://www.melbournefringe.com.au/fringe-festival/show/nob-happy-sock/

Political Asylum
Squirrel Review: http://www.squirrelcomedy.com/?p=3785
Political Asylum is on at the Festival Club (North Melbourne Town Hall) on 1/10 at 9:30pm
http://www.melbournefringe.com.au/fringe-festival/show/political-asylum/

Satan’s Finest Mitch Alexander & Jackson Voorhaar
Squirrel Review: http://www.squirrelcomedy.com/?p=3889
Satan’s Finest is on at the Tuxedo Cat at 9:30pm
http://www.melbournefringe.com.au/fringe-festival/show/satan-s-finest/

Other recommended shows at the 2013 Melbourne Fringe.

Lisa-Skye – Songs my Parents told me

was a delightfully warm biographical story show that somehow missed out on a review during MICF. Lisa-Skye lovingly explores her parent’s generation and how it compares to and influences her own creative and interesting life. Lisa-Skye is just back from her first trip as a performer in Edinburgh, she should be on top form. It will be on at The Tuxedo Cat – The Jackle

Lisa-Skye will also be hosting a late night chat show at The Tuxedo Cat called Art Sex and Snacks, she will be interviewing performers about their craft.

http://www.melbournefringe.com.au/fringe-festival/show/songs-my-parents-taught-me/

http://www.melbournefringe.com.au/fringe-festival/show/art-sex-and-snacks/

Sammy J’s 50 Year Show 

which is a deliriously silly idea of Sammy’s to perform one big long show in parts, once every five years, for 50 years. I attended the 1st part five years ago and it was a whole bunch of crazy fun in the packed North Melbourne Town Hall. Many projects were begun by guest comedians that will be repeated or added to and the time capsule will be opened. One Night Only! Don’t miss it or you’ll have to wait another five years.

http://www.melbournefringe.com.au/fringe-festival/show/sammy-j-presents-the-50-year-show/

Comedy Pick and Mix 

is a one off Festival Club night curated by Melbourne comedy goddess Janet A McLeod and hosted by Andy McClelland and Oliver Clark in their personas of El Grande and Mr Nightlights. A creative mix of performers creating all sorts of mayhem and hopefully at some point El Grande will be tipping pot pouri down Mr Nightlights underpants. You won’t want to miss that.

http://www.melbournefringe.com.au/fringe-festival/show/comedy-pick-n-mix/

The Experiment curated by Asher Treleaven. 

A late night show at The Lithuanian Club during Fringe showcasing a great line up
of alternative comedy acts encouraged to take risks. There will be an air of competition to the show and the comedians will be competing with small dogs. I will leave it to Asher to explain:

“Each show I’m inviting members of the public to bring their small dogs to compete with the acts so we can finally discover whether Melbourne’s best Alternative comedians are more entertaining than a small dog. There will be a $15 prize for best small dog and at the end of the show the audience will judge who has been more entertaining. There will be excellent comedy, sketches and music but its mainly about ze dog”

Hopefully there will be a pooper scooper on hand in case of nerves.

http://www.melbournefringe.com.au/fringe-festival/show/the-experiment/

Tony Martin – The Yeti 

Probably the most highly anticipated show at this year’s (maybe any years!) Melbourne Fringe Festival. I don’t know if Tony has ever performed a solo festival show before and although he has recently tread the boards as a guest at The Shelf. it’s been a long time since he’s performed in his own festival show. This will be a narrative drawn from his autobiographical novel  Lollyscramble. A book that had me laughing out loud on public transport. Tony is what’s known as a ‘comedian’s comedian’ with a huge following so tickets are bound to sell out. He’s at The Butterfly Club.

http://www.melbournefringe.com.au/fringe-festival/show/tony-martin-the-yeti/

The Butterfly Club, Brackets and The Greatest Show on Earth*

The Butterfly Club has built a reputation over the past decade as one of Melbourne’s finest performing spaces, particularly for cabaret and comedy. It has famously nurtured talented artists such as Tim Minchin and Eddie Perfect. You might have heard that after crowd-sourcing help last year The Butterfly Club has moved premises from South Melbourne to a laneway in the heart of the city. This proved particularly convenient during the Melbourne International Comedy Festival, as the venue is now a short stroll from The Town Hall and other festival venues.

Owner, Simone Pugla is proud of showcasing world class cabaret  and comedy at The Butterfly Club. He has recently launched a new comedy room called Brackets late on Friday nights run by fellow ex West Australian Clayton Steele. Also coming up is a short season of comedy nights called The Greatest Show on Earth run by Tegan Higginbotham. I interviewed both Clayton and Tegan about their new nights.

 

There has always been a tradition of intelligent comedians. From Shakespeare’s King Lear, where the Fool is clearly the smart one in the play, through members of Monty Python and The Goodies who were university students often giving up careers in law and medicine much to their parents’ horror no doubt. Here in Australia we have many working comedians who gave up lucrative lives as Surgeons (Rob Sitch), Lawyers (Santo Cilauro, Tom Gleisner, Julian Morrow, Craig Reucassel, Libby Gore), accountants (Lehmo) or architects (Rod Quantock, Barry Humphries). Brackets is a room that wants to give comedians a space to showcase their brains to an appreciative audience. We were there on opening night and discovered that you don’t have to have a PHD to have a great time in the audience.

Clayton Steele

Tell us a bit about your background in comedy and how you found yourself working in comedy?
I lived in Melbourne for a short period in the early 90s and, having known Matt Parkinson (Empty Pockets) and Judith Lucy from working together in Perth, I naturally found myself frequenting the Espy and the Cheese Shop. I was hooked.
I moved back to Perth and after searching for like-minded souls, managed to find the local scene which, at that stage, was still in its infancy.
We established The Laugh Resort (a comedy co-op) and eventually I found myself running it for many years. During this time we saw the emergence of talent such as Rove, Dave Callan, Brendan Burns, Dave Hughes, the list goes on.
After that I was still always involved, judging, coaching, writing, whatever it took to get my fix.
Now living permanently in Melbourne, I fill my time directing, producing, coaching, writing and secret stuff I can’t talk about.

How long have you been in Melbourne?
About 5 years. Long enough to know that those horse and buggies in the city can do hook-turns better than most drivers.

How do you see the current state of comedy in Melbourne (or generally)?
I see the Melbourne scene in particular as problematic and I’ll focus on this scene because that’s where I am.
It would be easy to focus on the positives. The potential and the talent is there but I don’t believe the industry is as healthy as it could be.
I think there are too many people in this industry who want to use it only as a springboard to something else. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t have a problem with comics going on to do TV or Radio. It’s the prevalence of comics, who got into the industry solely as a way to become famous, I find disrespectful and damaging to the art form.
I think that Melbourne comics (and perhaps others) have become too festival-centric. It seems that what you see in rooms nowadays is a trial for an upcoming festival show. The way that it is supposed to work is that a festival show is meant to showcase your highlights from the year. It would appear sometimes, to be a case of putting the cart before the horse.
I think that we have lost our way with how rooms are run. If you charge nothing to see comedy, do you want punters to think that that comedy is worth nothing? People are prepared to pay $19 to see a projected recording of a Michael Bay movie, surely a live performance is worth something. Why does it cost $19 to see a movie? Because movie stars get paid so much. Why do movie stars get paid so much? Because people are prepared to pay $19 to see a movie.
Having said that, open-mic nights are an exception. The problem is that open-mic nights in Melbourne are advertising big names to compete for the audience. A choice has to be made. Are you running an open-mic or are you running a professional room? If the latter, you need to respect the performers. Rather than competing for the same slice of pie, we need to focus on making the pie bigger.
And, if I’m going to be on my soap box, I think we have moved way too far into the realm of audience participation. At last year’s Comedy Festival I was dragged on stage on 6 separate occasions. Audience participation is great for the extroverts in the audience but I personally know a lot of introverts who will not go to comedy because of this. If you really have to involve an audience member, learn how to read their body language. An unwilling “stooge” can quite easily become a comedy ex-punter.

How did Brackets come about?
I spend a lot of time outside venues. It’s what I refer to as exit-polling. If punters are leaving a room and rather than talking about something they just experienced, they are talking about what they are doing tomorrow, maybe they haven’t been engaged.
I see this a lot more now than I ever used to.
Back in the day, comics were very proud of their material and competitive about how clever their gags were. Now I see a tendency towards shock tactics and, quite frankly, I’m not shocked by a rape gag, I just think it’s become rather hack and you have to ask the question: Do those jokes make the world a better place?
Another thing that has bothered me is that the norm is for rooms to have short sets. I feel like the comic never has enough time to get to the “meat”. Short sets are like take-away food, they satisfy the hunger but sometimes you just want to sit down to a nice meal.
So, I knew what I wanted, I just had to find the right room.
The answer came in the form of Simone from The Butterfly Club. As a fellow Mensan he shared my yearning for intelligent comedy.
Very rarely do you find the perfect fit with a venue but Simone, Xander and, for that matter, everyone at The Butterfly Club have made it feel more like joining a family than I could have ever dreamed.

Did it occur to you that it might be hard to find sufficient smart comedy to fill Friday nights? – Or are you confident in our local comedians’.brainpower.
I have a list of comics who could justifiably play the room and, if they all did, I would have a 6 month turn around. Comics, by their very nature, are generally highly intelligent and they all seem to relish the opportunity to show their capabilities.
I think that some comics have been guilty of occasionally playing to the lowest common denominator but who can blame them? It’s easier and the audience isn’t invested anyway.
The harder part is getting the message out to the audience who “get it” and are prepared to do a bit of thinking themselves. I know they’re out there.

Have you had positive feedback from the Mensa people so far?
As far as I can tell they are loving it… Or they are just really polite.

Do you think smart people in general are attracted to comedy?
I think human beings in general are attracted to comedy.
I’m not saying that “smart” comedy is superior. I have a lot of respect for your Kevin Bloody Wilsons etc. Benny Hill was a genius who found a niche and hit it hard. I just don’t happen to fall into that niche and I need to have a bit of a puzzle to solve for me to feel comedically satisfied.
For some, the audience participation, the physical involvement in a performance is necessary, for some it’s titillation, for me and, I’m sure, others it’s all cerebral.

Is there anything you would like to add?
I do want to explain the basic idea of what we are doing.
By saying “intelligent” comedy I am not saying that it is necessarily intellectual. It isn’t jokes about Maths or Tunisian politics. What the room is about is attracting an intelligent audience which in turn will give the comics the freedom to explore areas they may not otherwise feel comfortable in.
To me, shock comedy is nothing more than verbal slapstick. Stand-up comedy can be, and should be, much more than that. We have a responsibility as an industry. We get on stage and ask a group of strangers to listen to us. We better damn well have something to say

Future line ups at Brackets include:

June 7th:
Matt Elsbury
Adam McKenzie
Dave Thornton

June 14th
Harley Breen
Geraldine Hickey
Ryan Coffey

Information and tickets for Brackets can be found here

Tegan was asked to put these nights together in a bit of a rush and managed to get a top line up to perform over the four nights. The performers include herself and Adam Mckenzie as Watson, Justin Hamilton, Girls Un-Interrupted, Randy, Lessons With Luis, Adam Richard, Rama Nicholas and Adam Rozenbach. I spoke to her about what putting the show together was like.

Tegan Higginbotham.

Do you consider yourself the ‘curator’ of this show?
I suppose that technically I am the curator. Adam will be helping with things, of course, as that production is “Watson presents…”. But I think I’ll be doing a bit more of the heavy lifting given the late notice of the whole event. So “Ruling Overlord” is probably name I’m more comfortable with.

Did you have help?
So far Simone, Adam and Hammo have all been very helpful, yes.

Have you put a show together before?
Several. This show is an exciting little show out of a Festival setting, and I think it will be perfectly timed for everyone who’s beginning to feel the SADs a little. But as far as shows go, in the past two years I’ve put together a Melbourne Fringe show, 2 solo Comedy Festival shows and 2 Comedy Festival shows as a part of Watson.

Have you had a big idea like this bubbling away in the back of your mind for a while or did it all come together quickly?
The show itself has come together very quickly, but Adam and I have been talking about doing mini-shows throughout the year for a while. We also have plans for a big old Christmas show too.

How is it going to work, will all of those acts be performing on the same evening or will it be a different line up each evening?
The line-up will change each night. Some acts will do more than one night, like Hammo. Some guest will only join us once or twice. The idea is that all of the artists will be using this event as an opportunity to try something new and different.

Was it hard to get the line up you wanted?
I was pleasantly surprised how of my wish-list acts jumped on board. With Roadshow happening at the moment, I was expecting many comics to be too busy. But I also feel that there is a lot of good energy toward the Butterfly Club and comics are keen to jump behind the venue.

This feels a bit like a mini-The Shelf….? (Or is it just that they were the logical go–to people because you know and work with them?)
It is definitely logical because I know them and work with them, but it’s also because I know all these people will put on a good show. And in the case of Girls Un-Interrupted, Rama Nicholas and Randy, these are 3 acts that havn’t hit The Shelf stage yet (but I’m kind of hoping will)

Is this Justin Hamilton’s first outing of his mini festival-type show? Does he plan to expand on it or perform it in the future or is this a way of getting it out of his system.
I’m not sure what Hammo plans to do with the show in the future, but it will be it’s first outing.

Anything you would like to add? (about performing at The Butterfly Club?)
I visited the new Butterfly Club only 3 weeks ago and was really excited by how amazing the space is. Upon further conversation with Simone, I got to hear how much effort the venue puts into supporting its artists and creating an artist community. This is the sort of thing we need in Melbourne. So if by doing this show we can create positive buzz not only for a load of great comedians (some of whom will be heading into a Fringe season soon) but also a great comedy venue, then I’ll be incredibly happy.

The Greatest Show on Earth is on from Thursday June 13th until Sunday June 16th Thur – Sat at 8.30 and Sun at 7.30. Bookings can be made here

For more information about upcoming shows go to The Butterfly Club website
*No Guarantees.

Squirrels Top 5 Picks of the Festival

Well the 2013 Melbourne International Comedy Festival is winding down this weekend.

We no longer hand out awards, because it is just too difficult for us to see everything, or even see the same shows as each other. Instead most of the Squirrels have picked their Top 5 shows. If they are still running we recommend that you might like to see some of them this weekend. It was really hard to narrow it down to only five.

Of course the festival isn’t over yet and we may see something that changes our list but we wanted to put this up before the festival was over so you could gain from our recommendations.

You’ll notice a few of the names crop up more than once. Some sold out shows are putting on extra performances in the final weekend like the play Choir Girl that had finished its run of three performances, but has added one on Sunday afternoon.

Check out the Melbourne International Comedy Festival website for details and keep festivalling ’til you drop!!

Lisa Clark 

Hannah Gadsby – Happiness is a Bedside Table

Dave Bloustien – The Grand Gignol

The Writers

Luke McGregor – My Soulmate is Out of My League

Sammy J – Potentially

 

Caitlin Crowley

Luke McGregor – My Soulmate is Out of My League

Hannah Gadsby – Happiness is a Bedside Table

Michael Workman – Ave Loretta

Best Comics Worst Gigs

Dave O’Neil – 33 Things I Should Have Said No To

 

 

Cathy Culliver 

Dayne Rathbone – It’s Me Dayne

Luke McGregor – My Soulmate is Out of My League

Simon Keck – Nob Happy Sock

Dr Professor Neal Portenza

Ryan Coffey – Late & Loud

 

Colin Flaherty 

Fabian Lapham & The Actual Musicans:God Fights the Dinosaurs & 9 Other Stories That Will Awesome You in the Face.

Simon Keck – Nob Happy Sock

Set List

Choir Girl – Sarah Collins

David Quirk – Shaking Hands with danger

 

Elyce Phillips 

Lessons with Luis – Famoucity!

Lords of Luxury

Sam Simmons – Shitty Trivia

Lawrence Leung’s Part-time Detective Agency

Mike Birbiglia – My Girlfriend’s Boyfriend

 

Luke Simmons 

Khaled Khalafalla – Devious

Brendon Walsh

Bev Killick – Goes “There”…Again

Daniel Connell – Mr Personality 1988

Trevor Noah – The Racist

 

2013 Melbourne International Comedy Festival finishes on Sunday 21st of April

Lessons with luis famoucity!

By Lisa Clark

Last year Lesson’s With Luis delighted everyone who discovered them. They were like slightly dotty neighbours who made you sit and watch the little play they’d created with handmade props and sets. This year they are still the same dotty and adorable family but they’ve become more hi-tech with the help of encouraging neighbour Mr Bianchi who has loaned them a TV and video camera along with some other exciting props and is even playing a pre-recorded role in the play within the show.

It seems that Luis has been inspired by his surprise win of last year’s RAW comedy award as well as the Golden Gibbo Award to perform a play (within the show) about his travails in getting himself to The Famous Awards in Famou-city with the help of his ever encouraging, loving dad Len and silent brother Luellin. Perhaps the most memorable magical moment from The Kidney Kingdom was Luellin’s shining spell on stage alone with a member of the audience. Luellin gets to shine here as well, but there are surprises I cannot spill. Needless to say Luellin’s character is developing in more ways than one and is going to win some teenage girl fans.

A highlight this year is also the songs, which are a lot more sophisticated and enjoyable to listen to including parody and audience sing-alongs. There is quite a lot of entertaining audience participation this year that turns out to be important to the plot leading to a surprising and hilarious ending.

The beauty of Lessons with Luis is that it satirises suburban Australia in a fresh way and yet this family could be neighbours of The Kerrigans in The Castle. We laugh at their naivety, blinkered confidence and silly jumpers, but also adore them for the way they support each other and work so hard to entertain us.

Luis and his Family’s Famoucity! will enchant the whole family. The kids in the audience can enjoy the simple story and bright colours while the adults get all the subtleties including a few surprisingly dark undertones. I can’t help but wonder if these have been inspired by director Justin Hamilton. They certainly work for the comedy. I’m glad the boys are doing a lot more shows this year in a more accessible venue at the Town Hall, so that many more people will get to see what everyone was raving about last year.

Famoucity! is on at the Melbourne Town Hall
http://www.comedyfestival.com.au/2013/season/shows/famoucity-lessons-with-luis