Guy Montgomery: Guy Montgomery’s Guy Mont-Spelling Bee

Review By Lisa Clark

Looking for a bit of Late Night Fun that’s not as exhaustingly late as Festival Club? Are you a bit nerdy, fond of word games, possibly a fan of Celebrity Letters And Numbers or Taskmaster New Zealand (season 2)? Then Guy Montgomery’s Guy Mont-Spelling Bee might just be the show for you.

Guy is one of the best comedians to come out of New Zealand in recent times, why he isn’t hosting a TV Show of his own, is anyone’s guess. He’s charming, super funny, yet laid back and able to improvise goofy quips with his guests who are playing with varying levels of competitiveness.

Tonight’s guests were; Melanie Bracewell from New Zealand who has done one of Guy’s Spelling Bees over there and has her eye on the prize, Rhys Nicholson who made jokes about feeling out of place, but in the end was the people’s champion, Sam Campbell who’s main contribution was coming up with unexpected hilarious interjections and Phil Wang from the UK, Melanie’s serious main competitor. Of course a lot of the fun is the banter between the guests and Guy and also watching Phil Wang’s face drop as he realises this isn’t a traditional Bee, and he’s not the master he expected to be.

Guy has worked out some really funny ways to do a Spelling Bee competition live on stage, because just spelling words might be fun for spelling nerds but won’t make for a very exciting or hilarious comedy festival show. For the main rounds Guy has words on slips of paper kept in three receptacles. Contestants could choose from; the bucket which has the hard 3 point words, a bag holds the 2 point words, and the 1 point easy words are in a cup and if you choose the easy words you will find they are all insults.

The hardest round on our night was a new one made up by Guy where they had to spell the country of the flag he was holding up, so first they had to guess what country the flag belonged to. They were not very familiar flags. This game might not stay on, or maybe he has to make the flags a bit easier for a show that is not for flag enthusiasts. There was also a round of homophones that was hilarious, and reminiscent of the fake game show on 30 Rock called (erroneously) Homonym.

The best round of Spelling Bee was when he made them spell words the same way a 6 year old had spelt them to him. She had also put the words in very cute sentences. It was also hard, but super hilarious. Rhys said ‘I’m finally going to wipe the floor with the lot of you’ and he did! It brought the house down.

Guy Montgomery’s Guy Mont-Spelling Bee sold out one of the biggest rooms in the Town Hall last week. The audience were spelling along with the performers and clapping before Guy announced that they were right. There are a lot of spelling fans out there. I think this show has legs and might make even make a great TV show, so get tickets now before it sells out, becomes a TV show, or possibly even, a cult.

Guy Montgomery performs Guy Montgomery’s Guy Mont-Spelling Bee with different guests each week at The Town Hall in The Supper Room on Friday nights at 10.45pm Throughout the Festival.

5 Good Reasons to see Lachie Ross – Dyslexic Cowboy

1. Perceive mime spit mime spat into mime spittoons.

2. Hear spit synth loops and original music like ‘Lockdown Party’ with your ear holes.

3. Problematic shadows independent of the body, and absurd sketches about sexy sexy Baby Dracula are realised through professionally conceived visual projections.

4. The OnlyFans part.

5. Align yourself with positive public sentiment that has seen Lachie become a total sellout at all shows so far.

Lachie Ross performs Dyslexic Cowboy  every Wednesday and Thursday at Loop Bar (downstairs), 7pm.

Anna Piper Scott: Such An Inspiration

Reviewed by Erin Hill

An aptly named show from a performer with the savvy to handle a heckle from gravity itself, Such an Inspiration takes malevolent “chaos demon” joy in the darkness of the human experience.

I’ll open with one critique though; what is it about people from Anna Piper Scott’s community that they feel the incessant need to identify themselves within the first few seconds of conversation?  We get it… you’re from Perth. No need to ram your Western Australian agenda down our throats. Anna Piper Scott is also a trans woman and lesbian but she barely gets a chance to talk about it around the “Fremantle this” and “the mining industry that”.

Yeah… I don’t know a lot about Perth.

One thing I do know about is a masterclass in searing, comedic social commentary and Anna Piper Scott’s Such an Inspiration is just that. From comparing cis-gendered folks opting for pronouns like a popular brand of cola (spoiler alert, it’s not LA Ice); to the bittersweet realisation that transitioning to a woman is not a get-out-of-jail-free card for having an opinion on sport, Anna holds both the rooms attention and a mirror up to us all, grinning throughout with macabre delight.

Anna provides a perfectly weighted tension sustained throughout an hour of comedy exploring the common pre-written narratives for trans women; as punchline, villain or victim. She offers a fourth option; human being. At the core of this show is a call to arms for humanity, and the singular truth that in the midst of great darkness, upheaval and distress, that the first indication that you’ll be okay is when you can make a joke about it.

And Anna makes a lot of jokes about it. Genuinely laugh-out-loud, snort-inducing jokes. For someone trying to be a human being first and comedian second, she very almost fails. But not quite.

Anna Piper Scott’s show Such an Inspiration is hilarious, moving and captivating.

Also, I Googled it, apparently Perth also has gorgeous blooming wildflowers.

Anna Piper Scott performs Such An Inspiration at The Butterfly House until April 14

Lano & Woodley: Moby Dick

Reviewed by Lisa Clark

We all had hobbies during lockdown and Colin has learned to play the tin whistle and has a bit of fun with it though he is clearly still on his Learner’s Plates. He’s also spent time reading Moby Dick and wants to tell us the classic tale, but of course Frank has other ideas.

If you are looking for hard and fast political standup these are not your guys. Those familiar with Lano & Woodley’s work, will know that Colin Lane is the straight man trying to keep the show on track while Frank Woodley – The Silly One – is constantly, and with the best intentions, derailing it with a lot of hilarious tomfoolery and physical escapades. Last time we saw them in the show Fly, (now available for streaming), Colin tried to tell us about the history of the Wright Brothers and failed miserably due to Frank’s diverting diversions. This year Colin is attempting to tell the tale of Moby Dick and if you’re worried that you won’t get to the story, don’t worry, you WILL have it told to you, twice.

Alright, I’ve never read Moby Dick by Herman Melville, it’s one of those huge bloated books that sits on a shelf reminding you that you are a failure for not finishing it. One day I will conquer you…. Apparently it teaches you a lot about whales and killing them. I’m not sure if Frank & Colin are giving us an accurate rendition, but if they are, god bless them for reading the tome for us. And also for turning it into an hour of hilarious entertainment.

The opening epilogue is a song that takes the audience through the general plot points of the novel, taking on the ancient theatre tradition of preparing us for the bigger play to come. You might not catch all the events in the song, but that’s fine because they will play out during the show, which you will follow better because you had that preview at the start…. This is especially useful as things become more and more chaotic on stage and the night I saw it there were some real sound issues that stopped the show and added to the chaos. The lads soldiered on and led us through the maelstrom like the well-seasoned professionals they are. It was hard to tell if it was part of the show, at first, considering they used to “accidentally” set fire to a suitcase on stage every night and sometimes audience members would actually call the fire brigade.

As is often the case, the unscripted moments were often the funniest and though they are not really topical comedians, there was a sprinkle of excellent topical gags, throughout the mayhem. At times I felt the warm camaraderie was missing, that Colin was a bit too shouty and angry with the hapless Frank but then they get to a bit of the story where Captain Ahab has become soooo horrible and unhinged that his sidekick and friend Starbuck plans a mutiny. Aha, I see what they are doing…. I think that must be it anyway.

The elephant, or white whale, in the room, sadly wasn’t. There was some brilliant, artistic light and sound design, in evoking the scenery, sea life etc, but considering the huge eye popping props that have appeared in previous Lano & Woodley productions I was really looking forward to meeting the titular mammal and must admit to being a little disappointed.

The best thing about a Lano & Woodley show is you can take the family, especially older kids who don’t want to feel like they are at a “kid’s show”. They have an amazing way of entertaining all ages and will leave you at times breathless, then smiling for days when you think about bits of it.

Lano & Woodley Perform Moby Dick at the Comedy Theatre til April 24

5 good reasons to see Max Paton – Big Funny

1. Big Funny is a fast-paced, rollercoaster ride of unbridled absurdity, and if you don’t act now, it’s gonna hurtle past you at top speed.

2. Creative one-liners, punchy songs, chaotic characters and bonkers sketches – Melbourne has never seen a one-person sketch show like it.

3. The Motley Carlton is a sweet new venue with two bars and fantastic ambiance – a great choice for a night out.

4. Bigger is always better.

5. Amendment – only if it’s filled with good stuff. For example, if you add sawdust to a cannelloni and inflate it like a balloon I’d be extremely impressed given the brittle nature of crust, however it’d also taste like crap. But if you stuffed those same cannelloni with good stuff like chocolate, they’d probably taste great. Wait, is cannelloni the dessert one? Or is that cannoli? Maybe go with a lasagne.

Max Paton performs Big Funny at The Motley Carlton 18 – 24 April 7pm

5 Good Reasons to See Emily Carr: Beige Bitch

1. Some are born great. Some achieve greatness and some have mediocrity thrust upon them.

This show is for you.

2. Mum clearly has a favourite and it’s not you.

This show is for you!

3. People you’ve met multiple times in the past will say, “it’s nice to meet you.”

This show is definitely for you.

4. Feel like you’re making life up as you go along?

Aren’t we all? Screw that 5-year plan and come watch Beige Bitch instead!

5. Being beige is an exorcism of perfectionism.

This show gives the middle finger to unrealistic expectations we’ve been conditioned to believe by society and raises a glass to embracing mediocrity instead!

*BONUS* Grab your pals and strap in for a hilarious & electrifying evening of Gaga, palm readings & gin martinis!

Beige Bitch is on at  The Motley Bauhaus, Carlton 11-17th April 7pm