Aiden Willcox & Isaac Haigh – Songs from the Heart in the Hole of my Bottom

By Colin Flaherty

What better way is there to finish your night at the Festival than transporting yourself back to a smoky nightclub club (without the actual cigarette smoke) to be entertained by all round entertainers Aiden Willcox & Isaac Haigh? Along with their wonderful “50 piece orchestra”, Willcox and Haigh sang and joked their way through an hour of solid gold entertainment.

Our dynamic duo portrayed these big and brash 70s crooners perfectly. They only briefly touched upon some Martin and Lewis animosity so even without a focus on comedic conflict their interactions were delightfully amusing. They added in a bit of Tim and Eric strangeness to keep us on our toes and their banter was full of hilariously lame (and often nonsensical) jokes that highlighted the somewhat damaged Haigh versus the unhinged Willcox.

Both performers could really belt out a tune with song topics covering strangely mundane themes that were given a unique twist. “Mommy Issues” and Willcox’s “expertly improvised” songs about audience members were highlights. They made liberal use of overtures and exit music which could have been some sly padding but it was delightfully apt for these old school song and dance men.

It was interesting that this wasn’t a period piece. While this duo were outdated, hard drinking lounge lizards in the Vegas mould, they set this show in the modern day and relied on some fish out of water elements to joke about how the business of show and societal values have changed over the decades.

The rare and brief appearances of their lovely manager who was spotted stumbling from back stage before the show, made me disappointed that we didn’t see more of her. Perhaps she was constantly visible from the rear of the room and I missed these treats from my seat up front. Our pair of crooners regularly ventured into the aisles as the other sang a solo tune so it pays to keep alert to catch all the action.

Songs from the Heart in the Hole of my Bottom was a brilliantly, hilariously chaotic show that was perfectly executed. It’s no wonder this won the Best Comedy gong at last years Melbourne Fringe.

Songs from the Heart in the Hole of my Bottom is on at Trades Hall until April 9

2022 Melbourne International Comedy Festival Awards

The Melbourne International Comedy Festival Awards were given out today live on the Festival’s (rather choppy) Facebook feed. Opened by Steph Tisdale and hosted by Joel Creasey.

Congratulations to ALL the nominees and winners!

Most Outstanding Show 

WINNER: Rhys Nicholson – Rhys! Rhys! Rhys!

Aaron Chen If Weren’t Filmed Nobody Would Believe
Cameron James Electric Dreams
Danielle Walker Nostalgia
Geraldine Quinn Broad
Greg Larsen We All Have Bloody Thoughts
Laura Davis If This Is It
Rhys Nicholson Rhys! Rhys! Rhys!

Best Newcomer

– for a solo performer or group of performers doing their first Festival show

WINNER: Frankie McNair – Relax Your Knees

Will McKenna Appellation
Frankie McNair Relax Your Knees
Bronwyn Kuss Any Goss?
Steph Broadbridge Hot Chick/Tired Mum
Sunanda Loves Britney
Mish Wittrup Soy Fat White

The Golden Gibbo

– in memory of the late, great Lynda Gibson – is aimed at finding a local, independent show that pursues the artists’ idea more than it pursues commercial gain.

WINNER: Alex Hines To Schapelle And Back

Mel & Sam Shit-Wrecked!
Maria Angelico The Disappearing Act
Geraldine Quinn Broad
Ashley Apap Ouch!
Aiden Willcox Lightly Familiar
Ross Purdy Hey Hey It’s Doomsday
Alex Hines To Schapelle And Back

Directors’ Choice Award 

– awarded by the Festival Director in consultation with festival programming colleagues to a show they think deserves to be celebrated;

WINNER: Wil Anderson – Wilogical and Bronwyn Kuss – Any Goss?

The People’s Choice Award

-for the most popular show of the Festival as determined by the ticket buying public;

WINNER: Urzila Carlson – It’s Personal!

The Pinder Prize

– honouring Festival co-founder John Pinder, and supporting a performer to travel to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe

WINNER: Danielle Walker Nostalgia

The Piece of Wood

– comics’ choice award, selected by past winners and presented to a peer literally for “doin’ good stuff ‘n’ that”

WINNER: Tina Del Twist!