Alasdair Tremblay-Birchall & Andy Matthews: Teleport

By Lisa Clark 

Hey potential investors. Can I interest you in a comedy show? About teleportation. Who doesn’t love the idea of teleportation? Bye Bye commute! Who wants a Journey? ew. Come and see Martin Chrysalis and Jerry Roberts explain ALL the ins and outs and ups and downs and to and fros in a show that packs more laughs per minute than any other in the festival I’ve seen this year: Teleport.

Comedians Andy Matthews and Alasdair Tremblay-Birchall are behind the endearing and fascinating characters of Martin and Jerry. Throughout their silly, sciencey spiel we glean snatches of their backstory and genial relationship. Andy and Alasdair have created a fabulous comedy double act that seem to break the known rules of comedy duos, instead of shouting at and insulting each other, they gently encourage and support each other, making the audience’s hearts ache in between the jaw aching laughter. After loving their last delightful nerdy show Magma, that became the big buzz of 2019 Melbourne International Comedy Festival, I’ve been looking forward to this next show, for 2 years! I’m so glad it lived up to my expectations, then surpassed them.

The writing is exquisitely tight, the many ingenious moments in Teleport will hit you hours later and you will laugh again. The guys aren’t mic’d up so at times you might have to try to control your laughing so you won’t miss the next hilarious line. Or possibly explode. I never thought I’d get the urge to give a standing ovation to a pun, but the cheering audience came pretty close and if someone else had stood I would’ve joined them.

I was sore from the constant howling, my friend was laughing through her second joyful viewing and I saw a woman in front of me appear to turn into a puddle, I was worried she may lose control of her bodily functions! Alright there were two guys in my row who remained stoic, maybe this was not their show, it’s a big festival and I know there is one out there for them. This daggy, sci-fi comedy was definitely for me.

Already nominated for a Golden Gibbo Award, I would’ve nominated Teleport for Most Outstanding Show myself. Have your tissues ready, but they are for crying with laughter.

Alasdair Tremblay-Birchall & Andy Matthews perform Teleport at Trades Hall til Apr 18

Andy Matthews & Alasdair Tremblay-Birchall – Magma

By Will Erskine 

Not every comedy show will present you with a solution to solve all (or most) of the world’s problems; in fact this may be the only one I’ve seen and it is definitely the only one I’ve seen at MICF this year. Presented in the style of an infomercial or a questionable property investment seminar, Magma explains the worlds hottest emerging industry Magma Mining. With deadpan delivery and glorious pseudo-science both Andy Matthew’s and Alasdair Tremblay-Birchall are worryingly convincing in their roles as engineers pitching the proposed new industry and left me quite genuinely ready to invest and have a Magma tap installed in my house as soon as possible.

While the show largely focuses on the central theme of magma mining, our two hosts manage to expertly solve a range of other related issues including prioritising function over form by structurally stabilising the Arabic Numerals, something that had never occurred to be as necessary and now cannot be unseen. I will never be able to take the number 5 seriously again.

I don’t think there is any hiding the fact that this is a geeky show and those with experience in an engineering field will relate particularly well to both the presentation style and the type of nonsense presented. While the show’s poster describes it as “An Engineering Presentation” there is still plenty to enjoy for those who aren’t quite as intimately familiar with the style of presentation being parodied and anyone willing to embark on the sci-fi thought experiment of magma mining will be richly rewarded with one of the funniest, most absurd shows at the festival. These two had me in fits of giggles from start to finish.

Magma plays at Tasma Terrace until Apr 21

Andy Matthews & Alasdair Tremblay-Birchall – Sci-Fi Sketch Experience

By Colin Flaherty

Apparently set in a future after the Robot Apocalypse, the Sci-Fi Sketch Experience is a series of vignettes by the Andy Matthews and Alasdair Tremblay-Birchall. Mankind’s outlook may seem bleak but they introduce us to many wacky characters, lifestyle choices and helpful products that keep the human race ticking along in this wasteland.

Mathews and Tremblay-Birchall have both been in the comedy writing game for years and host a podcast together so it’s only natural that they have put their heads together to produce this brilliant work. Stuffed full of imaginative ideas and witty wordplay, each scene ramps up the absurdity before hitting us with brilliant punchlines. They explore themes from completely surreal to slightly sinister to clever political comment. This is sketch at its finest.

The guys throw themselves into all of their characters with gusto. Performing as a duo, you would expect these scenes to be played using a standard straight man/nutbag format but all of the roles are played manically broad. It’s the varying levels of craziness that keep the laughs coming at a rapid pace. If you’ve ever wanted to see Tremblay-Birchall doing an accent other than his Canadian one, this where you’ll see it (and it’s a fine one too!).

Some scenes make use of video projected onto venetian blinds which reminds me of 80s Sci-Fi Noir ala Blade Runner. The props used in this show are immensely creative and could only come from the warped minds of this duo. Items such as sentient kitchenware and a demonstration device for a sleep disorder has the audience in hysterics. This is a hilarious multimedia experience.

Sci-Fi Sketch Experience is on at Comedy Unexpected until April 8


1. You woke up in a ditch with no memory of who you are and where you came from. The only possible trace of your former identity is a single ticket to Andy Matthews and Matt Stewart in Logistical Nightmare.

2. You run a pest control company that recently decided to launch a new range of rat poisons to be called Andy Matthews and Matt Stewart in Logistical Nightmare. Your legal team insisted you see the show to confirm there were no potential licensing issues.

3. You believed that the Tuxedo Cat was a real cat and you’ve always wanted to spend 50 minutes inside a giant cat, and this seemed like too good an opportunity to pass up.

4. You only live next door and you thought you’d pop in with a casserole to welcome the new neighbours.

5. Bobby always said you’d meet up again at Andy Matthews and Matt Stewart in Logistical Nightmare, in this very place, at this very spot. The girls at the office said you were crazy to keep on believing, but here you are, and boy-howdy, if that figure in the corner doesn’t look just like Bobby used to, hunched over his coffee, with half an eye on the door, and the other eye and a half on some distant memory, that he never dared to share with anyone.

6. You appreciate performers who have no respect for the number 5.

Andy Matthews and Matt Stewart in Logistical Nightmare is on at The Tuxedo Cat from April 7

Squirrel Comedy’s Recommended and Previously Reviewed Shows at Melbourne International Comedy Festival 2015

By Lisa Clark

Well the Squirrels are getting ruffled up and ready for autumn nut collecting. And comedy reviewing. There are soooo many shows on offer at the 2015 Melbourne International comedy Festival and it can be very difficult for us to see everything we want to see, let alone review everything we want to review. For those readers who are planning their Festival schedules and are in need of help, we have some good news: Squirrel Comedy has previously reviewed thirty of this year’s shows and we have laid out links to all those reviews below.


First Up here are some brilliant shows I previously saw & loved but Squirrel Comedy hasn’t reviewed.

I recommend you see:Claire Hooper School Camp

Claire Hooper’s School Camp

Claire takes us back to school days in a raw & truthful way where nostalgia takes some surprising and dark turns that make this show very special.


Celia Pacquola – Let Me Know How It All Works Out.

Celia’s show about fortune telling and her international lifestyle was another of Celia’s crowd-pleasing corkers.
Celia Pac Let me Know

Barry Nominated last year as word got around it was selling out like hotcakes, so if you weren’t lucky enough to see this gorgeous show better book now.


Denise Scott – Mother Bare

Denise deservedly won the Barry Award last year for her droll and often riotous reflections on motherhood and other aspects of her comedic life.Denise Scott Mother Bare pic

She’s only doing four shows this year at the fan friendly time of 4.30 Sundays, so get your tickets early.



And now for shows that we have previously reviewed.

Particular highlights this year that I can also recommend include:

Are You Afraid of the Dark by Watson Watson Afraid of the Dark

Watson’s funny and occasionally genuinely scary show is not for those with a nervous disposition or heart condition but my goodness it is a monstrous load of fun. It can only fit smallish audiences into the space at the Old Melbourne Gaol so book early, I hear the first week is booking out fast. Not surprising as this show won Best Comedy at the Melbourne Fringe Festival and considering it is site specific it is one you will have to come to Melbourne to see.


Bart Freebairn Ultra Power LordBart Freebairn pic

Bart is a comedian at the top of his game just waiting to be discovered by the mainstream. I get the joyful shivers when I see a stand up comedian reach a point where they can host a room and own it keeping everyone rolling with laughter non stop. Bart is there and I hope everyone loves Ultra Power Lord as much as I did at Fringe last year.


Bucket’s List by Sarah Collins starring Justin Kennedybuckets list

Buckets List is a whimsical, beautiful and of course very funny tale with a star turn by the amazing Justin Kennedy (who we just don’t see enough of on the circuit any more – I miss him, but if this is the sort of work he’s producing then I’ll forgive his absence). Justin is blessed with the ability to make an audience laugh without saying a word and when I see independent theatre this good I think our major theatre companies should have a good hard look at themselves.


Damian Callinan – The Lost WW1 Diary of Private Paddy CallinanPaddy Callinan

A perfect show for this anniversary of ANZAC it’s another comedy character tour de force by Damian where truth and tall tales blur with loads of laughs and a streak of darkness. The true spirit of the ANZAC is thoroughly celebrated.


We can’t wait to discover new exciting comedy at this year’s Melbourne International Comedy Festival  but meanwhile

Here’s the full list with links of those we reviewed earlier:

The 13–Storey Treehouse

Anthony Jeannot is Unaccept-a-bubble

Bart Freebairn: Ultra Power Lord

Clem Bastow – Escape From LA

Damian Callinan – The Lost WW1 Diary of Private Paddy Callinan

Dr Brown – Befrdfgth

Dylan Cole – The Moon in Me

Fancy Boy Variety Show

Faulty Towers – The Dining Experience

Geraldine Hickey – Listen Out For The Castanets

I Love Green Guide Letters Live

Justin Kennedy – Bucket’s List

Late Night Letters and Numbers

Lee Naimo – Finding Lee

Lisa-Skye’s Lovely Tea Party

The Little Dum Dum Club Live

Luke McGregor – I Worry That I Worry Too Much

Mark Butler – Grammar don’t matter on a first date

Political Asylum – Late Night Riot

Sam Rankin – Wake Up, Sheeple! (2.0)

The Sexy Detectives – Mono Logs

The Sound of Nazis

The Umbilical Brothers – KiDSHoW – Not Suitable for Children

Stuart Daulman is an Absolute Credit

Stew Walker – A Hard Day’s Night of Beatles Parodies

Gary Portenza: Apologies in Advance

Set List

Watson – Who’s Afraid of the Dark

World Record Show with Andy Matthews, Adam Knox and Dave Warneke

Zoe Coombs Marr – Dave


Andy & Nellie’s Secret Second Family Variety Show

By Colin Flaherty

A Biscuit Heiress and a Quoits Champion find their marriage on the rocks. Rather than attending counselling, they slug it out at The Concerned Billionaire’s Club AGM where the Champs’ bastard children perform in an attempt to change his wifes’ mind not to leave him. The result is the most unlikely and creative framework for a variety show imaginable.

Some beautifully insane characters were created to inhabit this elaborate world that was so much more than just linking material for some guest performers. You often found yourself patiently sitting through an act just to get back to the main story. Nellie White portrayed the unemotional, power crazed Heiress with wonderful detached pomposity while Andy Matthews played the neutered patriarch who relayed the majority of the plot exposition through lengthy monologue. A particular stand out was Dave Warneke as the slightly backwards son of the couple. He threw himself into the role wholeheartedly and nothing was too demeaning for a joke, no matter how minor the pay off, which had everyone waiting to see what he would do the next time he stepped on stage.

Through all the silliness, bad puns and exaggerated melodrama there was some thinly veiled social satire at work here but nothing too heavy to take away from the lightness of the show. The staging of the show was brilliantly done in a slightly homemade yet elaborate fashion. We saw some wonderfully oversized props, a stoic feathered friend and a feat of stage engineering to wrap up a seemingly minor plot point. We were fully immersed in this strange yet familiar world from the get go.

The line up of Illegitimate Children (ie. Guest performers) changes every night. On the night I attended the ‘Children’ were Stuart Daulman, Gillian Cosgriff and Oliver Clark. If there was one niggling shortfall it was that these guests weren’t fully integrated into the universe created by the core cast. They made a passing reference to being Andy’s offspring but essentially just did their usual act. This was probably the only brief given to them about being on this variety show but an act tailored to the overall show would have been a nice touch.

As a variety show this is a great hour of entertainment. Add in these crazy characters and their story arc and this show is elevated to a must see event.

Andy & Nellie’s Secret Second Family Variety Show is on at The Tuxedo Cat at 7:15pm until September 28.