What is becoming a fixture of Imperial Comedy programs, 3 Little Gigs showcases the talents of up and coming performers in the safety of a group show. The Melbourne Fringe line up comprises of Arielle Conversi, Cameron Tyeson and Rose Callaghan.
Hailing from the States, Arielle hit the stage with boisterous enthusiasm. When she launched into material about the differences between her birthplace and Australia, a feeling of dread swept over me as this kind of gear is generally hack material by someone just off the plane. This lifted a little as it did actually fit with the way the show was advertised (worldwide comedy from Florida, Tasmania and Port Melbourne!) and she had a few unique observations that were amusing. The remainder of her set comprised of funny stories of working at a strip club where the humour came from her workmates lack of intellect and class. It was quite an enjoyable set.
Tasmanian born Cam was next and also opened with an outsiders view of Melbourne that was little generic but had a few interesting ideas amongst it. His set really hit its straps in the second half with a routine about his tips for dating success complete with hand drawn visual aids. Some of the cards were a little wordy and contained the exact text he was reciting to us but there were plenty of cute cartoons to entertain. His wordplay was sometimes a little forced but some nice surreal concepts kept us laughing.
Local girl Rose rounded out the night and had a strange, varied tone to her delivery. Beginning with embarassment when referring to an un-named feminine hygiene product, she later described various amusing sexual misadventures using plenty of detail and innuendo. She had a lot of interesting ideas beneath it all but often failed to capitalise on them, many of her jokes drifted off into the ether without pay-off. It was as if she was relying too much on the audience to connect the dots to understand the angle from which she was approaching a punchline rather than actually giving us one.
All three performers displayed confidence on stage to effectively sell their material but their inexperience tended to show through. When lines fell flat they highlighted them with some comments to their fellow performers which came dangerously close to blaming the audience for not laughing. It was nice to see their camaraderie and these interactions gave the show a fun, informal feel, but to some it may not be professional enough for a paying audience. The cold hard fact is: if a line fails repeatedly, it probably needs re-evaluation rather than stubbornly persisting with it.
Overall it was a fun show. They were all still rough around the edges and it’s worth keeping an eye open for their future endeavours. Those willing to take the risk on these relative unknowns will have a good time if they take their greenness into account.
3 Little Gigs is on at The Imperial Hotel until September 27