Virtually Funny

By Colin Flaherty

Virtually Funny… sorry, “The Melbourne International Very Serious Short Film Festival” provided plenty of laughs even though the sign at the venue stated that a serious art event lay beyond its doors. You knew you were in for a good time when the house music consisted of kitchy covers of the classic tune “Popcorn”.

First up was a bit of French New Wave by Marcel Lucont with plenty of his trademark arrogance and disdane which was being translated into Aussie for the audince’s benefit. When Marcel’s displeasure extended beyond the screen, you knew we were in for something special.

Next was Bec Hill performing her crowd pleasing flip chart illustrations of the lyrics to Piaf’s Je Ne Regrette Rien. This riotious routine started out normally but soon desended into some third diamension lunancy that added a whole new flavour to the piece.

Natalie Palamides presented an attempt at “philosophical musing” involving a herculean task of housework. This was played wonderfully straight so that when elements of the film invaded the audience it was a joy to behold.

Michelle Brasier and Josh Glanc provided some culture with a performance of Romeo & Juliet: Act 5, Scene 3. Hammy overacting and character breaking had us in stitches while lines and stage directions were changed on the fly with riotous results.

“Cinema Staff” Shari and Garry filled in for some “technical glitches” with a spot of karaoke but were soon interrupted by some unsavory foreigners (played by Viggo Venn and Julia Masli onscreen with in the flesh menace provided by David Tieck). We were treated to some cartoon violence, a strange rap performance and wacky love triangle (or was it a pentangle?).

Virtually Funny had shades of “The Show That Goes Wrong” with the in person team trying to hold things together as film and reality broke down. Our host (played by Janet A McLeod) was the arty farty type trying to maintain a veneer of high brow culture in the face of the chaos. The loveable dogsbody characters played by Tieck and Sharnema Nougar (of Two Little Dickheads fame), and Garry Starr offered plenty of help but fell hilariously short. The physical cast were run off their feet reacting to every breaking of the the fourth wall (or is it screen demolition?). Some of the reaction to cues were a little clunky but they pulled through on charm.

A brilliantly ambitious and inventive merger of film and live action, this show employed plenty of visual trickery to bring the filmic action into our laps. Congrats to the local team and the filmmakers for pulling off a hilarious tour de force.

Virtually Funny is on at Loop Project Space & Bar every Friday and Saturday until April 17
https://www.comedyfestival.com.au/2021/shows/virtually-funny

Bec Hill – Out of Order

By Lisa Clark
Out OF Order

Bec Hill is always delightful. Looking for an hour of joy and laughs at the Fringe? You just can’t go past whatever show Bec is doing each year and 2017 is no exception. Out of Order, is definitely the show you ordered.

I haven’t seen Bec perform live for a number of years and I was pleased to learn that she still uses her flip charts to tell funny stories (three in this show). There was a time several years ago when butcher paper flip charts were all the rage. Many gave up their flip charts and moved on to white boards or, like Bob Dylan, went electric with multimedia laptop slide shows etc. but Bec has stuck with her flip charts and has gotten better to the point of creating a new and exciting artform. There is smoke, glitter, things blow up and off her butcher paper. Her inventiveness is utterly enchanting.

Bec’s conceit is a large board covered in post-it notes, with topics written on each one. She encourages the audience to yell out topics and her show will follow the audience’s whims. Hopefully no show will be exactly the same. Certainly not in the same order. Some of her topics are short jokes and some are longer stories, they are colour coded so the audience knows. What the audience doesn’t know at the outset is what the balls we are all handed will be used for. We do find out of course.

Yes, there is a little audience participation but no more than the gentlest of type where all the audience takes part and no one is forced to. Importantly, rather than trying to embarrass an audience member or set someone apart, Bec is all about sharing the space and everyone creating a show they can enjoy together. For the brightest spot in the Edinburgh showers, go see Bec Hill.

Out of Order is on at Gilded Balloon Teviot until August 27

https://tickets.edfringe.com/whats-on/bec-hill-out-of-order

Bec Hill in … Ellipsis

By Ron Bingham

Crazy Australians. Bec is a joyfully mad dancing, prop-obsessed, comic dynamo.

Ellipsis is based around a fight with her self-doubt (voiced throughout by noted comic Phil Nicol). There are a lot of props used to hilarious effect and, at one point, one of the props fought back! The middle section, with puns, was full of groaners. The Wheel of Annoyance (I’m sure you get the idea of how this works) had some very funny stories attached to each irritating annoyance and although her wordsmithery paints some great mental panoramas for the audience,  I really wanted to see a picture of her sitting in the Burger King chair.

Bright, vivacious, bubbly, animated and engaging are all words that could be used to describe Bec’s show, but I prefer the word hyperactive. I can’t go into too much detail about the show as it’s too fast and changeable for a close analysis, but if you love seeing someone giving their all to make you laugh then you have to get a ticket for this show.

The room was small and full, there is a fair amount of swearing (filthy audience!) so it’s perfect for teenagers, old people, young people, anyone who likes a laugh and anyone who thinks Aussies are funny. So anyone really.

Bec Hill is performing Ellipsis at The Gilded Balloon. for Tickets and more information go to the Edinburgh Fringe Website

https://tickets.edfringe.com/whats-on/bec-hill-in-ellipsis

The Aussie Invasion of the 2013 Edinburgh Fringe – Now With Extra Danger!

By Colin Flaherty

It’s almost August and that means Edinburgh Fringe time. Quite a few Australian performers are heading north for a Scottish summer.

Our London based Squirrel Ron will be covering Fringe for us; covering both Australian acts and other performers who may venture to our shores in the future.

A browse of the program reveals some interesting shows from the Aussies. Many comedians are bringing their current shows seen in the Australian festivals including David Quirk with the show that won him the “Piece of Wood Award”. Joint Newcomer winners in 2012, Ronnie Cheing and Matt Okine, are taking their current shows.

Tommy Little, Mel Buttle & Josh Thomas have recently cancelled their Edinburgh runs due to television commitments. Josh is going Hollywood instead, his TV series Please Like Me is being picked up by a new US cable channel Pivot TV which is aimed at young people and will air from August 1st.

Myf Warhurst hosts a chat show Showcatcher that features all manner of festival guests spruiking their festival shows.

Expat Bec Hill is going to be a busy beaver this Festival. She is performing in her own stand up show (Bec by Popular Demand), a two-hander show with Patrick Monahan (Bec Hill and Patrick Monahan’s Hour of Fun!), a children’s sketch show (Bec & Tom’s Awesome Laundry) and is hosting Pun Run, the UK’s only pun-based comedy club.

Yianni has an intriguing concept this year: a series of free shows at The Dram House leading up to a huge ticketed show at Venue150 @ EICC. Will he fill Edinburgh’s largest room?

The 2013 Edinburgh Festival Fringe runs from 02 – 26 August. Shows for 2013 are now on sale!

 

Here’s the list of shows. If we’ve previously reviewed a show we’ve added the link.

If we’ve missed anyone, please drop us a line.

 

Adam Hills: Happyism @ Assembly Hall
https://www.edfringe.com/whats-on/comedy/adam-hills-happyism

Ali McGregor’s Late-Nite Variety-Nite Night @ Assembly Checkpoint
https://www.edfringe.com/whats-on/cabaret/ali-mcgregor-s-late-nite-variety-nite-night

Alex Williamson @ Gilded Balloon Teviot
https://www.edfringe.com/whats-on/comedy/alex-williamson

Bec Hill: Bec by Popular Demand @ Gilded Balloon Teviot
https://www.edfringe.com/whats-on/comedy/bec-hill-bec-by-popular-demand

Bec Hill and Patrick Monahan’s Hour of Fun! @ Gilded Balloon Teviot
https://www.edfringe.com/whats-on/comedy/bec-hill-and-patrick-monahan-s-hour-of-fun

Bec & Tom’s Awesome Laundry @ Gilded Balloon Teviot
https://www.edfringe.com/whats-on/childrens-shows/bec-tom-s-awesome-laundry

Pun Run (hosted by Bec Hill) @ The Canons’ Gait
https://www.edfringe.com/whats-on/comedy/pun-run

Claudia O’Doherty: Pioneer @ Pleasance Courtyard
https://www.edfringe.com/whats-on/comedy/claudia-o-doherty-pioneer

Damian Clark in G’Damo! @ Gilded Balloon Teviot
https://www.edfringe.com/whats-on/comedy/damian-clark-in-g-damo

Daniel Townes – I Think So I’m Ready @ Laughing Horse @ Bar 50
https://www.edfringe.com/whats-on/comedy/i-think-so-i-m-ready

Dave Callan: The Psychology of Laughter @ Gilded Balloon Teviot
https://www.edfringe.com/whats-on/comedy/dave-callan-the-psychology-of-laughter

David Quirk – Shaking Hands With Danger @ Pleasance Courtyard
https://www.edfringe.com/whats-on/comedy/david-quirk-shaking-hands-with-danger-aus
Here’s our review from MICF 2013 :
http://www.squirrelcomedy.com/?p=3355

Dayne Rathbone – It’s Me Dayne @ Gilded Balloon Teviot
https://www.edfringe.com/whats-on/comedy/it-s-me-dayne

Die Roten Punkte – Kunst Rock (Art Rock) @ AssemblyGeorge Square
https://www.edfringe.com/whats-on/cabaret/die-roten-punkte-kunst-rock-art-rock

Dr Professor Neal Portenza’s Interactive Goat Hour: There are no goats and the show is only 54 minutes long, excluding the bonus minute @ The Dram House Upstairs
https://www.edfringe.com/whats-on/comedy/dr-professor-neal-portenza-s-interactive-goat-hour-there-are-no-goats-and-the-show-is-only-54-minutes-long-excluding-the-bonus-minute

Eric Hutton’s Favourite Songs @ Laughing Horse @ Bar 50
https://www.edfringe.com/whats-on/comedy/eric-hutton-s-favourite-songs-free

Evolution of iMaAN @ Laughing Horse @ Espionage
https://www.edfringe.com/whats-on/comedy/evolution-of-imaan

Felicity Ward: Irregardless @ Underbelly, Bristo Square
https://www.edfringe.com/whats-on/comedy/felicity-ward-irregardless

Hannah Gadsby: Nakedy Nudes (Departs from Assembly Rooms, Bristo Place)
https://www.edfringe.com/whats-on/comedy/hannah-gadsby-nakedy-nudes

Hannah Gadsby: Happiness is a Bedside Table @ Assembly Roxy
https://www.edfringe.com/whats-on/comedy/hannah-gadsby-happiness-is-a-bedside-table
Here’s our review from MICF 2013 :
http://www.squirrelcomedy.com/?p=3771

Instant Order: Trial By Audience (featuring Karin Danger, Scott Gooding, Katie Lockett & Sean Fabri) @ The Dram House Upstairs
https://www.edfringe.com/whats-on/comedy/instant-order-trial-by-audience

Jen Carnovale: Not a Person Person @ Laughing Horse @ The Free Sisters
https://www.edfringe.com/whats-on/comedy/jen-carnovale-not-a-person-person-free

Jimeoin: Yes,Yes, Whatever…?! @ Venue150 @ EICC
https://www.edfringe.com/whats-on/comedy/jimeoin-yes-yes-whatever

John Robertson – The Dark Room @ Underbelly, Cowgate
https://www.edfringe.com/whats-on/comedy/john-robertson-the-dark-room

Jon Bennett: My Dad’s Deaths @ Underbelly, Cowgate
https://www.edfringe.com/whats-on/comedy/jon-bennett-my-dad-s-deaths

Karin Danger: Hot Box @ Just the Tonic at The Caves ​
https://www.edfringe.com/whats-on/cabaret/karin-danger-hot-box

KelFi & FiKel @ Gilded Balloon Teviot
https://www.edfringe.com/whats-on/comedy/kelfi-fikel

Lisa-Skye – Ladyboner @ C venues – C nova
https://www.edfringe.com/whats-on/comedy/ladyboner
Here’s our review from MICF 2012 :
http://www.squirrelcomedy.com/?p=1210

Matt Okine: Being Black & Chicken & S#%t @ Underbelly, Bristo Square
https://www.edfringe.com/whats-on/comedy/matt-okine-being-black-chicken-s-t

Not Suitable for Drinking (Sydney sketch trio) @ Ciao Roma
https://www.edfringe.com/whats-on/comedy/not-suitable-for-drinking

Ronny Chieng: The Ron Way @ Underbelly, Cowgate
https://www.edfringe.com/whats-on/comedy/ronny-chieng-the-ron-way

Rob Lloyd: Who, Me @ Just The Tonic at Bristo Square
https://www.edfringe.com/whats-on/comedy/rob-lloyd-who-me

Showcatcher (hosted by Myf Warhurst) @ Assembly George Square
https://www.edfringe.com/whats-on/comedy/showcatcher

Storytellers’ Club @ Pleasance Courtyard
https://www.edfringe.com/whats-on/comedy/storytellers-club

Unmanageable (Featuring expat Kim Hope) @ Laughing Horse @ The Free Sisters
https://www.edfringe.com/whats-on/comedy/unmanageable

Yianni in Think Big @ The Dram House & Venue150 @ EICC
https://www.edfringe.com/whats-on/comedy/yianni-in-think-big
https://www.edfringe.com/whats-on/comedy/yianni-in-think-big-the-big-one