Demi Lardener is a unique voice in the comedy world and more importantly she is genuinely gut-bustingly hilarious. The opening of the show was one of the funniest things I have seen in a long while, and the closing was nearly as whacky.
Unlike previous shows from Demi, we are not confronted with a stage full of props, which are then used throughout her show. This year, Demi has decided to go a little high tech, using a PC and projector, plus some audio, combined with stories from her youth such as a visit to Kangaroo Island, fascinating tidbits and snatches of craziness. There are also some very disturbing drawings by Demi.
My favourite thing about Demi’s shows are the total unpredictability, and the shattering of any boundary with the audience. If you’re of a nervous disposition or don’t like audience participation, you may want to give this one a miss. There is also a bit of swearing, but it is a late night show after all. Demi will get up close and personal, as she crawls into your minds and bends them out of shape. Highly recommended.
Scotland’s capital city is bursting at the seams with talented artists as the Edinburgh Festival Fringe begins this week. As is usual many Australian acts are heading up to “sunny” Edinburgh to show the world what they’ve got. If you’re in town, be sure to check out some of these fabulous funny folk listed below.
We’ve compiled a list of all the acts we could find, along with links to the reviews of those shows that our Squirrel writers have seen at previous festivals. As usual we give the disclaimer that Festival shows are ever evolving beasts so the show that we saw could be rather different to current iteration.
If we’ve missed anyone, feel free to drop us a line (or contact us on social media)…
Here Comes Melbourne International Comedy Festival 2019! There are more shows than EVER before and we Squirrels are here to help.
We have a list of all the shows we’ve previously reviewed and also a few that we’re excited about or keen to recommend.
The Aspie Hour had a short run at 2018 The Melbourne Writers Festival. It was a fabulous musical comedy in two parts by two brilliantly talented performers who apparently are both on a spectrum. It’s top notch comedy cabaret for those who love Broadway with laughs.
The Fringe Wives Club has welcomed new members and has grown from 3 to 5 performers. Last year we all rushed out to see Glittery Clittery and adored the crowdpleasing feminist cabaret, but we didn’t manage a review, sorry but the simple review is: We all LOVED it. This year we’ll be rushing to see their new show Glittergrass and make sure we review it.
Tom Ballard is being very busy after having his ABC show Tonightly cancelled. He’s jumped into the festival with gusto. As well as his own show, Enough, which is having a full season run, Tom will be hosting one of the political Tuesday nights at the Festival Club and most intriguingly he’s written a satirical political play called KWANDA. It’s about a Monday night political panel show but it’s not about QandA at all. No. Of course not.
Demi Lardner and Tom Walker both have solo shows again this year, but they have also teamed up to perform We Mustn’t and it’s bound to be weird, wonderful and hilarious.
Don’t forget to check out the alternate guide to the Festival: The Safety House Guide.
Says creator and stand up comedian Lisa-Skye:
“The Safety House Guide is a free magazine featuring nearly 100 of the best acts of the fest. Safe, but never tame, it’s not about censorship, it’s about empowering audiences to make the right decisions about the shows for them. It gives more info about stuff like content, access and the level of audience participation. It also has fun stuff like letters from comedians to their potential audience, info on workshops and quizzes. Grab your free copy around town, or at the launch!”
Sam Simmons is a late entry to MICF with his new show 26 Things You’ve Been Doing Wrong with Sam Simmons suddenly be added to the Festival program.
On the down side some performers have already cancelled….But NOT……Tom Cashman XYZ, we read that he had but he has NOT cancelled. Go see him!
Shows that have been Cancelled:
Ronny Chieng has had to bow out due to being cast in a sitcom in pilot season in the US. We wish him all the success, but worry he may be too successful to perform here again… He has rescheduled his Australian shows for July.
Benny Darsow Ad Lib
Charlie Pickering Us & Them
The Elvis Dead by Rob Kemp,
Let’s Get Wild
One Man Breaking Bad by Miles Allen
Thomas McMahon and Nick Quon Total Business Solution
Blanc (That weird fashion circussy thing at Chadstone)
And NOW, Finally…..
Previously Reviewed shows – and links to our reviews:
Come into the warped and crazy world that is the inside of Demi Lardner’s mind. The music is loud (very loud), the props are unusual (to downright weird) and the star of the show has some boundary issues (expect audience interaction at any time).
While I Love Skeleton is obviously very carefully structured, Demi has the skill to hide this and give off a sense of unpredictability and is at times just plain mystifying for the audience. It is also hilariously laugh out loud funny which goes some way to explaining the number of awards Demi has been given and why everyone is flocking to see this.
I would try to describe some of the sketches, but I fear they will make no sense written down. Demi’s charisma, delivery and physical punctuation is a big part of the act. Expect rude words, very close contact with the comic and a sore stomach from all the belly laughs.
It’s not long now until the world’s largest fringe arts festival begins in warmer climes and again a massive contingent of Australians and expats are headed to The Edinburgh Festival Fringe. Many have traveled the Australian festival circuit and have been whipped into shape for international audiences. Some have been previously reviewed by Squirrel but remember they will have been further polished and may have been revised and reworked.
Last year Australian, Hannah Gadsby won Best Comedy at the Fringe, she’s had to cancel her Edinburgh Fringe run this year but there’s a lot more amazing comedy talent coming up from down under. If you are travelling anywhere near Edinburgh this August, have a look at the following list of shows and consider going to see an Australian act.
This year instead of being presented in the middle of the night at the Festival Club as is traditional, The Melbourne International Comedy Festival Awards were instead presented at 1pm in the afternoon at Belleville. It was more relaxed and civilised with drinks and nibblies (and better lighting for photos) and it was great knowing that everyone in the room was involved and invested in the results, but sort of sad that it was restricted to invite only. I was very lucky to be invited, but other fans on the rim of the festival, but just as invested would have been sad (as I was when this happened once in the past) to not be a part of that middle of the night wild excitement and joy when a favourite, or someone you’ve discovered wins an award.
I can’t deny that there was some surprise as well as delight for Sam Campbell’s win. Although he has been performing in Sydney for a while and getting some TV work (you may have seen him on The Checkout), he’s still pretty much under the radar of the general public. We fell in love with his work when we saw Zanzoop! early in it’s run in 2016 and spent the rest of the Festival telling anyone who would listen that they should go and see the strange talk show hosted by a wise cracking alien in a back alley nightclub. This year we loved both shows he was involved with; his own, The Trough and Anne Edmond’s Helen Bidou – Enter the Spinnaker Lounge where he played Helen’s long suffering, very awkward son Connor.
2018 AWARD WINNERS
Barry Award, for the best show: Sam Campbell The Trough
Nominees for The Barry Award:
Alex Edelman (USA)- Just for Us
Anne Edmonds – as Helen Bidou – Enter the Spinaker Lounge
Tim Key (UK) – Megadate
Lano & Woodley (Colin Lane and Frank Woodley) – Fly!
Rose Matafeo (NZ) – Horndog!
Celia Pacquola – All Talk
Natalie Palamides (USA) – Laid
The Best Newcomer: Danielle Walker Bush Rat
This award was presented by Sarah Dodds of Soho Theatre who will be bringing Danielle to London to make her Debut at The Soho Theatre.
Nominees for The Best Newcomer Award:
Paul Williams(NZ) – Summertime Love
Stephanie Tisdell – Identity Steft
Garry Starr – Performs Everything
Lewis Garnham – The Smartest Idiot You’ll Ever Meet
Nadia Collins – Virgin Bloody Mary
The Golden Gibbo Award (for an artistic independent production):
Cam Venn for Charles Horse Lays An Egg
The prize is a Bottle of Red Wine and was presented by Lynda Gibson’s Niece Emma Maye Gibson, also known as Betty Grumble
Nominees for The Golden Gibbo Award:
Sophie Joske and Anna Piper Scott – Almost Lesbians
Garry Starr – Performs Everything
Julia Rorke & Elysia Hall – Not Another F***** B**** In India
Michelle Brasier & Laura Frew
(Double Denim) – Double Denim AdventureShow]
People’s Choice Award: Lano & Woodley – Fly!
This award signifies that Fly! sold the most tickets at this year’s Festival.
The Directors’ Choice Award: Michelle Brasier and Laura Frew for Double Denim Adventure Show
The Pinder Prize: Demi Lardner – I Love Skeleton
This Award funds her trip to the Edinburgh Fringe
to perform at Assembly Festival.
Piece of Wood Award (Peer Award from other comedians): Heath Franklin – Bogan Jesus
Funny Tonne Winner: Alasdair Bryant (76 Shows)
Deadly Funny National Grand Final winner: Leon Filewood (QLD)
RAW Comedy Grand Final Winner: Bec Melrose (NSW)
Bec has won a trip to The Edinburgh Fringe Festival to compete in So You Think You’re Funny?. RAW Runners-Up: Gavin Sempel (VIC), Emma Holland (ACT)
Class Clowns National Grand Final Winners Liam Adam, Carlin Carruth & Kyle Bennett (QLD) as ‘Awkward’! Class Clowns Runners-Up:
Dusty Diddle (VIC),
Nina Cowley-Mousinho (QLD)
Shiloh Rea (QLD)
Nicholas Doring (NSW)