Arj Barker – Organic

By Elyce PhillipsArj pic

Back for his 10th MICF, Arj Barker shows why he’s a regular festival favourite with his new hour of stand-up, Organic. It’s a solid set of jokes, sold by Barker’s energetic delivery.

Australian comedian Joel Ozborn, who regularly tours with Barker, opened with a 15-minute set of competent stand-up. Ozborn got the audience laughing, but there was nothing revelatory about his comedy. I found myself responding by thinking, “Yes, I see how that’s a joke,” rather than laughing out loud. However, the response from the audience was positive, so I suspect my opinion differed from the bulk of the room.

Barker was welcomed with a rapturous response from the huge Palais crowd. After 10 years of performances here, he knows how to please an Aussie audience. His local knowledge is impressive, and he won the crowd over early with some material about the vulgarity of Australian sayings. Throughout Organic, Barker explores themes of growing up and settling down. He’s older, but not a whole lot wiser, delegating most of his responsibility to his live-in girlfriend.

Barker is adept at taking well-worn concepts and making them feel fresh. Jokes about Uber, Game of Thrones and co-habiting with your partner were all told with a unique perspective and often packed an unexpected punch at the end. It was refreshing to see a stand-up do comedy about his girlfriend and not only avoid tired old tropes, but also seem to genuinely like her.

Organic is more of the same from Barker – well-crafted comedy delivered by a professional. It’s a great example of hilarious stand-up and is sure to please fans.

Note – A word of warning to those booking tickets to Organic and planning to see another show afterwards – the MICF website lists it as running for 60 minutes, when it’s closer to 90. Barker performs a 60-minute set, but there’s also Ozborn’s opener and a bit of merch talk at the end.

Arj Barker – Organic is on at the Palais Theatre until April 16

5 Good Reasons to see JOEL OZBORN Be Here Now

1. By coming to my show ‘Be Here Now’, you’ll have the opportunity to one day say, “Yeah, well I was lucky enough to see Joel Ozborn back in 2015 when he was performing in the Pizza Room at the Forum Theatre, if you can believe it! I feel like one of those people who got to see the Beatles perform in the Cavern before they took off into the stratosphere!”

2. My previous solo shows at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival have all sold out! Ok, admittedly I was only doing Monday nights, however after having shared the stage in Melbourne numerous times with Akmal and Arj Barker, this’ll be your first opportunity to see me in my full solo run here in Melbourne. (Note: I’ll be taking Monday nights off this time.)

3. I’ll be taking more risks in this show than ever before. I can’t give away too much as I don’t want to ruin any surprises, however I’m excited to say I will be revealing for the first time ever on stage my big lifetime achievement!

4. Here’s a review from the last time I was in Melbourne “He’s disarming; he’s accessible without being common; articulate and clever without being smug… bloody funny.” THE AGE. But don’t take their word for it, come see for yourself!

5. If you don’t like laughing, observational and physical comedy, insightful storytelling, and an all round great night of comedy, then don’t come to my show.

Joel Ozborn is performing Be Here Now at The Forum Theatre

For Bookings and Information see MICF website: