1. The show is named after my favourite AC/DC song and my favourite savoury pastry. Bon Scott, the lead singer of AC/DC, was mates with my mum. She told me once that they had their own doctor that they used exclusively to treat the entire band and their groupies’ STDs. The 70s, man.
2. My first ever job was at Macdonald’s and I got paid 7.32 an hour. The 90s, man.
3. It opens with a fun burlesque number, so if a fine set of sparkly mammaries are the thing you want to see at 8.30pm, then I am your gal.
4. The show contains mime, which is the safest form of comedy in a pandemic world as it has no surface contact whatsoever. That doesn’t mean you can mime hand sanitising though!
5. At some point, you will see a giant inflatable vibrator in this show. I’m not going to give away when this will happen.
Lauren Bok It’s A Long Way To The Bok (If You Wanna Sausage Roll) is on at The Butterfly Club Apr 12-18
The Melbourne International Comedy Festival Award for the best show: James Acaster (UK) – Cold Lasagne Hate Myself 1999
Anne Edmonds- What’s Wrong With You?
Cassie Workman – Giantess
Geraldine Hickey – Things Are Going Well
Nath Valvo – I’m Happy For You
Tom Allen (UK) – Absolutely
The Best Newcomer: Blake Freeman – There’s Something There
Dan Rath – Bubble Bath
Nina Oyama – Needs a Lift
Oliver Coleman – Poolside
The Golden Gibbo Award (for an artistic independent production): Neal Portenza & Joshua Ladgrove –Neal Portenza is Joshua Ladgrove
Nominees for The Golden Gibbo Award:
Game Boys – Game Boys Cinematic Universe
Lauren Bok – Rock Out With Your Bok Out
Margot Tanjutco – Vanity Fair Enough
Oliver Coleman – Poolside
Patrick Collins – Mime Consultant / Patrick Collins And the Magic Shoe
People’s Choice Award: Urzila Carlson Loser
This award signifies that Urzila Carlson sold the most tickets at this year’s Festival.
The Directors’ Choice Award: Aaron Chen – Piss Off (Just Kidding)
Presented by Melbourne International Comedy Festival Director Susan Provan
The Pinder Prize: Sam Taunton – Straight From The Shoulder & Steph Tisdell – The Pyramid
This Award funds their trips to the Edinburgh Fringe
to perform at Assembly Festival. It was presented by Demi Lardner
Piece of Wood Award (Peer Award from other comedians): Geraldine Hickey – Things Are Going Well
Presented by Greg Fleet who created the Award and Heath Franklin last year’s winner.
Funny Tonne Winner: John Souness
Deadly Funny National Grand Final winner: Fabian Woods
RAW Comedy Grand Final Winner: Fady Kassab (NSW)
Fady has won a trip to The Edinburgh Fringe Festival to compete in So You Think You’re Funny?. RAW Runners-Up: Suraj Kolarkar (QLD) and Laura Hutchinson (WA)
Class Clowns National Grand Final Winners Patti Fawcett (Bendigo South East College, VIC) Class Clowns Runners-Up:
Whose My Parents? (Ben Depoma, Cyrus James-Hankin, Soren Pryor) from St Theresa’s Catholic College Abergowrie, QLD, and Nic Doring (Alexandria Park Community High School NSW)
Between a Bok and a Hard Place, could easily fall into the trap of becoming a textbook, meta how-to guide for creating a Comedy Festival show. What Lauren Bok delivers, however, is an hour of energetic comedy that mocks the ever exhausting business of creating art for commerce.
Shows that poke fun at the mechanics of creativity or err on the line of the self referential show about making a show risks isolating an audience, but Bok’s child like nature and charm, and some initially awkward, but ultimately satisfying crowd work keeps us included. Bok’s boldness to fold crowd work in throughout the show keeps us warmed to her for the duration – even if it takes a few members of the audience a long pause and a bit of dead air to get on board with admitting they want her to sleep with them.
Bok’s irreverence for press kits, creating the perfect comedy poster, or the business mechanics of show business as a whole keeps us engaged while her overt physicality reminds us of a child being told to eat her vegetables – that is, she doesn’t want to do it, so she might as well find a way to make it palatable. The joy in this show is found in Bok’s success hacks, such as her trick for blurb writing, and her well handled verbal setups that are more often than not paid off with hilarious physical comedy.
The Bellville’s function room is an awkward shaped, but ultimately cozy setting, reminiscent of an 80’s mansions owned by a now incarcerated drug lord – peeling paint, a curved staircase and mirror lined doors that almost seem to encourage and enhance Bok’s ABBA inspired opener.
Bok herself, resplendent in her bare feet and oversized KISS T-shirt gives the vibe of an eight year old who has sat her closest family down in the lounge room armed with a box of her toys and her portable boom-box in order to put on a show she’d made up in her back yard an hour before. Her delivery is that of someone who clearly loves to be on stage: gleefully commanding, bold, and fun. It’s a relief to attend a meta show where the comic displays a refreshing enthusiasm that could easily have been lost after a facing the unenviable struggles of stand up comedy.
The moments where Bok spoke about day to day life were also well handled: from getting lost on the way to her venue, relatable hair fiasco’s to the faux humility of the fashion industry, Bok’s joyful use of character to pay these insights off is cheeky and silly. With a precise shift of pace and mood toward the end, Bok lets us in on why she bothers to put herself through the rigmarole of creating a show in the first place – which is not to say she doesn’t still handle this with some careful and subtle comedy.
A well crafted show by an affable, smart and silly comic – If you’re a comedy nerd looking to gaze behind the curtain and throw some props around, this one’s for you.
The 32nd Melbourne International Comedy Festival has been officially
Launched for 2018. Hosted by comedy legends Lano & Woodley, their reunion this year, after 12 years apart, in their new show Fly is one of the big thrills causing quite a buzz in a gigantic, exciting programme. There are more than 620 shows in this years festival. Some of the shows are encore performances and others that we Squirrels managed to catch and review at other festivals.
Feel free to click on the links below and read what we thought of these earlier iterations, keeping in mind that festival shows are ever evolving beasts that change and develop over time, so the new version may be quite different to one we saw.
See a favourite off the telly, See someone you’ve never heard of. Most of all have a wonderful time and keep an eye on Squirrel Comedy as the new reviews roll in and we keep you up to date on what’s happening via our Social Media.
A Bok in Progress is not your usual work in progress show. While Lauren Bok is genuinely trying out new ideas, this is a work in progress about being a work in progress. Students of the comedic arts will find plenty of giggles, nay guffaws, as she pokes fun at the creative process and the obstacles put before performers. It’s not all inside jokes as the normals will delight in Bok’s relatable material.
There are some clever ideas in this performance. She starts the show with a clean slate and builds upon it with the audience’s help. Those who normally run a mile from audience participation needn’t fear, most of the tasks are administration, holding various props and reacting to ideas. We are taken through the basic building blocks of creating a festival show. We wade our way through a huge list of pun show titles, see a “scientifically generated” blurb and image, see how intro music sets the stage for various types of comedian and hear a personal story about her creative process.
The moments of pure silliness provided the most hilarity as Bok showed off her wonderful physical comedy chops. Her numerous props gave things a touch of whimsy while she pushed some ideas to ridiculous extremes with great results. A serious monologue towards the end was a severe change of pace and mood but fit in perfectly. Thankfully it was broken up with a witty joke about show structure and audience behaviour that was wacky enough for all to enjoy.
While she is given some leeway with this being advertised as a work in progress, not all of the jokes land. Getting the crowd to vocalise a rhythm while drumming the beat was a messy way to start, even with it’s cute pay-off. The blurb generated by algorithm was so long and nonsensical that it evoked bewilderment rather than laughs. These interesting ideas are sure to be licked into shape in the future and Melbourne Fringe is the perfect place to try them out. There are enough laughs here already to satisfy and this has got to be one of the shows that embraces the spirit of the Fringe.
A Bok In Progress is on at Metropolitan Hotel – The Cavern until September 16