Melbourne Fringe Festival 2012

By Lisa Clark

The days are getting longer and warmer and its time to come out of winter hibernation and spring into Melbourne Fringe Festival. The comedy section is the biggest category in the programme, but its important not to ignore the comedy related shows in the other categories such as Lisa-Skye’s talk show Art, Sex and Snacks. in the Special Events section, Geraldine Quinn’s The Piano Has Been Drinking in the Cabaret section, Die Roten Punkte’s Battle Royal in the Circus section and Diana Nguyen (from the fabulous Phi & Me) in 5 Ways to Disappoint Your Vietnamese Mother in the performance section and there are plenty of others to discover.

It’s always exciting to get a chance of catching up with Melbourne International Comedy Festival shows you might have missed, esp if they were sold out. This year you can catch up with the Barry Award winning Dr Brown: Befrdfgth, Damian Callinan’s The Merger, RAW and Golden Gibbo winners Lessons with Luis – Luis Presents: Kidney Kingdom, Neil Sinclair in Panic, Best Newcomer at MICF Tegan Higginbotham in Million Dollar Tegan and Truth by Slow Clap.

There are also brand new shows from established comedians and unknowns entering the fray, doing comedy in all sorts of styles and genres with the odd intriguing entry like musician Pinky Beecroft doing a stand up show called Mainstream Freak.

Although the festival has already begun there are a lot of comedy shows beginning this week. Most have only short runs, though, so get in quick.

Information about all things Melbourne Fringe can be found at their website

Slow Clap – Truth

By Cathy Culliver, 

If you wanted to see something refreshingly different this comedy festival, and support some upcoming and impressive local talent while you were at it, you couldn’t much go past Slow Clap’s latest production Truth.

Performed by Vachel Spirason and aided by Stephanie Brotchie and her disembodied hand behind the scenes, Truth is a quirky one-man play with a storyline that will keep you guessing until the very end. Even then you probably won’t be entirely sure what just happened, but that’s OK. Just go with it.

Given that it’s based around a mysterious tale involving a Coles shopping bag, a creepy naked man and a plasma ball, it’s no surprise that Truth takes its audience on a strange journey. The show cleverly weaves visual elements with great storytelling, which Spirason delivers with gusto and palpable charisma. And as the show suggests, it’s all completely true. Or is it?

Spirason conjures up an array of hilarious characters throughout the show, including Juan the dancing Spaniard with a penchant for slapping, and Vaclav, the cross-eyed chess player from Prague. There’s something very Python-esque about these outrageous characters and Spirason plays them expertly with just the right amount of silliness.

Truth is full of genuine laugh-out-loud moments, most of which come from interaction with the audience. It’s all pretty harmless stuff, but just maybe don’t sit in the front row. You’ll find out why soon enough.

This is only Slow Clap’s second show (the first being the multi-award winning The Hermitude of Angus, Ecstatic), so it’s going to be very exciting to see what this duo come up with in the future.

Combing clever writing, silly dances, weird accents and good old-fashioned slapstick, Truth is a very funny show that’s well worth checking out to see some truly original Melbourne talent.

Slow Clap – Truth is showing at Tuxedo Cat.