Eleanor Tiernan: Away With The Fairies

By Ron Bingham

Eleanor had a promising comedy career before Covid, constantly touring and living out of hotels and B&Bs, as well as appearing on a number of TV comedy panel shows. Lockdown has forced to her to reassess her life (sort of) and spend time with people she previously avoided (ie her housemates).

Eleanor is a born comedian who isn’t going to let a pesky thing like a world wide plague and shutdown get in her way. She kept herself busy writing some very funny songs, I really enjoyed the one about the death of comedy – in a morbid way – but could she have found some time for singing lessons, maybe? Other minor matters she dealt with during the lockdown included not being able to make a living from comedy and working through her sexuality in a rather awkwardly public way. And of course things don’t go down the path you might expect. Real life is weird.

The show ran for about 45 minutes and mostly consisted of Eleanor running round the stage like a manic Irish pixie, singing some very rude songs,  joking about the chaos of the last couple of years and generally telling sharply funny stories to a very appreciative audience.

Away With The Fairies is on at Gilded Balloon Teviot

Eleanor Tiernan – Success Without a Sex Tape.

By Peter Newling

When you walk into a show called “Success Without a Sex Tape”, and the only thing on the stage when you enter the space is a large screen TV, it does make you wonder if you missed the R rating warning. But we needn’t have worried.

Irish comic Tiernan uses the hour to explore if it’s possible to live a happy and comfortable life if you don’t release a sex tape. After all – all the big stars are doing it. Surely a sex tape will lead to popularity, notoriety, love, wealth and happiness?

Tiernan explores this premise through a delightful series of personal stories, exploring those notions of fame, success and happiness. The stories involve explorations of her relationships with, among other things, her family, get rich quick schemes, singledom, cats, rats and catholics.

Tiernan’s delivery style is friendly and genial, but at the same time kind of nervous and staccato. It’s not the slick, polished delivery style of most stand-ups, but it’s ideally suited to her material. As she explores her own personal story, and the life decisions she has made, it’s like she’s seeking understanding or even forgiveness from her audience.

As Tiernan says, it’s all about how we manage shame. And that’s pretty close to being the theme of the show. It’s about life choices and how we go about owning them, justifying them and being able to live with them.

Does she end up deciding to make a sex tape? You’ll have to go along to find out.

Eleanor Tiernan Success Without A Sex Tape is playing at ACMI Studio til Apr 21


5 good reasons to See Infectious 2019

1. Infectious 2018 was described by Sammy J as “… probably the best value show in town” and it’s going to be more bang for your buck with the stellar line-up for 2019.

2. See the one and only Fiona O’Loughlin star on the line-up alongside Irish comedian, Eleanor Tiernan and other surprise acts including:
a. A rising star of Australian television
b. A previous winner of RAW Comedy
c. A star of TV’s ‘Comedy Next Gen’

3. Proceeds support public health and medical research at Burnet Institute.

4. It’s at the at the trendy Chapel Off Chapel so you can enjoy a drink with friends at the bar before the show.

5. It’s a great night out for a great cause – what’s not to love? See you there!

Infectious 2019 is on for One Night Only  – Monday April 15 at Chapel Off Chapel


New Order

By Lisa Clark 

There are many group shows at MICF, they are a great way of getting to know a group of comedians in a short amount of time and deciding who you might like to see more of in the future. You might even become a fan.

Lauren Pattinson

What a fantastic way to start the lineup. Lauren Pattinson is so bright, perky and wildly talented, she was nominated for Best Newcomer at The Edinburgh Fringe Festival Comedy Awards last year. It’s a bit of a shame that she’s not brought her full show Lady Muck to Melbourne which was so loved by our writer Ron, as well as most other people who saw it. Here we get a taste of it, Newcastle Girl alone and full of self-doubt in the Big City of London. Her main story concerns a hangover and finding comfort from strangers. Lauren was the highlight of my evening and I look forward to her bringing a full show to Melbourne one day.

Ivo Graham

Very young looking Ivo Graham has actually been doing comedy for almost ten years. He began at 18 and won Best Newcomer not long after. This is not his first trip to Australia, either, though he was not here for comedy. Ivo happily went to school in Sydney for 3 whole years as a child before being dragged back to Old Blighty to attend Eton, the most prestigious private school in England. He was able to keep some of the notorious bullying at bay with his knowledge about Neighbours. Unsurprisingly he is an intelligent comedian and has chosen his material for the Melbourne International Comedy Festival well. After introducing himself and background, the body of his set was one lovely long story about going on family holidays and it was a treat. Ivo, has the instinct of a brilliant comedian and having almost finished the usual ten years apprenticeship is on his way to becoming a household name.

Eleanor Tiernan

Eleanor Tiernan (yes she is related to Tommy Tiernan, she’s his cousin) took up comedy latish in life. There is a sense that she knows she must prove herself to her family and friends back home and her talent should see her well there. She’s moved to London and is fairly outspoken about the backward treatment of women in Ireland and also has some very funny  share-house stories to impart. Eleanor is mature, strong, opinionated and also a pretty experienced comedian, so adding her to a ‘New Order’ line up seems a bit odd but this is less about newcomers and more about who is about to become a household name and Eleanor is certainly well suited to this really strong line-up.

Darren Harriott

Darren Harriott has some more, somewhat hairier share-house tales to tell, and unsurprisingly he tells them well with many laughs. Darren has the roughest background and is able to make light of it with confidence and charm. Not surprising that he was also nominated last year for Best Newcomer at The Edinburgh Fringe Festival Comedy Awards and is well on his way to a stellar career.

If there was a theme that brings these four acts together it’s single life in the big city of London, the other is that they are all very talented comedians. For me Laura was the standout and I’ll definitely be hoping to see her again, but they were all really good. New Order is definitely one of the strongest line up shows I’ve seen at Melbourne International comedy and is definitely recommended to pop on your Festival list.

New Order is on at The Melbourne Town Hall


This Arthur’s Seat Belongs to Lionel Richie

By Ron Binghmam

A free Fringe show with a difference, a venue with the best view in Edinburgh. Matthew Fearns has been dragging audiences and equipment up to the top of Arthurs Seat for his show This Arthur’s Seat Belongs to Lionel Richie since 2007 (when he had to change his name to Lionel Richie to get away with the show’s title). This year, instead of performing every day of the fringe rain, hail or shine Matthew is only doing it once, and slightly lower down, rain, hail or shine. The acts who gathered on a flat bit just down from the top of Arthur’s Seat were Phil Kay, Joel Dommett, Eleanor Tiernan, Jonny Awesum and of course host Matthew Fearns/Lionel Richie, who also improvised some pre-show musical mash-ups on the portable speaker system he had lugged up the hill, which then broke just before the first act took to the “stage”.

But before the show was officially allowed to start we all had to enter the venue, via a free standing door frame, also specially lugged up the hill. Then everyone was permitted to go back to their picnics and prepare for a great afternoon. Act one was Joel who sang a couple of songs and shouted a bit of banter.Phil Kay on Arthurs Seat Then we had Phil Kay, who also sang a few songs while wandering through the crowd like a demented minstrel and teasing some of the dogs who had joined the party, before ending his set by skipping merrily over the hill and out of sight (towards the car park) still playing the guitar. Next was Eleanor who did a funny bit of stand-up about the recent Irish referendum and the Scottish referendum as well as a little bit about being single. Finally we had Jonny, who sang a lovely little song (to fool us into thinking he was friendly) before dragging two couples out of the audience to perform a square dance called by him, which was titled ‘Lets all go dogging’. After he had finished, we all had to exit through the door frame, donating a nominal sum for expenses.

This was an excellent hour of fun, with the added bonus of the regular joggers and hikers and dog walkers walking straightLionel Richies Arthurs Seat audience through the middle of the stage area ignoring all us tourists and the acts. My one recommendation for next year (and it will return no doubt) is; if you’re an unfit or “tired” comedy lover, try and start the walk up the hill early (or do like the acts and many in the audience did, and drive round to the car park at the back and saunter up the easy side). At a good pace, going up the city facing (or vertical) side will take around half an hour, but it’s a great location for comedy and sightseeing and sending bragging pictures to friends and family.

This show is over for 2015, but look out for it in 2016.