Best of British

By Luke Simmons Dan Willis Brit

With the purpose of this show being to provide a sampler for all these Brit performers’ full length shows, it was a nice try before-you-buy session with them all putting on great mini shows.

Dan Willis (A Whinging Poms Guide) was the MC for the night and played his role well warming up the crowd with a solid five minute set mixing in banter with the crowd while setting down the ground rules for being in his audience. You’d have to see him to hear why he’s one comic who doesn’t mind usage of mobile phones during his show.

He then invited Gordon Southern (Long Story Short) onto the stage as the first comic who delivered the first of the 15 minute sets. Energetic onstage, he likes to use his sampler to weave in random sound effects and clever rap snippets to get laughs. It can be risky running with material on the fly, but he nailed it (most times) gaining laughs from the crowd. The sampling element represents just a component of his act and he’s got a cheeky persona connecting well with the crowd.

Georgie Carroll (Nurse Case Scenario) was next on stage and it was clear from the get go that she’s razor sharp Brit who would smack down anyone if she ever got in a verbal stoush on the street. Carroll recently moved to Australia from Rochdale (north of Manchester) and is currently working as a nurse which turn out to be the key areas covered during her hour long show. She provided a few samples during the show and had the crowd in tears when she shared some stories about her dealings with bogan druggies. So if you’d like to hear them have the piss drained out of them, check her out.

Raymond Mearns (Rock n Roll Comedian: The Therapy Sessions) is a strapping Scottish comedian who sauntered onto the stage and slipped into his dry humour which is generously laced with self-deprecation. Delivering with a thick Scot accent, he’s a veteran of the circuit in the UK and clearly knows what he’s doing when he’s on the mic. Having worked on a cruise ship as a comedian which stopped by Croatia, he’ll no doubt bring up stories from that trip which would be worth the ticket price to his one-long show.

Markus Birdman (Grim Realities) then rounded off the set and immediately won over the audience over with his stage presence. He is a smooth talker and doesn’t mind using a bit of movement on the stage to compliment his gags. He wove in stories about being a single 40 something guy and used changes in tone and pace to great effect. He’s a polished comic and rounded off the night well and left a great impression with everyone in the room.

Best of British is on at the Exford Hotel until April 19

Set List

By Ellyse O’Halloran

Set List is a rollercoaster ride of randomness, hilarity and fun where comedians are given a never before seen set list and are forced to improvise a set in front of your eyes. After seeing the show last year and loving it, I was so eager to go back again and it definitely did not disappoint. Troy Conrad is the mastermind behind Set List with the help of Paul Provenza who MCs the show and does a fantastic job of warming the crowd up and creating a supportive atmosphere and great vibe.

On Saturday the lineup included Celia Pacquola, Gordon Southern, Dave Bloustein, Sam Simmons, Sara Pascoe and Sean Cullen and the topics ranged from ‘Loans for Dogs’ to ‘Non-Sexual Hand Job’. We see the topics at the same time as the comedians and it’s so entertaining watching them squirm and sometimes even be surprised by their own wit and intelligence.

The room is packed with supportive punters, who are asked by Provenza to be the ‘wind beneath the comics’ wings’. No one is there to see the comics fail, they are there to witness in real-time how comics develop content.

One of the greatest things about the show is that you don’t know what to expect and neither do the people on stage. Every performance will be completely different from the last with new comedians and new topics each night. It’s a show I’d encourage you to see multiple times, as different comedians tackle the beast in different ways.

There’s something special about knowing that the entertainment is unique to the night and is for this audience and this audience only. You can try to explain how hilarious and sidesplitting certain gags were, but more often that not you’ll find all the moments during Set List were had-to-be-there moments. It has to be seen to be believed so be prepared to convert the non-believers by taking them with you to enjoy another night of improvised hilarity.

Set List is on at the Victoria Hotel until April 19

Best of British

By Alanta Colley

The Best of British offers a veritable smorgasbord of British talent; touting the quirks and charms of the Mother Country’s funny folk. This is a good place to get along to if you wish to find out what the British find funny about Australia.

The show offers a comedy taster for those wanting to sample comics before committing to a full hour with just one of them.  Those in the line-up all have shows on elsewhere as part of the Comedy Festival.

While the line-up varies nightly, on this particular night we were graced with the comedy of Tom Binns of ‘IT Crowd’ Fame. Binns shared with us his persona of DJ Ivan Brackenbury; host to Hospital Radio FM, who performed hilariously inappropriate song dedications to a litany of patients in the hospital. He was uproariously entertaining.

Geoff Boyz represented Scotland on the night; with an eclectic array of observational humour and impersonations. The inherently affable Gordon Southern was a true highlight of the night; providing a particularly British interpretation of the character of Australia’s geography. Southern’s analysis of Australia’s obsession with AFL cut to the core of our National psyche. Southern’s potted history of the colonial invasions of America then Australia was clever and concise.

I’m not sure how it was all coordinated, but the vast majority of the people in the audience were also British. While the show delivered an expected cocktail of jokes about being drunk, Post-colonial jibes about cricket, and bawdy one-liners about wives and women, it exceeded expectations.

The all-male nature of the line-up was a little boring; I’m pretty sure the UK has lady comedians as well. Aside from this the night was a little like a kebab, solid, delicious, and pleasurable in its predictability. A worthy addition to your comedy consumption this festival.

Best of British is on at The Exford Hotel until April 20

Gordon Southern – The Kerfuffle

By Ron Bingham 

Gordon Southern is from Scotland, married to an Australian and living in Brixton. Apparently kerfuffle is a Scottish word, which is a fun fact. The audience were mostly from Scotland today, the ‘two for one’ Monday on a bank holiday brings them out, (according to Gordon – I’m not the one doing the racial stereotyping). The room is full and rather steamy.

The show has Gordon talking about his parents, living in Brixton during the riots, last year’s Jubilee and being married to a girl from South Australia (by the way, the number of UK comedians to go to Australia for a wife…. is there some sort of website where this gets organised?). It was a very subdued audience for the show this evening and Gordon wasn’t getting the laughs he expected at some points during the show, which I think was putting him off (he did mention the lack of response a couple of times).

There is a lot of good material in the show and it should become more polished as the festival goes on. The only props Gordon uses are some small animals and a sound machine. There are a couple of rap songs to finish the show and a tiny smidgeon of Greek mythology. Gordon’s interaction with the audience is polished and his fake biographies of a couple of audience members is well worked into the routines that follow. The stories about his dad and wife are well told and funny, but some of the linking material is a bit more edgy and experimental.

You can see it now while it’s cheap and he is still experimenting with his new material or wait a week or so until it’s (hopefully) seamless. The Kerfuffle would also have benefited from a more boisterous audience, but it was only 5.45pm and they’d only just started drinking.

Gordon Southern – The Kerfuffle is on at The Gilded Balloon Teviot at 5.45pm

Five Good Reasons to See: Lessons with Luis, Elbowskin, Gordon Southern & Die Roten Punkte

Five good reasons to see LESSONS WITH LUIS PRESENTS

1. My dad, my little brother and me just won the the Victorian Raw Comedy final with our funny jokes.

2. My dad is not feeling well and we need to be famous to help him get a new kidney.

3. I will teach you about different things and you will learn about different things.

4. I will sing fun songs! There will be a song about cats, because I love cats.

5. My mum will be proud of me from heaven.


Five good reasons why ELBOWSKIN’S – ‘HEY DIDDLE DIDDLE’ is a must!
1. “It’s Elbowskin’s greatest achievement to date… They just got
really good” – reviewer

2. Elbowskin are unleashing their debut hip-hop performance

3. We told our mums we’re really famous and that we’ll be playing to
sold out audiences… And they’re actually going to come this year….
+ it’s really cheap.

4. What you thought was right is wrong

5. What you thought was left is actually stage right



1. It’s the entire history of the world, with jokes, in an hour. You will not find a faster comedy show, or one with more jokes/ facts/ tiny historical raps.

2. A brief history of history is a must see for all people who remember the past. History is literally in the title of the show… Twice!

3. I’m a good comedian.

4. It is a multi- media extravaganza from the 1990’s. There is a battered old digital sampler from the early days of big beat dance music, a powerpoint presentation and a comedian who was also a comedian in the (late) 90’s.

5.  Some people saw it in Adelaideand it made them happy.


Five Good Reasons to see DIE ROTEN PUNKTE – EUROSMASH!

1. These are the last gigs Otto and Astrid are doing in Australia before they head off for another long tour in north American.

2. Astrid has a new song called Body Slam about wrestling, food and sex. She also has an incredible new silver dress!

3. There’s more choreography than ever before.

4. Otto has a new song about a date he went on inNew York called Look at my Fruit.

5. It’s in the most beautiful venue at the festival, The Famous Spiegeltent.