Kirsty Webeck – I’ll Be The Judge Of That

By Lisa Clark

Kirsty Webeck is a born comedian, with comedy in her bones and it’s always wonderful to see a comedian grow and get better and better at their craft with each show. This year she is also trying to grow as a human being.

Kirsty has always been a welcoming and kind performer, cultivating her warm relationship with her audience through Social Media to live on stage. She has always approached her audience as a friend. She assumes we will accept her as she is and that we are both, comedian and audience, safe in the space. She skillfully brings the audience along in her performance, explaining the obscure stuff, asking if we all understand some things that might be culturally specific to Australians. She wants no one left behind.

I’ll Be The Judge Of That is made up of several stories about why she is trying to be more open and accepting of other people’s differences and opinions. Beginning with the universality of food and its etiquette, the laughs are immediate, generous and don’t stop throughout. A simple airport story becomes epic as she throws in all her airport jokes one after another to keep the laughter rolling. Her monumental centre-piece is an achingly embarrassing tale of the time a simple gig, hosting a Show-Band afternoon performance, goes horribly, horribly wrong and it is hilarious.

The stories can be about uncomfortable experiences and awkward social situations, and though Kirsty owns her place in them, she doesn’t belittle herself, or put herself down. She is always our hero, recognising where others are misjudging her, or celebrating those who show kindness and support.

Kirsty famously laughs throughout her set, it’s not that she’s laughing at her own jokes, as much as she’s just having a jolly old time and assures us that our laughter is really making her feel great too. The happy vibe is infectious and you can take your friends knowing everyone will have a brilliant time with a smashing comedian and come out smiling. Kirsty is killing it, but she’s choosing to Kill with Kindness.

Kirsty Webeck – I’ll Be The Judge Of That at The Westin 3 at 6pm til April 21. There is an extra show at 4.30pm on April 20.

Kirsty Webeck : Chuck A Sickie

By Lisa Clark

Kirsty Webeck performs like a friend regaling hilarious stories from her life in a pub or at a Barbeque. She is the life of the party and Chuck a Sickie is fantastic show to bring your mates to for a brilliant night at the Festival.

Many of her uproarious tales do involve medical emergencies of various kinds that from anyone else might make you worried for them but with Kirsty you are in the safe hands of a brilliant comedian. She can turn a slip up in the street into a rip roaring epic saga. I have heard some of her stories before, tried out at stand up spots, and it’s impressive how they have evolved and become fleshed out with many more jokes that land perfectly.

At the top of the show Kirsty says she’s not going to talk about Covid, but when you are telling stories about your life, and let’s face it that has been our life for the past year, they can’t help but have a whiff of Covid about them at times. She references all the walking we were suddenly doing and finding herself being the stay at home housewife to her essential worker partner, who is a nurse. Everything is kept light and fun, and there’s always a twinkle in her eye.

Kirsty’s standup can be delightfully surprising, going off into slightly surreal flights of fancy at times, like she is just having so much fun in the storytelling and the audience gets swept away with her. At the same time she is somehow down to earth and always relatable.

Not long ago I would’ve said that Kirsty was an up and coming comedian to watch, but she’s no longer up and coming. She’s there.

Chuck A Sickie is on at Comedy Republic until April 18

Kirsty Webeck Chipper

By Jess Welch 

Kirsty Webeck is Chipper. That is a great description for the joyful comedian, as she weaves tales of her life and the things she’s noticed in the world around her. She welcomes the audience with a beaming smile and talks to us for an hour as if we are friends.

Webeck’s style is classic – stories from her life, interspersed with observations of the differences in languages, the things that change as we get older, the differences between this thing and that, with a few stereotypes thrown in. It’s the traditional set-up, well worn and familiar. It’s an incredibly easy show to enjoy, by just going with the flow and letting Webeck entertain us.

The stories she tells are both outrageous and relatable in turns. The audience goes with her on the journey and loves every second. The stories of touring around Australia and on cruise ships give the audience a little taste of what touring must be like and the strange things that can happen to comedians on the road. While most of us aren’t travelling comedians, it’s always fun to hear the trials and tribulations of living on the road, or the sea.

One thing that did detract from the show was the retelling of a common Facebook video comment as a stand-up bit. For those who hadn’t seen the comment before, it seemed to be funny. For those who had, the inclusion seemed a bit out of place. It seemed unnecessary, as the other material was much stronger and personal.

The stories from her life are the highlight of the show and are incredibly endearing. It’s obvious to see why she is steadily rising up the ranks to become a regular in comedy rooms around Australia.

Chipper is on at The Imperial Hotel.

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Midsumma Comedy Extravaganza

By Lisa Clark 

Bobby Macumber
Midsumma Extravaganza

Midsumma Comedy Extravaganza was exactly that, a big extravaganza of gay comedy. Thomas Jaspers has put this together brilliantly with every performer in the right part of the bill doing what they do best and they all chip in to help create a party atmosphere.

The audience are up for it and the performers delivered. Joel Creasey was, of course, a consummate host providing a lot of goss about living on the island and hanging out with Marcia Brady on a reality show. He’ll be dining out on that for many years to come no doubt. His finding-himself-at-an-orgy material also goes down a treat.

First up on the deck is the relaxed and affable Kirsty Webeck, who’s standup I’ve seen only once before and tonight I can appreciate how she’s developed the new comedy ideas she was trying out then, into some pretty solid material that had the audience in fits. It was a beautiful and hilarious set about dealing with other people’s perceptions of you. Her Festival show this year is bound to be a cracker. Kirsty is creating a strong and confident, crowd pleasing stage persona and is definitely one to keep an eye on.

I’ve not seen Bobby Macumber in a few years and realise, I’ve been missing out. She’s developed into a very fine storytelling comedian. Bobby is definitely in her comfort zone here, playing on the home ground and it’s a joy to experience. Families-being-embarrassing stories, but from the gay family member’s perspective and the room was in full empathy with her hilarious experiences.

Rhys Nicholson is a comedian at the top of his game and match ready for the Festival season. This is mostly new material, which I heard him talking about later on Dave O’Neil’s fabulous podcast – The Debrief, but you would never know Rhys hadn’t been doing it for a year. Sharp and sassy as ever, he knew this was a safe space to get laughs from some very adult sex and drugs material and he was right. Definitely the highlight of the evening and often the highlight of any comedy evening, Rhys is on his way to stardom.

Perhaps knowing that Rhys is a hard act to follow, Joel Creasey was back to reset the audience ready for a lesser known comedian Lori Bell who brought an Adelaide perspective to the night. Lori is better known as Granny Flaps and has been performing as Granny for several years, I’ve not seen her perform stand up as herself before and it was right up there with the high standard  of the rest . I hope to see a lot more of her.

Finally Dolly Diamond brought the cabaret to the night. Dolly does good old fashioned British cabaret, she feels like a cross between Dick Emery’s Mandy (“Oooh You Are Awful”) and Julian Clary. She does fairly good insulting crowd work, is quick on the witty aside and has the audience join her in a song or two. I saw her die the death at the Festival Club a couple of years ago with material that came across as dated and tired, but here she shines with radiant exuberance, being a total contrast with the rest of the night and gives the audience a big finish with a silly singalong to go home on.

This was a fabulous one off experience at Midsumma, an explosion of joy in the comfortable surrounds of the Fairfax Studio at The Arts Centre that was packed out with happy punters. Hopefully the well named Extravaganza will be back next year with another memorable line up.

Midsumma Comedy Extravaganza was at The Fairfax Studio at The Arts Centre on Jan 24.