Lawrence Mooney – Surely Not

By Noel KelsoMooney

I had never heard of Lawrence Mooney until I moved to Melbourne, which is a shame because I had clearly missed-out on a very funny comedian.

His latest show ‘Surely Not’ is a comedic rumination on all things familial prompted by the demise of a relative back in the UK. This mournful event is the catalyst for a world-crossing journey with his two brothers and prompts a lot of thoughts on the nature of life and death and family relationships, from which Mooney manages to extract a surprising amount of comedy and a healthy dose of pathos.

If you are as much a comedy tragic as myself and go to any of the billions (I counted) of regular comedy rooms which pepper the streets of this city then you will no-doubt have encountered Mooney’s friendly and convivial style of banter many times over. And it’s still funny.

Mooney has been performing on the circuit for twenty years and continues to make people laugh uproariously with his droll observational routines and scathing commentaries on politics and celebrity.

His ability to engage an audience no matter the size is testament to this man’s skills as a storyteller and comedian. Through subtle use of facial expressions and changes in stance he can have people simply incapacitated with laughter through the recognition of the situation being projected through the absurd lens of his world-view.

He talks about travelling to Liverpool to sort the estate of his deceased uncle with his two elder brothers and how the sibling hierarchy established when they were all children still holds sway even though they are in their fifties. This provides ample opportunity for his keen skill for mimicry as he delivers lines in a credible scouse accent.

There is talk of how each child has their place determined by the order in which they arrive and of the strange quirks which well-meaning parents pass-on and can be humiliating when at school. This is a journey through life and the strange little bits early on which can affect you forever and it had the audience in stitches from start to finish.

As a comic, Mooney has a very polished performance style. He is clearly at home on stage and betrays none of the nerves which would beset anyone performing to the large crowds who attend his shows. His ease of delivery when he utters each line has the effect of making the audience give him their complete attention even as they wipe the tears of laughter away from the last comedic jab.

The evening concludes on a touching note with a lovely tribute to his uncle which he and his brothers organised and recorded whilst in Liverpool as a mark of respect.

This is an excellent night out with plenty of laughs and pointed remarks on the nature of family, emotional coping mechanisms and his relief at not having to re-write the show if Tony Abbott had been sacked. All seamlessly connected through laughter.

Lawrence Mooney – Surely Not is playing at The Forum Theatre, Flinders Street until April 5th and then at Melbourne Town Hall from April 14th until 19th.

Five good reasons to see Lawrence Mooney – Surely Not

1. I’m Lawrence Mooney, so you get guaranteed laughs with requisite amounts of filth and philosophy.

2. Surely Not is at the beautiful Forum Theatre. It is a divine Melbourne location and you’ll be wowed and amazed by the glorious decor.

3. It’s about death which doesn’t sound very comic but is and better still it’s incredibly life affirming and piss funny. (Two reasons in one.)

4. There’s a wonderful choir in it too. So there’s a little bit of time to have a cry cry. Bring a tissue.

5. It’s what the properly cool people will be doing but you should still come anyway.

Lawrence Mooney performs Surely Not at the Forum Theatre from now to 5 April, then at the Melbourne Town Hall 14 to 19 April.

Recipients of the 2015 Brian McCarthy Memorial Moosehead Awards

Brian McCarthy Memorial Moosehead Awards are more like a supportive grant and 2 – 4 applicants are chosen each year depending on how exciting and different the ideas are. It is a way of promoting creativity in Comedy and the award includes The Comedy Channel Director’s Grant, which engages a director for each of the Moosehead Award Recipients. If you’ve got some fabulous way out idea for a show that might need some help, you can start thinking about making your application next year.

The winners of the 2015 Moosehead Awards have been announced

They are:


Starring – Bob Franklin, Greg Fleet, Lawrence MooneyBrain child of Steven Gates


Nicholas J Johnson and Sarah Jones



David Quirk

Our congratulations to all of the 2015 Recipients, we look forward to seeing all of these intriguing sounding shows next year during the 2015 Melbourne International Comedy Festival.

For more information check out The Moosehead Awards website:

Lawrence Mooney in Lawrence of Suburbia

By Daniel Sheppard. 

If I was asked to list the most underrated cotmedians in Melbourne, I’d immediately jump for Lawrence Mooney. Everybody seems to know  vaguely  of  Lawrence, with his constant presence on TV and radio but despite the accolades of his peers, he’s never really reached the fame that his talent deserves. Lawrence of Suburbia is yet another showcase of his prodigious talent, and a perfect opportunity for everybody to observe a master at work.

Lawrence is a fantastic storyteller, painting scenes from the suburbs in extraordinary detail. His evocative description of a suburban fish and chips shop in particular was completely immersive, with the perfect blend of nostalgia and humor. Equally, his descriptions of suburban mothers, bike riding and mixed lollies creates an unmistakable image of the 70’s suburban world. Combined with this storytelling is Lawrence’s amazing character work, slipping between childhood wonder and drunken tradesmen without missing a beat. The expressiveness on his face as he recreates the aggressive suburban bogan is astounding.
However, this show is more than just an onslaught of nostalgia for the suburbs of the past. After taking the audience back to the suburbs, Lawrence takes us on his own personal journey of leaving the suburbs and heading into the city. Through university infatuations, sharehousing and the exhaustions of growing up, the tale is brought full circle as Lawrence meets his current partner and heads back out into the burbs. We get to experience his new world without the glare of nostalgia as he settles back into the suburban world.

Lawrence provides a delightful mix of comedy styles, with his storytelling, character work and aspirations to high theatre combined with his willingness to throw in a dick joke when it’s called for. With his natural style, it would be simple to think that Lawrence is just making easy jokes, but it’s just so comfortable on the stage that he makes it look easy. There’s a depth, intelligence and real emotion to that underlies all the humour in the show, but without ever becoming overbearing. Lawrence provides the audience with the quick and easy laughs, but if you want to invest more deeply in a show, there’s a depth here that will carry you through as well.

Normally when somebody asks me to recommend them a comedy show, it’s a long involved process of finding out their likes and dislikes, but this is one of those rare shows that makes the process easy. Whether it’s young or old, newcomers or comedy tragics, this is truly a show that will leave everybody laughing.
Lawrence Mooney is performing Lawrence of Suburbia at Arthurs Bar at Rosati