Line By Line

By Colin Flaherty

side by side
Line By Line pretty much did what it says on the tin – two comedians stood on stage and alternated in telling one liners and short jokes. The result was an entertaining half hour of silliness.

For the most part the jokes followed no rhyme nor reason in their ordering and covered a plethora of topics, although the duo had a penchant for gags about sex and violence (though not in the same sentence!). They ranged from clever to stupid, wordplay to absurd, puns to Dangerfield-esque quips. Occasional they created a run of gags on a particular topic but for the most part a scattergun approach was used.

While he had some great material in his arsenal, Rohan Ganju’s delivery of his material was appalling. His time on stage consisted of shuffling through a huge pile of cards to select his next gag and reading it verbatim in the most uninterested manner imaginable. Perhaps this slacker persona was deadpan shtick (there nothing that could be construed as a wink to the audience, just a numbness) but for someone advertising that he was a runner up in Raw Comedy, I would expect just a hint of professionalism.

Geoff Setty on the other hand had a wonderful stage persona displaying plenty of enthusiasm and wonderful timing. Even though he resorted to a set list half way through, he recited his jokes from memory and sold them hard regardless of their worthiness. Setty was the main instigator of banter between this pair and was quick to offer up a witty aside and cleverly deal with a few late-comers entering the tiny venue.

Overall they were a curious odd couple that kinda worked in this ramshackle world that they had created. Setty did the majority of the audience engagment while Ganju was in his own little world and became the butt of some gentle humorous insults. It was cute when each declared that they had run out of jokes towards the end of their time but there was also the sneaking suspicion that they actually had and were indeed this poorly prepared. If you’re looking for a slick fringe show, you’re probably in the wrong place.

Although this was a fun and silly distraction before a big Saturday night at the Fringe, it remains to be seen if people are prepared to pay a premium for such a slight show. Its short running time ensures this duo doesn’t outstay their welcome but you could probably get the same experience of scruffy stand up comedians telling one-liners at any one of this city’s many weekday rooms for half the price.

Line By Line is on at the Courthouse Hotel until October 3rd

5 Good reasons to see Line by Line

1. Rohan Ganju and Geoff Setty present a unique funny show offering one liner after one liner. Alternating at times and really trying to make each other laugh.

2. The fun happens when the wheels fall off and the audience don’t laugh as much as we’d like. That’s when the duo go ‘to town’ on each other.

3. The one liners offer a mixture of popular culture references, black comedy and ridiculous puns.

4. Bouncing off each other like squash-balls in a small oven, Ganju and Setty offer an exclusive show each time its performed – with different one liners, different reactions and different audiences.

5. Ganju was the Runner-up in Raw Comedy 2015 and Setty has been described as ‘definitely on the up and up’ – Squirrel Comedy MICF review,  so they aren’t going to be entirely crap.

Line by Line is on at at the Courthouse Hotel on Saturday 19 Sept, 26 Sept and 3rd Oct


Melbourne International Comedy Festival Awards 2015

Well what an amazing Festival it’s been this year. So many shows were on offer (over 500) that it took longer for the Award Committee to get their Nominations ready for announcement. So many we could only touch the surface in our reviews. We try to cover a broad range with a focus on smaller local acts. We’ve all seen a lot of shows and every one of us has put in a lot of voluntary work. We do it for love. Because we are fans of comedy and we want to share our love.

Thanks to the Squirrel Team, to the Melbourne International Festival team for giving Melbourne one of the best Festivals in the world and to the performers who give their hearts and souls to entertain people and bring us joy in many varied and amazing ways.

Awards are difficult. If the Melbourne International Comedy Festival has taught us anything it’s that there are Many different ways to make us laugh; from improvised silent clowning to Musical Comedy supported by a symphony orchestra at Hamer Hall to a solo wordsmith in a spotlight with nothing but their words. How can you say one performer is better than another? Yet it feels good to celebrate excellence and give performers something to aim for.

Honestly any comedian who performed all of their shows and feels good about them and the majority of their audiences is a success. Bravo!

Just a note to let you know that The People’s Choice Award this year was not a vote, as such. It went to the comedian who sold the most tickets.

Our Warmest Congratulations to:

Barry Award (Best Comedy Performer) Winner: Sam Simmons – Spaghetti For BreakfastLaura Davis Ghost

Golden Gibbo Award (Independant & Creative show) Winner: Laura Davis – Ghost machine

Piece of Wood (Peer Voted – Comedian’s Choice): Anne Edmonds You Know What I’m Like!

Director’s Choice Award winner: Matt Okine  – The Other Guy

Peoples choice: Wil Anderson – Free Wil

Funny Tonne (Audience Member seeing the most [over 100] shows): Sarah Trevarthen

And previously announced:

Class Clowns (Teen competition) Winner:  Will Mckenna (14) from Eltham College (VIC)

RAW Comedy (Newcomer competition) Winner: Angus Gordon (QLD), Runner Up: Rohan Ganju (Vic) Special Mentions: Sam Taunton (Vic) & Jess Perkins (Vic)

Deadly Funny National Final Winner: Nina Kirby  (VIC)

The Deadly Mentorship Award Winner: Karen Edwards (QLD)