MICF Award Nominees Announced

There are seven Nomineed shows for The Barry Award this year.

Hannah Gadsby who is doing two shows – her personal show about surviving her teen years and becoming an adult – Happiness is a Bedside Table and her art show which this year is called Nakedly Nudes and is becoming a bit of a tradition and sells out pretty quickly.

John Conway – The New John Conway Tonight Show. An anarchic crazy late night chat show.

Kitty Flanagan, for Hello Kitty Flanagan. A stunning performer who came back to Australia from the UK a couple of years ago for which are all immensely grateful.

Max & Ivan Are Con Artists –  British performers who’ve been getting some good reviews. (I’ve clearly not seen them)

Michael Workman with another magical lyrical story Ave Lorretta.

Rich Hall he’s so fabulous his show doesn’t need a name. He kicked ass at Political Asylum’s Late Night Riot too.

Trevor Noah The Racist. He’s South African and have heard fabulous things about him.


Now for this year’s Nominees for The Golden Gibbo! (Named in honour of the late Melbourne comedian Lynda Gibson it is awarded to “a local, independent show that bucks trends and pursues the artist’s idea more strongly than it pursues any commercial lure”.)

Kate McLennan & Wes Snelling for their Moosehead awarded, site specific work Standard Double. A character  based show set in a hotel room that can only hold a small audience.

Simon Keck – Nob Happy Sock – For his moving and amazing show about depression with the most heart stopping opening of the festival

Slutmonster and Friends (Jessie Ngaio, Lucas Heil & Wes Gardner) – a gorgeously designed, joyful celebration of sex, silliness and puppets.

Tommy Bradson – Sweet Sixteen or the Birthday Party Massacre. Rock Musical satire of suburbia.

The Writers (Bob Franklin, Stephen Curry and Stephen Stagg) – What goes on in the mind of Bob Franklin?


The Best Newcomer nominees were announced on Tuesday April 16th they are….

Damien Power – Monkey’s in Space

Dayne Rathbone – It’s Me Dayne and The New Conway Tonight Show.

Luke McGregor – My Soulmate is Out of My League

and Steen Raskopoulos – Bruce SpringSTEEN LIVE IN CONCERT!

Congrats to all the 2013 Nominees, Winners will be announced next Saturday April 20th (well… actually early Sunday morning)  at the Comedy Festival Club Hifi Bar

Slutmonster and Friends

By Colin Flaherty

Slutmonster and Friends tells the tale of two bickering brothers, Larch (Lucas Heil) and Bovril (Wes Gardner) who find themselves at Death’s Door in a strange land. They meet a furry hermaphroditic creature (Jessie Ngaio) and her woodland friends, and proceed to descend further into madness. It’s a sick, twisted and perverted play that’s gutbustingly hilarious.

With a brightly coloured day-glo set featuring phallic mushrooms and tit covered trees, it was apparent that this was going to be a gaudy, over the top and lewd production. The monster’s bright pink costume complete with breasts and large schlong was as brilliant as it was disturbing and is sure to grasp the attention of the Furry crowd. Colourful, innocent puppet characters (operated by each of the trio when their characters were off stage) were a perfect contrast to the dark story by adding some cheerful optimism to the events.

At it’s core this show was a musical with many jaunty songs giving background details to the action. This contrast between content and delivery provided the comedic power. The graphic lyrical imagery provoked guilty nervous laughter as well as belly laughs as you tapped your toe to the upbeat music.

Heil and Gardner bounced brilliantly off one another as a comedic duo. They stuck to their roles of straight man and wacky guy but each got their fair share of amusing Pythonesque lines. The script delivered plenty of laughs while progressing the plot at a quick clip. The duo also got to flex their dramatic muscles as the story approached the gates of hell. Their physical performances were great with slapstick and exaggerated simulated sex pulled off with ease.

Ngaio’s performance as the monster was wonderful; grinning like an ignorant idiot as all sorts of deviant sexual acts were performed on her and plenty of gruesome carnage occurred. The strange animalistic eroticism exuded by her was exploited for many laughs. It was the classic portrayal of the misunderstood monster protagonist.

The dramatic structure to this show was brilliant. Animated segments employed the “unreliable narrator” literary device by portraying a fairytale-style sanitised version of the depraved events taking place on stage. When the shit hit the fan at the dramatic apex, the darkness was drawn out beyond breaking point; a point which would kill any other comedy show. Following it up with the stupidest sequence imaginable to release the tension was a master stroke. There were plenty of plot twists to keep the audience on their toes and divert the plot from obvious places. Although some action took place off stage, hints in the form of clever props and off the cuff remarks by particiants let the audience put together the gruesome details.

This show may look simple and purely base on the surface, but there is a depth to it that will provoke discussion afterwards. Allusions to The Tempest and a visual nod to a CSI trope had it pulling literary references from all corners with many elements still being discovered on the drive home. In fact most audience members were laughing and chatting about it all the way onto the street. It’s such an affective piece that I could have sworn I heard someone humming the Slutmonster’s theme song!

Despite the use of puppets, the late night time slot and vivid language in the blurb ensure that this show won’t be mistaken for family friendly fare. It certainly won’t appeal to the prudish but if you like your humour on the perverted side, you’ll be gagging for more.

Slutmonster and Friends is on at Club Voltaire until October 14.
For Further info visit the Melbourne Fringe website http://www.melbournefringe.com.au/fringe-festival/show/slutmonster-and-friends/