Ben Russell & Xavier Michelides – Nö Shöw

By Elyce Phillips Xavier M & Ben Russell pic

Ben Russell and Xavier Michelides stage every comedian’s nightmare in Nö Shöw – a show where it is always opening night and no-one has shown up to watch. It’s an absurd narrative comedy that twists into some weird places, but brings the laughs the whole way through.

Nö Shöw begins in a straightforwardly amusing way, with a ridiculous song about boners, but soon transforms into something a whole lot more interesting. Russell and Michelides break down their own performances from within the show, frequently stepping aside to discuss how it is going. Different tangents show where the performers picked up their skills, and what they might be doing if they’d chosen a path other than comedy. Russell endeavours to hide the lack of audience from Michelides throughout, leading to some bizarre crowd work.

Russell and Michelides are talented performers and it’s a delight to see them on stage together. Both have an aptitude for playing characters and that is brought to the fore, particularly when Russell plays various members of the non-existent audience. The duo make for a good combination, Michelides’ caricature of innocent ignorance butting up against Russell’s brash, almost Vaudevillian demeanour. It takes a lot of skill to pull off a show that’s this high-concept and introspective without it disappearing up itself, and Russell and Michelides have absolutely proven themselves to be up to the task. Nö Shöw is consistently funny, undercutting the cleverness with goofy visual gags and a dash of crassness.

If you’re up for a bit of late-night weirdness, Nö Shöw is something different from two Golden Gibbo-nominated comedians and well worth checking out.

Ben Russell & Xavier Michelides – Nö Shöw is on at the Imperial Hotel

Xavier Michelides – Bad Accents and Inconsistent Mimes

By Elyce Phillips Xavier Michelides

The audience almost had to make a difficult decision at Xavier Michelides’ Bad Accents and Inconsistent Mimes last night. You see, there were only nine of us, and according to Michelides 10 is the magic number you need to ensure you don’t feel horribly self-aware as you laugh. So if we didn’t make it to 10, we could choose to go our separate ways. But as we faced this dilemma, a handful more joined our ranks and we averted disaster. It was lucky for us, as Bad Accents and Inconsistent Mimes is a thoroughly hilarious hour of stand-up.

Michelides’ show delivers what it promises, but aside from the shonky accents and dodgy mimes there is a whole lot of quick wit and well-crafted jokes. His recent stints working on cruise ships provide some great material, as well as an excuse for some terrible puns. Michelides has also been hitting up the one-year-old birthday party circuit. His opinions on babies are harsh, but fair. There’s no overriding theme to the show. It’s just a bunch of really great jokes told by a hard-working comedian at the top of his game.

Michelides is likeable and interacts well with the audience. Given we were a smaller group, the show got a little loose at some points where he tested out some alternate punchlines to see which we preferred. It was an interesting little insight into Michelides’ process.

Michelides is performing some truly excellent stand-up right now and frankly it’s mind-boggling that he’s not playing to packed houses every night. Bad Accent and Inconsistent Mimes had the audience laughing the whole way through. It’s straight-up hits, no misses. The show finishes up this week, so hurry along before you miss it.

Xavier Michelides – Bad Accents and Inconsistent Mimes is on at the Imperial Hotel until April 12

Comedy Xmas Shows Are Coming to Town

By Lisa Clark

All around Melbourne the comedy venues are putting together Christmas shows with more laughs than you’ll find in any Christmas Cracker. We put together a list and you can check it twice. These are all the Christmas shows we know about, coming to Melbourne this December, including some exciting live podcast recordings.


The Bella Union Bar is in a Seriously Festive mood and has a lot of Christmas cheer to offer. Comedy wise there are three main offerings.

Sweetest Plum – How the Plum Stole Christmas 
Podcasters Nick Maxwell and Declan Fay will present their usual razor sharp banter**, with a star-studded line-up of celebrity guests***

**   Razor sharp banter is not guaranteed.
*** Star-studded line-up may just be Gatesy, on a stool, with a guitar
Date: 14th December, 2014
Time: 5:00pm
Price: $20/15


After Dinner Mint Christmas Spectacular By The Lords Of Luxury 
The final After Dinner Mint of the year features:
– Master of the dark arts, David Quirk
– Masters of mayhem, Aunty Donna
– Master of sideburns, Hairy Soul Man aka Kai Smythe
Plus many special guests AND a visit from the one and only Santa Claus!

Hosted by The Lords of Luxury with music from Gillian Cosgriff.

Date: Tuesday December 9
Time: 8:30pm.
Price: Presale $12/9  or $15/10 at the door


A Swinging Bella Christmas 

This will be a musical comedy show with MC Casey Bennetto and his co-host being comedy chanteuse Geraldine Quinn with their band the Bella All Stars. On Thursday 18th the special guests will be Alan Brough and Mike McLeish and on Friday the special guests will be Tripod so you can no doubt go to both and are pretty much guaranteed a sensational time.

Thur 18 Dec 2014
Fri 19 Dec 2014

Time: 7:30pm
Price: $35 Full $30 Group $25 Conc



What The Dickens!

Travel back in time to 1851, to Victorian England and the great age of discovery and storytelling. Created from your suggestions, tales of sweet-hearted heroes, sickly orphans, bumbling constables and winsome ladies are woven into a new, unique Dickensian tale every night.

Play parlour games like Poor Pussy, the Laughing Game and join Melbourne’s finest improvisors for mince pies and some Christmas cheer in the wonderful ‘curiosity shoppe’ that is The Butterfly Club.

Wednesday 17 December 2014    6:00pm
Thursday 18 December 2014     7:00pm
Friday 19 December 2014  7:00pm
Saturday 20 December 2014     7:00pm
Sunday 21 December 2014       6:00pm

Price $28/23


The Comedy Gallery @ Jacksons Christmas 
Jacksons – 8 Jackson Street Toorak

With Marty Fields, Nelson Twins, Andrew Brown, Dale Craig and Mayumi Nobetsu

Date: Tue  16 Dec
Price: $25 SHOW ONLY  $50 MEAL & SHOW – contact details for dinner and show bookings – 9827 8244
Time: 8.30


THE GH HOTEL (formally Greyhound Hotel) St Kilda

Joel Creasey’s Office Christmas Party 

Joel Creasey and special guests share their Christmas tales, disasters and songs. Join Australia’s finest comedians and celebrities at Joel’s office Christmas party!

Seating is unallocated- come down early for some pre-show Christmas cheer!

This is an ALL AGES event however anyone under 18 must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian.

Date: Sat 6th December, 2014
Time: 7:00pm (Doors open at 6pm for 7 – 8:30pm show.)
Price: $30 or $33.80 with Booking fee

Bookings through Moshtix


LOCAL LAUGHS presented by Janet A Mcleod 

At The Local Taphouse – 184 Carlisle St StKilda

With Janet’s famous Christmas style, decorations, the inimitable Andrew McClelland as MC and guests who so far include: Matt Elsbury, Rusty Berther, Dilruk Jayasinha and Cal Wilson, it’s sure to be a jolly good wiz bang night.

Date: Mon 22nd Dec
Time: 8.30pm
Price: $15/12



238 Victoria St Melbourne (opposite Queen Vic Market)

The Public Bar Xmas Show

With Steele Saunders, who will be cooking up an all-star mystery line up.

Date: Wed 17 December
Time: 8.30pm
Price: $5



At The Toff in Town, 252 Level 2 Curtain House Swanston St Melbourne.

Have a Christmas celebration with The Shelf. For three Mondays in December, The Shelf team will be rocking the night away with their final show being Dec 15 (So it must be a Christmas Show)

Hosted by Justin Hamilton and Adam Richard, regulars include Cal Wilson, sketch troupe Aunty Donna and Claire Hooper and there  is always a huge line up of very special guests

Date: Mon 15 December
Time: 7.30pm
Price – $25/$30



Spleen Bar, 41 Bourke St Melbourne

Spleen Xmas  Show is having a huge three bracket show that closes with the naming of the 2014 Spleen Comic of the year.


Harley Breen, Oliver Clark, Tommy Little, Greg Larsen, Gary Chook, Xavier Michelides, Nick Cody, Anne Edmonds, Dilruk Jayasinha, Karl Chandler , Steele Saunders and surprise guests!

Date: Mon 15 December
Time: 8.30pm
Price: Gold Coin Donation



The Yarraville Club 135 Stephen St, Yarraville.

Yarraville Laughs has two sparkly fabulous Christmas Shows this year.

The 2014 Christmas Cracker 

Sat 13 Dec

Featuring Denise Scott & Fiona O’Loughlin
Plus Special MC Jeff Green (UK)

A top comedy line-up that will sell out fast.


Dinner & Show: 6:30pm
Show Only: 8pm
Show Starts: 8:30pm

Dinner & Show $100 (Doors open at 6:30pm)
Reserved Seating $55 (Doors open at 7:30pm)
General Admission $45 (Doors open at 7:30pm)

EFFIE in A Date With Effie – ‘Kiss Me Under The Camel-Toe… Sorry, Mistletoe’ 

Sat December 20

Dinner & Show: 6:30pm
Show Only: 8pm
Show Starts: 8:30pm

Ticket Options

Dinner & Show $90 (Doors open at 6:30pm)
Reserved Seating $45 (Doors open at 8pm)
General Admission $35 (Doors open at 8pm)
On the Door $40 (if available)


Also Other Pre Christmas Live Podcast Recordings:

I Love Green Guide Letters 15th Episode Live Spectacular 
At the Last Laugh Comedy Club at the Athenaeum Theatre 188 Collins St Melbourne

With a cast of 1,00s including adorable Channel 9 Newsreader Peter Hitchener

Date: Saturday Dec 6
Time: 3.30pm
Price: $20


Little Dum Dum Club 4th Birthday Show Live 

At Five Boroughs Comedy, 68 Hardware Lane (upstairs), Melbourne.

Tommy Dassalo and Karl Chandler present the usual dickheadery, tips about fast food outlets and some super special guests. Includes an extra post show by Nick Cody

Date: Sunday, December 7,
Time: 4pm.
Price: $21


By Lisa Clark

This was a children’s comedy festival show commissioned by The Arts Centre and they couldn’t have picked a better bunch of people to put this together. Conceived and Directed by Laura Milke Garner the radio play veteran (Whodunnit live Radio plays, 3RRR & much more) and written by Kate McClennan (who’s also in Standard Double) with her esteemed ability to create comedy characters. It is performed by three of the most expressive comedy character actors in Australia; Justin Kennedy, last seen in the gorgeous romantic comedy Donna & Damo (2010), Lana Schwarz (actress /puppeteer, co-creator of Puppet Slam) and Xavier Micheledis (who’s solo show at MICF this year is Good Morning! but was also invited to perform with Rich Fulcher in Tiny Acts of Rebellion).  All brimming with charisma and joy they play multiple roles and are supported by the hardest working sound tech at the Festival, Brett Maverix, making all the amazing sound effects in the story, because this show is done in the style of an old fashioned radio play. Brett and his props take up half the stage!

All the kids (and I) are given a paper bag and a rubber glove to add their own special effects when asked. These and other sounds contributed by the audience, such as buzzing bees and gasps and dinosaurs, were signaled by large cards with pictures on them. This is all practiced at the outset giving us a taste of what is to come and making you wonder how a dinosaur is going to fit into the story. The story itself was about a brother and sister, Sam (Xavier) and  Maddy (Lana), forgetting their Dad’s birthday and then deciding to do up his shed into a music studio (which they name The Super Speedy Sound Shed)  before he gets home from work. For this they need to go down to the futuristic shopping centre guarded by a store security dog/donkey named Connie.

Justin Kennedy and his adorably rubbery face plays the story’s Narrator and acts as a sort of adult authority to the children who often gleefully ignore his advice to their peril. Justin also plays many of the shop keepers they meet such as Mr Sprodly Sprocket the spring salesman, funk singing Dizzy the musical instrument salesman and Mike of Mike’s Mics. Xavier’s other characters include the kids’ Dad Cyril, the farting flying baboon mirror salesman and Connie the dog/donkey. Lana is absolutely perfect as Maddie and also plays the shopping center announcer and Shirley the train driver. Meanwhile the sound effects guy is running all over the place creating farts with with a tube trumpet, vomit with a fishtank and jelly lumps, and a sound system with a theremin, he also had lots of bells, whistles, shoes to stomp, chains to rattle and glasses to tinkle. Then of course the kids got to join in at regular intervals when the big cardboard signs were held up.

There were a couple of tiny glitches with the first performance of such a complex piece that will be ironed out by these performers quick smart, no doubt. It will also improve as the performers become more familiar with the rather word heavy script and perform to each other and the audience more.  The important thing about it is that the kids were for the most part transfixed, becoming completely involved with what was going on throughout and enjoying the participation when it happened. This is an ambitious kids show put on by a swag of talented people who know how to make sure the adults will get a big kick out of it at the same time.

Super Speedy Sound Shed is only on for 5 shows – at the The Famous Spiegeltent at Arts Centre until Sunday April 7

Xavier Michelides – The Brain Whisperer

By Lisa Clark

Xavier is one of those comedians who’s talent can make your jaw drop and your brain think, “why isn’t he more famous yet?” There are so many superb zany ideas, whacky characters and silly voices packed into his show that in other hands it might have been a bit messy but Xavier’s brain has not let him down.

Xavier has crafted an ingenious network of sketches, monologues, mime and even interpretive dance to map the many aspects we associate with the complex and mysterious brain. The membrane holding the show altogether is a fictional relationship Xavier has with his own brain and although there is much silliness and amusement in them chatting, bickering and splitting up to find new partners, it is this story that gives us a real insight into the brain of a working comedian and an idea of where the show’s concept may have originated.

Xavier’s sketches are all brain related, of course and if I have any faults to pick it would be that there are slightly awkward pauses between them where the audience was unsure about whether to clap and that their might have been a few too many characters for the audience’s poor brains to keep up with. Though Xavier does have a knack for picking the perfect comedy voices to go with his characters. The sketches include; the relationship between Emotions and Memory which were portrayed beautifully as characters in conflict, the inevitable psychiatrist and patient relationship and God and Gabriel discussing faith. A regular running gag is some sudden brain related commercials for products such as drugs to make your dreams continue or ‘celebrity brain snacks’.

A strong aspect of the show is blocks of straight standup comedy by Xavier which are attached to the main membrane of plot, but also inspires off shooting skits. These are conventionally funny and are exceptional examples of how the best comedians are able to slot their stand up gear into an interesting hour long festival show. In one of the skits, Xavier has written a call back that is so impressive that it receives a round of applause.

Xavier has been blessed with a comedian’s funny face and anyone who has seen his nutty TV adverts for this year’s Melbourne International Comedy Festival will agree that his face alone can make you laugh. This is beautifully combined with intelligent writing, perfect comic timing and superb character acting skills. He reminds me a little of a young Rowan Atkinson with loads of potential and a definite star on the rise. This is not a personal heart on sleeve show but it is a very entertaining look into the mind of a very funny guy.

Xavier Michelides – The Brain Whisperer in on at The Portland Hotel