Nicole Humphreys writes … Deep inside the egg are some very troubled souls. Traumatised adults are still trying to recover from their premature fame as an Anne Geddes baby. What did Anne do to these babies? Sam Allen and Chris Harrigan’s imaginative show takes us through a variety of characters struggling to come to grips […]
Alana Mitchelson writes … It’s one thing for a comedian to playfully poke fun at themselves within a lighthearted context, but this show takes the notion of outlaying your vulnerabilities in the name of comedy to an entirely new headspace. Often using confronting subject matter as a springboard for comic effect, Darkness and Light highlights […]
Paul O’Halloran writes … The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles board game, a monkey journalist and pre-teen love. It sounds like a set up to your average Family Guy joke, but no. These were some of the scenes and characters acted out during the Melbourne Fringe Festival by The Improv Conspiracy, the Chicago-style, improvised-comedy troupe. Hidden […]
Patrick O’Duffy writes … In the early 1980s, Auckland was a wasteland of brutes and cranks. In a dilapidated boarding house, three young men live with their elderly Swiss landlord and his exhausted Samoan wife. Their lives of quiet desperation, rubbish wages and drawer-tongues are only occasionally spiced up with bashing bedpans, attempts to reverse-shoplift Marmite jars and […]
Crikey Laugh Track
Suzy Freeman writes… As the Australian face of Eurovision and host of the hugely successful SBS program RocKwiz, there are certainly more intellectual questions I could ask the considered and articulate Julia Zemiro. But let’s face it, every man, woman or child who has ever donned high heels and a vintage frock wants to know […]
Patrick O’Duffy writes… Laura Davis is 25 years old but still feels like she’s pretending to be an adult, still working out how to assemble the jigsaw puzzle of life.
It’s safe to say there are few comedy shows in the festival that come close to Sabrina D’Angelo’s Body Poet. It’s a strange and somewhat uncomfortable mix of performance art and abstract comedy that has the potential to go somewhere but is stranded by a lack of structure or storyline.
It’s hard not to like Sammy J. He’s got a bird-like appeal that makes his every movement slightly comical on its own. And in a show without his trademark puppets, Potentially still shows Sammy J can hold his own.
Comedians have a rare opportunity that they must use wisely – the chance to air their grievances about the world to a captive audience. Kitty Flanagan makes the most of this, and does so in fine style.
Patrick O’Duffy writes… In 1970s Melbourne, Bunny met Mad-Dog in a pub and a whirlwind, drug-soaked romance was born. It was a time of cheap drugs and luxurious moustaches, of Southern Comfort and V8 Holdens, when people smuggled bread into Chinese restaurants and you could be blonde enough to never need to parallel park
In the rather small Ladies’ Lounge at the Forum Theatre, Geraldine Hickey is definitely in-your-face. Hickey’s Love or a Slab of Fudge is a personal narrative told for comic effect, and it is funny, if you don’t mind some rather crude humour, too-much-information on occasion, and plenty of swearing.
Patrick O’Duffy writes… This is Dave’s first Comedy Festival show, after doing 6-minutes spot in group gigs like the Comedy Hole and the Giggle Gulag. He’s got some great material about sex, footy, women and how Sydney and Melbourne are different, and he’s ready to repeat them over and over again until he gets a […]
There’s no doubt that a night out at a Wil Anderson show will guarantee you a solid laugh. An old hand at radio and a familiar face on our screens, he’s dominated every medium but it’s when he struts his stuff on stage that he’s at his best.
Nina D. Flanagan writes… The crux of this show was the pitfalls of racial stereotyping. Hing discusses career success based purely on positive racism, beginning with a boss who knew he would be hard working because of his ethnicity, despite numerous obvious and irresponsible exploits. Relationship failure due to his girlfriend’s misguided attempt at avoiding […]
Mark Pearce writes… It’s a mystery to me why gay marriage has become such a vexed political issue in Australia. If anything gay marriage, when it comes, will underscore the ‘normalization’ of homosexuality and probably knock off some of its radical activist edge.
Patrick O’Duffy writes… Lemons. Robots. Voluptuous. Cage fighting. Obliquely. These and other words and phrases are pinned up around the stage, and over the course of her show Alice Fraser works all of them into her act – sometimes seamlessly, sometimes more obviously. Similarly, some of the complex, personal concepts in her act fit in […]
Is masculinity still relevant? That’s the burning question of Simon Taylor’s one man debate, a witty, cleverly crafted and stylishly delivered comedy show. Taylor presents a self exploration in a Janus-style fashion, with his opposite traits of manliness and femininity on display for the audience to laugh at and enjoy.
Nicole Humphreys writes… Shenoah Allen and Mark Chavez – The Pajama Men – are talented comedians. They both impress the audience with their assorted repertoire of characters, facial gymnastics and vocal abilities.
Cathy Alexander writes… The poster was terrible, my vodka was in a plastic cup and there was almost no one in the audience. So it was just as well Geraldine Quinn was hilarious.
It seems to be a common theme of this year’s festival – comedians talking about growing up, becoming an adult, getting their own place. Hannah Gadsby’s Happiness is a Bedside Table is in this vein – Gadsby delights in having a safe place for her all-important glasses, in being ‘captain of the fridge’, and in […]
Nicole Humphreys writes… Bart is a quirky and entertaining performer – The Age of Wonder is thankfully not your run-of-the-mill comedy gig. His age of wonder is childhood youth and his cleverly sculpted jokes let the audience reminisce and think about their versions of his anecdotes.
If you’ve ever wondered what it might feel like to be slapped in the face with a dildo, Slutmonster goes some of the way to making that a viable possibility. Thankfully in this instance, the dildo-slapping experience is happening to somebody else. Literally.
Patrick O’Duffy writes… ‘Nob Happy Sock’? What does that mean? Wait, check the poster. Apparently this is a show by Simon Keck about… how he tried to kill himself a few years ago? Does that sound like a good night out? Possibly not, but here’s the thing – yes, it’s a comedy show about attempted […]
Lawrence Leung has garnered a fair bit of street cred and a large devoted audience in past years, partly due to his solid shows at the comedy festival but also his two series on the ABC (of which more is needed please, Aunty). So it was with no surprise that Lawrence Leung’s Part-Time Detective Agency […]
For comedy-goers who are used to stand-up fare of personal anecdote or disconnected one-liners, Anne Edmonds in The Quarter Cabbage will either be a refreshing change or a bit of a shock. The Quarter Cabbage is a mix of theatre and comedy, with Edmonds effectively playing the role of four strangers who each wander into […]
It’s admirable how comfortable Jeff Green is on the stage, as he bounds out from behind the curtain to a crowd that knows him well. A regular performer at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival, his material is solid. Relationships, children, stories from his life, nothing too risky, everything rather safe, and so many laughs that […]
Patrick O’Duffy writes… Identical twins in similar shirts, Ben and James Stevenson could have taken the easy way out and done a show about being twins. Instead, they’ve put together a show about deciding whether to give up regular jobs to become comedians, complete with a tally board for noting the pros and cons of […]
Nina D Flanagan writes… Live on Air with Poet Laureate Telia Nevile was a gamble. For the first ten minutes of this show, I was resolving never to see comedy at the Northcote Town Hall, but then I understood what was going on. This is not standard comedy festival fare: if you go in looking […]
Patrick O’Duffy writes… The Grand Guignol was a 20th century Parisian theatre that became famous for its graphic horror shows. Dave Bloustien borrows the concepts and aesthetics of Grand Guignol to present a show that mixes comedy, puppetry, theatre and storytelling into a rich, fascinating whole.
Patrick O’Duffy writes… The first thing you see when entering the Council Chambers to see Ronny Chieng is the giant Audience Rating Machine on the stage – an array of tubes filled with various numbers of ping-pong balls, like a giant bar graph. It’s there, Ronny explains, to help judge how well the audience meets […]
STOP IT! STOP LAUGHING so I can tell you my next joke! How often do you hear that line from a comedian on stage? Probably not a lot, but the audience jammed into the Pizza Room at the Forum were having such a great time that Karl Chandler really did have to tell us to […]
Whether or not you were a Good News Week viewer, there’s a sense of familiarity about Claire Hooper. In Plums, she seems instantly at ease in the bright spotlight of the Cloak Room at Melbourne Town Hall.
Here’s a lesson to remember: never go and see a show thinking ‘I really wanted to see this guy in my university days’. You’ll regret it. Welcome to Arj Barker’s Go Time, the so-so comedy show that makes you feel like you’re watching a used-car salesman put sawdust in a gearbox. The aim, of course, […]
Nina D. Flanagan says… The Spokesman is not for the easily offended. Maybe we should just say it’s for the hard to offend. It’s part of Amos’s charm that he is so comfortable on stage that he can converse with the audience and improvise, but the charm tarnishes a little when most of that improvising […]
Patrick O’Duffy writes… A lone cowboy rides into an ambush after refusing to replace his horse with a Datsun. A book lover is trapped in a sepulchral library. A supervillain applies for a job in the fast food industry. And then lights flicker, music blares and the story changes again! All part and parcel of […]