REVIEW: Homos in Kimonos for MICF

Double bill of cabaret boys for this year’s festival

By Jessica Cornish

Among the many shows for the Melbourne International Comedy Festival, having a catchy title and a great gimmick are essential, and this comic double act featured two solo cabaret performances, linked by the fact that both men were dressed in kimonos and suffered from alter-egos taking over their shows every now and then.

The night was launched by Will Hannagan, whose hour-and-a-bit of shenanigans was a little hard to follow at times, but was highly entertaining none the less. He had a stunning voice that had a lot of depth to it, good articulation, and indulged in quirky physical snippets throughout the performance.

Homos in Kimonos

Some of the evening’s funniest moments were when Will slipped into tales of real-world experiences from his time spent in Paris, to a few truths about his life with his boyfriend. His show jumped between personas: he has a deep obsession with and love for his drag-alter ego, Mother Marxist, which must ultimately be destroyed in an unexpected twist of crowd participation.

The performance was accompanied by three-piece band, Scrimshaw Four. Not only did Scrimshaw Four provide musical backing for the evening, they also interacted with Will which added a new level to the performance. The idea worked very well, and the musicians worked hard, and no doubt as the season continues the music will continue to tighten up.

Unfortunately Will was in shadow for much of his performance as he was too far down stage , so while his band were permanently illuminated, he was not. This is easily fixed, and Will definitely deserves to be in the limelight throughout.

James Halloran was the second featured artist of the night, and is making his Melbourne debut performance. His show also involved alter-egos, as James faced the battle of ‘the Halloran’ taking over. However, I can’t really tell you much more, as I confess I didn’t really understand his performance.Unfortunately with the acoustics of the room, it was quite difficult to understand what he was singing about due to a loud keyboard and projection issues. Also at this stage, the stories linking the songs are not very clear. As the season progresses I hope James builds up more confidence in his obvious abilities and is able to showcase them more successfully, as I distinctly feel that he is capable of delivering a much stronger performance both vocally and dramatically.

Homos in Kimonos will be playing at the quirky venue The Baron Said, hidden off Kerr St in Fitzroy. This beautiful space reminded me of a mini art-deco warehouse. It’s slightly tricky to find, and parking was a little challenging- so make sure you give yourself an extra 15 minutes to find a park and the venue, or better still, catch public transport!

12 Shows 01 Apr – 13 Apr
Tue-Sun 8pm

Full $25
Concession $20
Tightarse Tuesday $18

Bookings and information: http://www.comedyfestival.com.au/2014/season/shows/homos-in-kimonos-will-hannagan-james-halloran-in

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