Category: Late Night Shows

REVIEW: Elena Gabrielle Presents DIRRTY

Cheerfully unsanitary

By Myron My

From the opening act of the 2015 Melbourne Fringe Festival late-night variety show Dirrty, it is very clear that this is not going to be a regular type of variety show. To say anymore about what transpires would be to ruin the surprise that curator Elena Gabrielle has planned. The night itself involves a variety of performance artists invited by Gabrielle to celebrate all things sex and taboo in their own unique ways.

Dirrty

The condoms and lube are freely available and there is a lot of flesh – both male and female – on display. There are songs about the joys of protected sex and the answer to where exactly JonBenét Ramsey as been is revealed. It is indeed, a hedonistic night for all.

Gabrielle is unashamedly the heart, blood and tears (and possible other bodily functions) of this sexy show. All her acts are playful, engaging to watch, and most importantly, fun. Her own spin on “All That Jazz” and “Diamonds Are A Girls Best Friend” showcases her range of talents, including her impressive singing and her brilliant sense of humour. Gabrielle could front this show solely based on her own acts and it would be a standout for this festival.

However, this is promoted as a variety show and as such, the success of a production like this is based on its guest artists – and unfortunately on this night, I didn’t feel the other performances were as captivating or exciting to watch as Gabrielle’s. They were all nicely aligned with the “dirrty” theme for the evening and pushing the boundaries of “conservatism”, but apart from the admirable Ladybird Blue, the other artists didn’t have the same pulling power to drawn me in.

If you can handle the 11.30pm time slot, Dirrty is worth a look, if only to see Gabrielle strut her stuff. This is definitely a show where you can leave your inhibitions at the door and if you don’t, Gabrielle and guests will make sure they take them off you instead.

Venue: The Butterfly Club, 5 Carson Place, Melbourne

Season: 26 September, 1-3 October | 11.30pm

Tickets: $32 Full | $28 Conc

Bookings: Melbourne Fringe Festival

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REVIEW: The Butterfly Club Presents THE LATE NIGHT SEXY SHOW

Charmingly cheeky

By Narelle Wood

It was really hard to convince people to come with me to see a show called The Late Night Sexy Show scheduled at 10.30pm on a Thursday night; and I also admittedly was a little apprehensive about what exactly I’d gotten myself into. But any trepidation disappeared in the first few minutes with the assurance that The Late Night Sexy Show would be exactly that – a late-night and sexy show.

Grant Busé performs a collection of original songs, and a medley of some more well-known numbers that concentrate on the derrière region, to explore not only the idea of sex but also sexual attraction, lust and a number of other topics that would be considered taboo in more conservative company.

Late Night Sexy Show

Given the potentially offensive or awkward nature of the content, Busé puts the audience at ease with some friendly and surprisingly non-confrontational audience participation early on, that paves the way for some ‘interesting’ conversations later in the show. One of the most entertaining aspects of the show was Busé’s interaction with the audience and the way he was able to deal with and integrate the random tendencies of some of the audience members.

While the material is obviously exceptionally well-written (I’m assuming there would be a high cringe factor if it wasn’t), it is complimented by Busé’s musical and dancing talent, and the ease with which he performs. It is really hard to pick a favourite part of the show as all of it was simply great: Busé is exceptionally talented and I’d go see it again.

Part-musical, part-comedy, part-strip show and political satire, this is a highly entertaining performance that demonstrates taboo subjects can be humorous without being distasteful. If you can handle a late night out on a school night and the word ‘sex’ doesn’t make you blush, this is a must-see show.

Venue: The Butterfly Club, Carson Place, Melbourne
Season: 10.30pm Every Thursday in May
Tickets: $23 Full | $20 Conc
Bookings: www.thebutterflyclub.com/show/the-late-night-sexy-show

REVIEW: Cameron James and Jared Jekyll in PARADISE

Don’t be misled by the picture…

By Margaret Wieringa

Being asked by the usher, ‘Have you got a ticket to Paradise?’ was one of my favourite non-show moments of this year’s Melbourne International Comedy Festival – and what a way to kick off an hour of comedy. By the time I left the room, I was exhausted from laughing.

The premise is that Cameron James and Jared Jekyll are a comedy duo who are invited by a mysterious character to perform at PICF – Paradise Island Comedy Festival. Knowing nothing about it, they head off on an adventure that turns mysterious and dangerous, and it is possible not everyone will return. And there may need to be a hilarious pretend memorial partway through the show.

Paradise

Once on the island, the pair confront a number of interesting characters including the voodoo chief who shouts in a gibberish cross between rap and the Haka which is translated by another tribe member into a bizarre reggae number. Oh, and there’s the horny heir to the millionaire owner of the island. And not to forget the voyeuristic jungle animals…

These guys are great. Funny, affable and very talented. The show kicks off with their new song, Addiction, which involves some funky guitar, an awful lot of beat-boxing and mime. Big and hilarious mime.

The duo are still relatively new to the comedy world: after coming up through RAW Comedy in 2012 and 2013, Jekyll and James have been busy playing festivals and gigs across the country. It is very difficult to raise yourself above the crowd in a comedy festival with nearly five hundred shows, especially when your time-slot is at 11pm. Yet despite their frankly appalling image in the festival guide, the Locker Room was packed. The audience loved the show, rocking the room with laughter and eagerly participating whenever asked to.

It is fabulous that MICF sees so many familiar names returning and big names coming from overseas, but often my favourite moments come from seeing an act for the first time. Especially when it is an act that clearly has a lot to offer, and hopefully a big future in comedy. It’s a small room and a late night, but Paradise is more than worth the investment.

Venue: Portland Hotel – Locker Room
Dates: 27 March – 19 April (Thurs, Fri and Sat nights) 11pm
Tickets: $20 full, $15 conc
Bookings: http://www.ticketmaster.com.au/, 1300 660 0131300 660 013 or at the door

REVIEW: Bryony Kimmings in SEX IDIOT

May contain brutal songs, outrageous stories and hilarious sex scenes

By Narelle Wood

Sex Idiot was brilliantly funny, but the content of the show justified its 10.45pm time-slot for MICF 2014 and is certainly not one for the kiddies. Much of Bryony Kimmings’ show cannot be described without a barrage of euphemisms for sex or heavy censorship. It is safe to say when the blurb in the media release describes the show as an ‘unapologetic account of female sexuality in the 21st century’, it is in no way lying.

Sex Idiot

Kimmings’ unabashed and extremely physical performance, along with her seemingly sweet exterior and brutal honesty, that makes this show not only work, but incredibly funny and only, perhaps, a little bit offensive. She recounts her experiences of finding out she has an STI and the journey she then embarks upon to discover who she contracted it from. Her promise to those who helped her solve the mystery was a piece of art to be used in the performance. As a result we were treated to songs, poetry, interpretative dance and an audience participatory art piece that was perhaps more a warning about risk-taking behaviours than the resulting art.

This show is very well-constructed and Kimmings’ persona means she naturally endears herself to the audience. But while the show is extremely funny, it is also very poignant and a little sad; I walked away feeling as though I had laughed through a very honest lesson about love, sex and life.

Highlights of the show included the juxtaposition between what I’ll call the ‘Cup of Tea’ song and the song about how Kimmings’ would deal with a cheating boyfriend; one sweet, the other violent but both showcasing Kimmings’ slightly unhinged view of relationships in a way that is both charming and disturbingly familiar.

Sex Idiot is not a show for the prudish or faint-hearted. But if you like a voyeuristic romp through someone else’s sex-life and the resulting STI warning then Bryony Kimmings’ Sex Idiot is right up your alley.

Venue: Melbourne Town Hall
Season: 10.45pm 3rd, 4th and 5th April
Tickets: $25
Bookings: www.ticketmaster.com.au

Review: NELLIE WHITE’S ONE-HANDED SHOW – An Introduction to Pornography..

Gird your loins and come for the comedy

By Vikki Doig

Sex, vagina, penis, pubes, ball slappage – doesn’t it just feel better to say these things out loud? And that’s exactly what Nellie White’s One-Handed Show: An Introduction to Pornography for the Melbourne International Comedy Festival seeks to do.

Nellie White

I haven’t always enjoyed porn. As a young innocent I felt particularly uncomfortable at the sights and sounds of people’s carnal bliss. However, as I grew older and wiser in my sexual journey, it became comforting to see people try new things (sometimes things that seemed logistically impossible!) but, more importantly, sex became less scary – even funny! So how could I pass up the opportunity to see a fellow pornophile throw social niceties out the window and talk about sex, baby?

Nellie’s One-Handed Show is certainly not for the faint-hearted. There was a clear feeling of trepidation amongst the crowd upon entering the cosy performance space. The first thing I noticed was the distinct lack of people sitting in the front row – as if that’s a surefire way to avoid being called upon in a 24-seat venue. The fear of audience-participation becomes heightened when sexy-talk is involved…

Nellie had an unassuming innocence on stage which immediately endeared her to us and it was refreshing to be slapped in the face with her unexpected explicit punchlines, casual description of threesomes, sexual exploits (or sexploits, if you will) and graphic imagery.

There were times, though, when I felt more like I was listening to a friend talk about what they’d been up to on the weekend than watching a comedy show, and what the show lacked was a cohesive flow, a bit of direction and strong delivery to pull it all together. It was unclear whether it was a show designed to shock us, encourage us to discuss our own sexploits, make us feel uncomfortable, educate us (Nellie really does know a lot about the history of porn!) or all or none of the above.

The concept was bold, confronting and interesting and all the elements of a good show were groped, caressed and touched upon, but it didn’t quite come together on the night.

Venue: The Tuxedo Cat

Dates: April 11-21

Time: 9.45pm (Sunday 8.45pm)

Price: $12-18

Bookings: MICF online

Review: YON AND HIS PRISM OF SEXY THOUGHTS

As good as its title

By Jessica Cornish

Yon

Yon and His Prism of Sexy Thoughts had a familiar format to the shows of his famous group act – however it was so smothered with sexual references that comparatively it made Tripod look like a family-friendly entertainment band. Don’t worry though, Yon – a.k.a Simon Hall, hasn’t actually left the comedic trio – he’s just expanding his comic horizons at this year’s Comedy Festival.

Yon, or more accurately known as the Man-daddy, was a quirky and amusing front man, backed by talented musicians, SJ (vocals, guitar, tambourine and piano) and Naomune Anzai (synthesiser and backing vocals), and with the trusty drum-machine tucked into a corner.

Wrapped in his red silk dressing gown and slippers, Yon requested his audience watch the proceedings through a veil of sexy thoughts, which was necessary considering the whole show centred around sexual relations, fantasies and troubles with his wife. His audience participation requirements even included throwing a couple torches into the crowd to ensure two free follow-spot operators for the night.

Yon reminisced in the sadness of losing his virginity at the ripe age of 23 to an ex-girlfriend at the time who pitied him. He also talked of more awkward nights where he morphed into a glorified dildo stand for a stripper, which caused tiny tears to fall on to his wife’s pregnant belly. Yes – I know. Want to know what happened next with Mrs Yon though?  You’ll just have to go to the show because I’m not going to tell you!

His songs were slightly and deliberately uncomfortable at times, but continually hilarious. Memorable tunes still looping in my head included such gems as “0.05% Chance Of F&*#ing Her”, and “I’ll Go Back On The Anti-Depressants If You Do Too“.

If you’re a modest and demure being who feels uncomfortable at the thought of sex, this show probably isn’t for you, but for everyone else it will be 60 minutes of high fun and ridiculousness.

Venue: The Butterfly Club (Carson Place off Little Collins St) CBD

Dates: April 11-13 / 18-20

Time: 10.30pm

Price: Full $23, Conc $20, Group (8+) $18

Bookings:

www.ticketmaster.com.au

Ticketmaster 1300 660 013

At the venue 9690 2000

thebutterflyclub.com

At the door

REVIEW: Paul Sings with PAUL MCDERMOTT

See him live

By Christine Moffat

Paul McDermott has built a successful TV career since Doug Anthony All Stars from occasionally singing a song, and fully exploiting his lovably evil personality.  Lots of people do this, but no one does it quite like ‘our Paul’.  When he is sharing funny anecdotes he gives you permission to have a guilt-free laugh at life’s darker points.  He brought this quality in spades last night: nothing was out of bounds, and every story he told was funny and very wrong.  As a comedian McDermott is a darker, edgier performer here than his television persona: perhaps a live show can give him licence to be ruder, even more irreverent and therefore even funnier.

Paul McDermott

Paul McDermott the singer is a something different and more emotionally involving.  His voice is a surprising blend of sweetness and maturity, and he sings with commitment – nothing is a throwaway line.  The songs that he performed ranged from touching ballads to high-energy soul numbers (all but one from his ‘back catalogue’), and also his own compositions.  The “band of real musicians” as it says in the show’s blurb, (led by the great Stu Hunter) is fantastic and musically re-made the songs into something fresh and new.

The crowd was a bit tame at first, perhaps quietened by the shade of his daunting TV personality.  He quickly built rapport, ironically by turning his acerbic wit on the audience, and soon had everyone stomping loudly in appreciation.  It goes without saying that he is a funny man, but what you may not realise is that he is also an incredibly generous performer.  When the show ran over time, he and the band led the crowd out of the band room, and performed a couple more songs on the stairs in the foyer!

Paul McDermott has a wickedly funny mind, a haunting voice, and an obvious love of performing and entertaining a crowd.  What more could you ask for on a night out?

Venue: The Forum – Downstairs

Dates: 10 – 14 April, 16 – 20 April

Times: Tues – Sat 9.45pm/Sun 8.45pm

Price: $34 (U18 must be accompanied by an adult)

Bookings:

www.ticketmaster.com.au

Ticketmaster 1300 660 013

At the door