Tag: Melbourne Town Hall

Melbourne International Comedy Festival 2017: COWBOY MOUTH

By name and by nature

By Myron My

Comedian David Quirk has had four different women located around the world dream about him. These women all contacted Quirk to tell him about their dreams and from these communications , Quirk has created his stand-up show Cowboy Mouth, which is being presented as part of this year’s Melbourne International Comedy Festival.

Cowboy Mouth.jpg

Quirk cleverly uses the four encounters as touchstones for his anecdotes, in which he takes a step back from the dream and looks at the bigger picture or implications. The first one involves a woman reading a review about one of his shows and talking about this, which leads Quirk to recall a memorable meeting he had with a fan. Watching Quirk on stage for the first time, this story immediately gave me an indication of the type of personality he has and the misadventure and trouble that seems to follow him wherever he goes, and subsequently set the comic tone for the rest of the show.

At one point, Quirk beings to explain that sometimes he completely blanks out as to where he is and what he is doing, which has led to some hilarious encounters, including the one with his neighbour which left everyone stunned with jaws hanging. Quirk never rushes through his stories, which allows us to be fully engrossed by what he is saying, and to break out in laughter as we re-live the moment with him.

Quirk’s show give the audience a real insight into how he operates, how he sees the world and his assessment of the situations he finds himself in. His analysis of a particular racial slur he hears is a perfect example of conveying his unique life views to us.

With Cowboy Mouth, we are treated to a near-hour of thoughtful reflection on the world around us as seen through Quirk’s eyes. It’s an evening of great storytelling with plenty of laughs to be had.

Venue: Melbourne Town Hall, Cnr. Swantson and Collins St, Melbourne.
Season: until 23 April | Tues – Sat 9.45pm, Sun 8:45pm
Length: 55 minutes
Tickets: $20 – $32
Bookings: MICF website

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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: Go Time! with ARJ BARKER

Some thin spots filled out with big laughs

By Matthew Farmer

In the biggest theatre space in the Melbourne Town Hall last night, we were treated to international comedy star Arj Barker, and his one-man show for MICF – Go Time! This is his philosophy of not letting your ego get in the way of something you might do in the future, because despite what that crazy little red-head tells you, tomorrow is not a day away, it does not exist. You are now. Your heart is now, its go time, right now. A great idea and a great message, but when mixed with toilet humour, it doesn’t quite stand for the whole sixty minutes.

Arj Barker

The show starts with a musical number, which was a genuine surprise. It then continues through some poignant social commentary, embarrassing admissions, local restaurant reviews, all interspersed with 2013 copyrighted Arj Barker-isms, such as go build a pyramid and get to the point, or go get yourself a deck of cards, and deal with it.

The role of a comedian is to look at life from a unique point of view, to engage with you and to have you see the world through their altered eye sight. Arj made some strong comments about the factories in China making iPhones, the environment and the notion of ‘job creation’, which had you thinking, and then he dropped a comedy bomb onto you: showing you an empty palm on the left, while smacking you in the face with his right.

Arj engages with the audience well, and never misses a beat. If a joke fails, he owns it and then moves on. I have previously only seen Arj Barker on comedy festival specials or TV shows where he only has a bit part to play. To see him live for a whole 60 minutes however, felt a little forced. The front of the show worked well and was strong, but the ends were just a little bit frayed, although it did end with great toilet humour and another song and dance. Plus, he mingled with the public in the foyer right after for merchandise and photo opportunities, which is always good to see in a celebrity.

Arj’s show Go Time is a show that comes from his heart, has a lot of energy and good intentions. He will try his darnedest to uplift you and gosh darn, if it doesn’t work on some level for you.

Arj Barker’s Go Time is playing all Festival long at the Town Hall, except for Mondays. Tickets are $33 – $42.50 and can be bought online at ticket master, or at the venue.

Review: DEANNE SMITH’s Let’s Do This

From awkward beginnings to utter charm

By Bradley Storer

About eight seconds after psyching up herself and the audience with Survivor’s Eye of the Tiger, comedian Deanne Smith cuts the music short and admits ‘I can’t maintain this level of energy for very long’.

Smith opens with a ukulele tune in which she recruits the audience to interject at her command with the title of her show – the song never really managed to gain momentum since Smith was constantly forced to stop and wait for the audience’s response, and this made for a slightly awkward opening. After this small bump in the road though, her show Let’s Do It for the Melbourne International Comedy Festival picks up and soars.

Deanne Smith

The main thrust of Smith’s show is an examination of her inability to be a self-confident and secure person, gleefully dissecting her various neuroses to side-splitting and, at times, jaw-dropping effect.

Smith’s strength is her innate sweetness and lovability, which allows her to delve into some unexpectedly filthy and dark places (at my particular performance, even Smith herself remarked at several points, surprised ‘You all got on board with that!’). Topics range from the unfortunate implications of the term ‘femi-nazis’ and her hatred of penguins to a remarkably optimistic view of humanity’s current effects on the environment.

Interspersed throughout are many moments of audience participation, people individually to be sung at, called up to assist onstage or to take photos during the show (for one particular section, I’d advise bringing along a friend to save potential embarrassment). The hour show flies by and it would be hard to imagine anyone who would not be doubled over in laughter by the end.

DATES: 30th MARCH – 21st APRIL

TIME: 9:45 (8:45 Sunday)

VENUE: MELBOURNE TOWN HALL – CLOAK ROOM

TICKETS: Full $25, Preview $20, Tightarse Tuesday $20, Laugh Pack (n/a Fri & Sat) $20, Concession $20 (n/a Fri & Sat), Group (8+) (N/A Fri & Sat) $20

BOOKINGS: www.ticketmaster.com.au, Phone – 1300 660 013, www.comedyfestival.com.au, Melbourne Town Hall Box Office

REVIEW: Matt Okine is BEING BLACK & CHICKEN & S#%T

Not for everyone, but definitely worth the watch

By Myron My

When I decided to see some new comedians for the Melbourne International Comedy Festival, I was instantly attracted to Matt Okine for one particular reason: the name of his show: Being Black & Chicken & S#%t. This was definitely someone with my type of humour.

There was a strong audience warmth projected towards Okine and this is in no doubt the result of the immediate interaction he created with us and within seconds of being on stage. Through his comic discussion of the mundane things in life, Okine connects and bonds with us all including topics such as wheelie bins, sushi trains and – the crux of his routine – fishing.

Okine shares some personal moments with us and the majority of his routine is about a fishing trip with his father and the back-story to that. You can see that when Okine discusses this, he isn’t acting but is being open and honest with his audience, which is an extremely positive quality to have as a comedian.

There were a few moments, which I believe, were a little flat but judging by the audience reaction, I was definitely in the minority. And I am all about not being restricted to political correctness in comedy; it can be offensive and that’s the risk you take as a comedian but used correctly can be extremely funny. I just think there needs to be a build-up to it or a common theme otherwise you run the risk of being controversial for the sake of being controversial.

Okine is definitely a face to keep an eye on. It may not have been the sort of humour I was looking for, but there were enough laughs to consider seeing this rising star of the comedy circuit again. And I also got to learn some very interesting yet disturbing facts about the wonders of sea creatures.

VENUE
Melbourne Town Hall
DATE
Until 22 April
TIMES
Tue-Sat 9.30pm
Sun 8.30pm
PRICES
Full Fri & Sat $19
Full Tue-Thu & Sun $15
BOOKINGS
Ticketmaster: 1300 660 013

REVIEW: Joel Creasey’s NAKED

A young comedian on the rise

By Myron My

I first saw Joel Creasey perform at the 2010 Melbourne International Comedy Festival. That was his debut on the circuit and I was very impressed with the wit and the casual bitchiness that he delivered.

Fast-forward two years later and I am sitting at the Melbourne Town Hall watching Joel Creasey’s Naked. (Please take note of the ‘s in that sentence).

Two things I notice immediately. There is a lot more confidence and punch to his routine and the room is a bit bigger than his debut gig venue. Creasey is clearly moving up in the stand-up food-chain. On the flip side, the wrist is still limp so I know it’s still the same guy standing on stage making me laugh.

In Naked, Creasey looks at four themes: fear, secrets, nudity and Xena. I’m not quite sure how Xena fits in with the other three, but hey, let’s go with it! And that’s what you need to do when watching one of Creasey’s shows. He’s a bit like a kid in a candy store: talking really excitedly about everything and anything that pops into his head. Fortunately that anything is usually quite funny.

It’s no secret that Creasey is gay (or at least it isn’t now) and the topic of homosexuality is undoubtedly brought up in the show. Even though it is done with humour, there is a hint of seriousness and social commentary on the difficulties that gay youth experience whilst growing up. Thirty seconds later and you’re hearing about Creasey’s grandmother’s speed-dating experience. You just don’t know what is going to come out of his mouth next.

At 21, Creasey definitely has a lot of potential to just get bigger and bigger in the comedy scene. His self-deprecating humour is a winner with audiences and there is even a lovely surprise for them after the “credits roll”.

VENUE
Melb Town Hall – Backstage Room

DATES
Until 22 April

TIMES
Mon 9.30pm
Tue-Sat 9.45pm
Sun 8.45pm

PRICES
Full $22
Concession $18

BOOKINGS
Ticketmaster 1300 660 013 or at the door