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.
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
Gentle and genial international comedy
By Narelle Wood
This little comedy show for this year’s Melbourne International Comedy Festival had me intrigued from the beginning, mostly because CJ Delling is German, and I always figured that a German comedian was something of a cultural oxymoron. My reality shifted a little bit, as I was easily proved wrong; of course Germans can be funny and this German was funny in a particularly endearing, sweet kind of way.
CJ’s comedy provided more giggles than jolly belly laughs as she proceeded to ponder her experiences of moving to Australia, getting to stage four in learning English, competing on the Welsh version of Wheel of Fortune and the highs and lows of being a surf-life saver.
The funniest parts, which I find with most comedians, is when they are self-deprecating. These small moments littered through out the show, often seemed more natural and off the cuff than some of the anecdotal stories that were funny but came across a little contrived at times. It may have had something to do with the pacing of the jokes; sometimes the delivery was quick and punchy and other times the story took a while to develop, which meant that the joke became a little more predictable.
The links between the jokes and stories tended to be a touch tenuous, but when the connections were made, for example in the recurring theme of the British Museum, they were done so very well. Most of the jokes hit their mark and CJ did extremely well in the intimate atmosphere to interact and involve the audience in a number of her stories. I do have one gripe though; she never finished telling us the running shoe story. Even though it was only a small piece of a much larger show, it had the promise of being really funny.
While the show’s blurb doesn’t accurately portray what the show is about, Reality Bandit is observational comedy at its sweetest and I could not help but walk out with a smile on my face and thinking that CJ is possibly one of the most endearing German comedians I’m ever likely to meet.
Venue: The Bull and Bear Tavern, 347 Flinders Lane
Season: Wed – Sat 2nd – 12th of April 6.30pm
Tickets: $18 Full | $15 Conc
Bookings: www.ticketmaster.com.au or at the door