Tag: multimedia

Review: SAM SIMMONS’ Shitty Trivia

Fast and furious fun

By Christine Moffat

If Sam Simmons ever considers a career outside of comedy, it should stunt driving.  This fast-paced show for MICF, written and performed by Simmons, is a wonderful headlong comedy attack on the audience.

Sam Simmons

Simmons took to the stage armed only with hilariously shitty trivia questions (it’s not just a clever title), mismatched shoes and bizarre anecdotes – oh, and a full wheelie bin too of course.

The pace of the show is driven by Simmons’ rapid fire ‘trivia question’ jokes, most of which are outrageous, unfathomable; or both.  The beauty of this system is that the jokes are not really the jokes; they are the set-up.  The real punch-lines come after each ‘joke’ when Simmons responds to the audience’s reaction.

It was especially entertaining when we (the audience) had been laughing our heads off and he responded to an imaginary, disapproving audience.  This format created a semblance of chaos that this reviewer suspects hid the workings of an amazingly well-structured show.

The ‘mysterious shoe’ plotline adds another layer.  A couple of unexpected elements that also work very well are the heavy use of multimedia (including Simmons’ own strange drawings), and a little something he likes to call ‘audience humiliation’.

These ingredients combine to make a very successful one-man sitcom.  Throughout, your mind marvels at the madness, while the rest of you shakes with laughter for 60 minutes.  There is no downtime in this show, but the surreal jumps between different formats create new ways for you to keep laughing.

Simmons engages the audience through headlong speed, fearlessness in his choice of subject matter and costumes (who likes short shorts?), and a freewheeling disregard for reality.  It’s time for a Fast and the Furious comedy spin-off, and I think Simmons is the man to make it happen!

Dates & Times:

3–7 April Tue–Sat 7pm, Sun 6pm

10–21 April Tue–Sat 9.45pm, Sun 8.45pm

Venue: The Hi-Fi

Price: $24-$34

Bookings: www.comedy-festival.com.au/2013/season/shows/shitty-trivia-sam-simmons

Ticketmaster 1300 660 013 / At the door

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REVIEW: Yve Blake in AM I GOOD FRIEND?

A truly delightful performer and a wonderful show

By Bradley Storer

Am I Good Friend? is a show which mines, with hilarious results, the gap between our perception and the reality of how we relate to other people. Compiling graphs, pie charts of ambiguous flavour and anecdotal evidence on how to be a good friend, performer Yve Blake embarks on a pseudo-scientific and fantastical quest for what she calls the ‘golden egg of truth’.

Yve Blake

Greeted at the entrance of The Butterfly Club by Blake’s ‘stage manager’, who hands out iced Vovos whilst dressed in a stylish garbage-bag garment, we are handed small cards and invited to answer a personal question or two to aid Blake’s ‘research’. One quick costume change later and Blake herself appears in a make-shift lab coat and begins to ingratiate herself with the audience.

Over the next hour we are taken on a journey through Blake’s history of spotty behaviour as a friend, relayed through multimedia presentations, lip-synched re-enactments of embarrassing conversations and Skype-d testimonials from her closest friends. Given Blake’s sunny and adorable stage presence, this is actually almost too hard to believe!

Blake is a hurricane of delightful comic energy, bouncing off the walls with bright eyes and a wide sincere smile. Along with her goofy and enthusiastic nature, she is also unafraid to shamelessly plug her awkwardness and short-comings for laughs – her comedic commitment to her own humiliation is hysterically funny. Although her approach to her material is high-octane the show never seems rushed or garbled, her remarkable diction worthy of note considering the speed at which she speaks! Blake has a fantastic gift for interacting with and including her audience, finding many clever (and at one point, truly touching) ways to bring audience members into the show.

The hour-long show flies past, and the conclusion is a communal acknowledgement of all our faults and mistakes as friends to others, Blake ultimately managing to find both pathos and humour in the universal experience of loneliness and being an outsider. Ultimately this is an outstanding show which, much like Blake herself, hides a surprising depth beneath its sunny exterior.

Venue: The Butterfly Club, 204 Bank St, South Melbourne VIC

Date: Tues 18th to Sunday 23rd Dec

Time: Tues, Weds and Sun at 8pm – Thurs, Fri, Sat at 9pm

Tickets: $23 / $20 Conc / $18 Group (8+) / $15 Tues

Online: www.thebutterflyclub.com

Phone: 9690 2000