Tag: The Lithuanian Club

Melbourne Fringe 2017: KOSHER BACON

Delicious and delightful comedy

By Jessica Gittel

Foreskins, marriage, state MPs moonlighting as DJs and the profound dumbness of the human race: Michael Shafar’s Kosher Bacon was 50-minutes worth of light-hearted laughing and fun for this year’s Melbourne Fringe.

Kosher Bacon.png

Now showing as part of the 2017 Festival, Kosher Bacon explores the hypocrisies and intricacies of the human species, particularly those found meandering through Shafar’s everyday life. The comedian casually draws on his own life experiences growing up in the Melbourne Jewish community, explores outsiders’ expectations of marriage with his long time girl-friend and the interesting cyber correspondences he is now privy to as a comedy writer for Channel 10’s The Project.

This show relied on imitations, anecdotes and observations of friends and foe alike that admittedly don’t always make the most sense, but unlike some comedy shows where there are moments of unease, crudeness and profanities thrown into the mix as space fillers, you can rest assured this is not that type of show. Kosher Bacon is very funny, interactive and relatable. As a Jewish person seated next to a native Queenslander, I enjoyed the fact no-one was spared and there was something that everybody could relate to and have a good giggle at.

The small audience slotted nicely into the cosy upper echelons of the Lithuanian Club, but don’t worry for those who get a little shvitzy, there is a fan on the audience to ensure we don’t over-heat enjoying the humour.

Kosher Bacon is a well-polished and charming show with an energising and upbeat pace. Michael Shafar’s warmth and intelligence comes across throughout the performance. This man definitely has the potential to go a long way in the Australian comedy scene: maybe next year he’ll be deservedly promoted to the main room of the Lithuanian Club? For now, get down and book your tickets today – seating is limited, but the laughs certainly aren’t.

Fringe Hub: Lithuanian Club – Son of Loft

https://www.melbournefringe.com.au/event/kosher-bacon/

44 Errol St
North Melbourne info@melbournefringe.com.au
T: (03) 9660 9600

26th – 30th of October.

9pm (50 minute performance)

$20-$25.00

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Melbourne Fringe 2017: COMPLETELY IMPROVISED HARRY POTTER

Just as much fun as it sounds!

By Narelle Wood

From the same company – Sooth Players – that brought us Completely Improvised Shakespeare, comes Completely Improvised Harry Potter for this year’s Melbourne Fringe. It’s the show that creates the Harry Potter book you’ve always wanted but was never written.

Completely Improvised Harry Potter.jpg

In typical improvised show style, the book title is decided on by audience suggestion. But in Harry Potter-style, suggestions are placed in the Goblet of Fire and after a brief introduction from the Sorting Hat (which from the angle I was sitting on looked more dragon-like thanks to some creepy back lighting) the suggestion is pulled from the cup. The night I attended, we were treated to Harry Potter and the Deadly Paper Cut. With Patrick Rehil taking on the role of Harry Potter and Elizabeth Donald as He Who Must Not Be Named, another year at Hogwarts – with all the dangers that ensue – unfolded before our eyes.

Apart from being genuinely funny, what really makes this show is how much Potterverse knowledge the players have and their impressive ability to use it, misuse it, and point out the plot weaknesses of the original stories (respectfully of course) and then use these to their advantage.

Thus there was an awkward Quidditch training session where Ron (Taylor Griffiths) finally admitted he was a terrible keeper, and Malfoy (Jasper Foley), in typical Malfoy fashion, spent his time lurking about, threatening to tell his dad on everyone and generally just being Malfoy. Some of the best bits though were the plots, or lack there of, devised by a surprisingly self-reflective Voldemort and Wormtail (Pedro Cooray), who were later joined by Malfoy. This year Harry Potter was going to be destroyed by a book: to be specific a metal book, that they could potentially throw at him or slam his head into. While the improvised plan to kill Harry Potter didn’t seem very well thought-out, it did nicely highlight just how ridiculous some of Voldemort’s plots in the books actually are.

There were times where it felt though the scenes were fillers, but to be fair – and as a huge Harry Potter fan – the same can be said of the books. Admittedly I would have liked a faster pace, mostly to maximise the Potter experience. Once the ending was nigh though, things came together quite quickly and resolved themselves in true Rowlings-esque style.

There was a wide variety of audience members from a few little kids to some more mature adults, all of whom seemed to thoroughly enjoy the show. The potential assumption that this is just a show for kids would be a complete misapprehension: it is a show for muggles and magical folk alike. And the best thing – given that it’s a new show every night – lots of new Harry Potter books and adventures to enjoy. Much like Voldemort, I’ll be coming back for more.

Venue: Lithuanian Club, 44 Errol St, North Melbourne

Season: 6.45pm (5.45pm Sun & no shows Mon) – until 30th September

Tickets: Full $25| Conc $20

Bookings: www.melbournefringe.com.au/event/completely-improvised-potter/

REVIEW: LITTLE V’S TERRIBLE TEA PARTY

Unabashedly grim and creepy

By Myron My

Little Vaginia is having a tea party and we are all invited! Presented as part of the 2015 Melbourne Fringe Festival, Little V’s Terrible Tea Party is a dirty little cabaret that brazenly explores the darkest recesses of morality and perversions where our hostess will also be revealing a big surprise!

Little Vs Terrible Tea Party

Yasmin Mole is perfect as the unhinged and somewhat psychotic Little Vaginia. With her big curly hair and pink frilly dress, she is a life-size version of the creepy dolls that are scattered along the stage. Her wide innocent eyes are unsettling as she sings about abortions and rape and her quavering voice is constantly on the brink of losing her self-control. Joining Mole are Charlotte Righetti, David John Watton and Jack Lad as the three clowns, and their physicality, facial expressions and their individual character traits are all well constructed.

The detailed set design adds a strong visual element to the show, with its abundance of dolls, puppets, toys, teacups and other childhood items. However, upon closer inspection, you notice that toys are ripped or broken, puppets are suicidal and teacups are shattered pieces that are held together by glue, enforcing the idea that our childhood ideals are so fragile and fleeting that at some point we have to let go of them and face the harsh and scary realities of the world.

Little V’s is unashamedly daring and bold and there is nothing that the show won’t talk about and nowhere where the show won’t go. This is more than clear in its rendition of The Sound of Music‘s “My Favourite Things” that would leave Maria von Trapp absolutely mortified. Other highlights include the chastity-endorsing song, “You’re Never Fully Dressed Without A Hymen”, and the random but very unsettling cameo by Santa (Martin Jones) with its realisation of just how grim “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas” can actually be. There are moments when the transitions to the next song or performance is a little abrupt or the delivery of punchlines in Little V’s don’t quite hit the mark with the audiences but I feel this is also part of the charm of the show; leaving the audience unsettled and not quite sure how far the performers are going to take things.

Little V’s is probably not going to be everyone’s…well, cup of tea, but if you’re happy for dark confronting matters to be discussed in a direct and humorous way, then it is definitely a show to watch. After all, don’t you want to know what Little Vaginia’s big surprise is?

Venue: Fringe Hub, The Lithuanian Club, 44 Errol St, North Melbourne, 3051

Season: Until 3 October | Fri-Sat 10.30pm

Tickets:$24 Full | $19 Conc

Bookings: Melbourne Fringe Festival

REVIEW: Alice Tovey in MALICE

Singing it how it is

By Myron My

Alice Tovey has a lot to say about many things. Mainly it’s about things that frustrate her and anger her. Things like racism, anti-vaccine supporters and organised religion. In her 2015 Melbourne Fringe cabaret show MaliceTovey sings her way through these contentious issues with wit, charm, and no care if she is going to offend you or not.

Alice Tovey in MALICE

While she performs a number of brilliant songs, the highlight of the evening would have to be her loving tribute to “Today” show host Karl Stefanovic, in which Tovey shares her suffering from Stefano-sickness. “Disciple of Satan” is also a great song that is infused with Tovey’s sharp wit and humour.

Accompanying Tovey on piano is composer Ned Dixon, who plays with great energy and is a solid musical support to Tovey’s voice. The two have co-written these original songs, and between them there is a huge amount of talent.

Between their songs, Tovey shares some anecdotal stories with us while also making pointed remarks about the society in which we live, such as her commentary upon being told by a man that the feminist goal of equality is like the RSPCA only caring about sheep… The stories are well-constructed and adroitly told, and along with Tovey’s easy humour, I could easily have sat there and listened to her recall these experiences for far longer.

However, it’s not all jokes and jibes in this 60-minute show, as shown when Tovey dedicates a song to a friend’s recent diagnosis with an eating disorder. It’s a touching moment that is sung from the heart and a reminder that we all need to be kinder to ourselves.

Great songs, clever lyrics and humourous and heart-felt stories are in abundance with Malice. Tovey’s naturally charming stage presence is a crowd-pleaser and rightfully so. Despite the seriousness or dryness of the topics Tovey takes on, you are guaranteed to walk out of Malice with a smile on your face.

Venue: Fringe Hub, The Lithuanian Club, 44 Errol St, North Melbourne, 3051

Season: Until 3 October | Tues-Sat 10.15pm, Sun 9.15pm

Tickets:$23 Full | $18 Conc | Cheap Tuesday

Bookings: Melbourne Fringe Festival