Monday, March 30, 2015

Melbourne International Comedy Festival 2015 Review - The Shelf (Part One) 

I heart The Shelf.  Hard.

It pops up a few times a year for three week seasons and I have never failed to have a great time.

Brainchild of Justin Hamilton and Adam Richard, the guests are many and varied, so it's hard to accurately review this show.  I can tell you though that I've been to several seasons now, and I can only think of a couple of acts that I didn't like. Each act is only on for a maximum of about 10 minutes. This is both good and bad, if you don't like them, they will soon be gone.  If you do like them, they will soon be gone. But I have gone to see entire shows from people I have seen here, so it tends to give you a good idea if you will like them or not.

Because it's been going on for so long, there are a lot of 'in-jokes' that happen (something that became obvious to me last season when I took some new people along for the night and they looked a bit confused at times) but they are brief, and the rest of it is usually just damn good comedy.

5/5 stars

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Melbourne International Comedy Festival 2015 Review - Pajama Men 

I'd seen these guys do a couple of bits on TV, but had never seen them do a whole show. A mate insisted that I see them, and given that sometimes I do as I'm told, off we went.

They are VERY good at what they do. I found most of the show really funny.  Wearing pajamas and with only two chairs on the stage, the way they conjure up a story is wonderful. I enjoyed it a lot.  I think I may have even loved it if I was more familiar with the story of the Three Muskateers (but that's my fault, not theirs).

3/5 stars

Melbourne International Comedy Festival 2015 Review - Hannah Gadsby 

Hannah is always one of the first show I buy tickets for during MICF, and she never disappoints.  This is yet another great hour of hilarious stories and also some not so easy to hear truths about mental illness. See this show if only to hear why she didn't do the dishes for 19 days.

This is self depreciating humour performed by a master.

4/5 stars

Tickets to her show here.

Melbourne International Comedy Festival 2015 Review - Michael Chamberlin 
Michael Chamberlin first came to my attention 12 or so years ago when he ran a brilliant comedy room with Charlie Pickering in Fitzroy called 'Stagetime'.  He's also been on the telly in various things over the years, but did you know he spent the last few months in South Africa? Well, he did, and he will tell you all about it at the Imperial Hotel in a great hour of old school stand up.  There's no trickery here folks, just great stories about being 37 and going on the gravitron.  He's playing in a small room and that adds to the feeling that you're catching up with a mate.

Michael isn't doing many shows this time around, so snap up your tickets fast!

3/5 stars

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Melbourne International Comedy Festival 2015 Review - Doug Anthony All Stars 

I have loved DAAS since I first heard them. Which was waaaaaaaaay before I was old enough to actually understand most of what they were on about.  I saw them a few times in the 90's, after begging my parents to drive me down to the big smoke to see them at the Comedy Club.  It'd be fair to say that my love of comedy all started with these guys.  

When they reunited 2 years ago at MICF to launch their DAAS Kapital DVD I was there. I drove to Canberra last year to see them. I saw them in Yarraville in August.  I have tickets to see them in Bendigo in May. Yes, I may have a problem, hush now. It was a given that we would be going to see them as part of MICF.

In the interests of full disclosure, I should point out that the part of Richard is being played by Paul 'Flacco' Livingston.  Don't let this put you off. He plays the part very well. Obviously these men are all older than they were, but they still put on a show that made my face hurt from all the laughter.  Even Chyken who doesn't really like them had a good time and wants to come and see them again in May.

Yes, Tim is in a wheelchair. This obviously has an impact on the show, but not in a negative way.  When they first announced plans to tour, I was worried it might be sad seeing the heroes of my youth trying to re-enact the glory days, but it's not. In my opinion, they have chosen songs from the old days that fit everyone's capabilities. They've seamlessly worked new material into the old and it is a joy to watch.

4/5 stars

They've sold out 4 shows, but have just added a fifth this Thursday, there are still great tickets available here... (And the meal that comes with the seats at the tables is quite delicious)

P.S. There are a few photos and videos of DAAS on my Instagram @chickensbees

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Melbourne International Comedy Festival 2015 Review - Sarah Kendall

I have loved Sarah Kendall's comedy since I first saw her perform at MICF about 15 or so years ago.  She was absent from the festival for a few years, but was here with a fantastic show last year and has again brought the goods with her this year.

The show is called 'A Day In October' and that is exactly what it is about.  It's a tale from her teenage years, and having been a teenager at about the same time as Sarah, I could really relate as she brought characters from the streets of Newcastle in the 90's to life with her words.

This is comedic storytelling at its best.  I adored this show.

4.5 out of 5 stars.

You can get tickets to see Sarah here.  She plays in a small room, so get them before everyone else realises how great she is!

Melbourne International Comedy Festival 2015 Review - Jimeoin

We kicked off MICF 2015 with Australia's favourite Irishman, Jimeoin.  I wasn't as impressed this year as I have been with other shows.  It seemed to take a long time for him to find a rhythm on stage.

The flow of the show was not helped at all by the staff at the theatre still allowing to take their seats down the front of the stalls up to FORTY MINUTES into an hour long show.  Seriously, if you're that late, just sit down the back, don't ruin it for everyone else who managed to get there on time.

The show was filled with the usual observations you would expect from Jimeoin.  He's a known quantity, that's why he's here at almost every festival.  Not a bad show, but not great.  I think I've moved on from him.

2/5 stars.

You can buy tickets from the Comedy Festival website...
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