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HEAP INTER S OF VIEW S AND GIVE A WA INSID YS E

COMEDY FESTIVAL GUIDE 2014 COMEDY FESTIVAL GUIDE

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OUGH

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OPEN 11.15PM TIX AT THE DOOR DOORS SUNDAYS 10.15PM)

LATE NIGHT LAUGHS!

CHEAP TIX FROM THURS! ETS

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THE LATE, LATE ENTERTAINMENT FRI 28 MAR            SAT 29 MAR     THE FAUVES

[USA]

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THU-SAT COMEDY BONANZA $20 SUN HAUS PARTY $15

MEDIANS!

80 HENSO PUPPETS! N

David 

‘Sharp enough to burst balloons’

[IRL]

Independent

[ USA]

REGINALD

      

‘Muppet show for grown ups’ SUN-HERALD

PRINCESS THEATRE 27–30 MAR & 8–20 APR TIX FROM $45 TUE-SUN 7.30PM (EXCEPT SAT 12 APR 8.30PM)

D. HUNTER FORUM THEATRE 8–20 APR TUE-SAT 9.15PM, SUN 8.15PM TIX FROM $26

FORUM THEATRE 27 MAR – 20 APR TUE-SAT 9PM, SUN 8PM TIX FROM $28.50

GH ONE TO NL Y

[UK]

NI

‘Superb’ GUARDIAN

‘THE ANTICIPATION IS AS DELIGHTFUL AS THE EVENTUAL PUNCHLINE’

ttle, mmy Li mmons, o T , n a v i I Max & Byrne, Sam S more! g n i r r sta loads Jason hieng, Matt Okine & C y n n Ro hop, Des Bis

THE GUARDIAN MELBOURNE TOWN HALL 27 MAR – 20 APR TUE-SAT 7PM, SUN 6PM TIX FROM $26.50

an ‘A total staTIr,ME OUT utter joy’ The best from Stateside

[ UK] AS SEEN ON

Russell Howard’s Good News, The Inbetweeners & Derek. VICTORIA HOTEL 27 MAR – 20 APR TUE-SAT 8.15PM, SUN 7.15PM TIX FROM $27

ADRIENNE TRUSCOTT’S

[UK]

ANJELAH JOHNSON

MADTV’s Bon Qui Qui & Nail Salon VICTORIA HOTEL 27 MAR – 6 APR TUE-SAT 9.45PM, SUN 8.45PM TIX FROM $26

[ USA]

AUSTRALIAN DEBUT

‘Imaginative and cheekily subversive comedy...’

ASKING FOR IT A One-Lady Rape About Comedy Starring Her Pussy & Little Else!

The Guardian

‘Brutal, brilliant and brave’

[ UK]

THE SCOTSMAN

MELBOURNE TOWN HALL 27 MAR – 20 APR TUE-SAT 8.30PM, SUN 7.30PM TIX FROM $25.50

[UK]

JOHN KEARNS

PORTLAND HOTEL 27 MAR – 20 APR TUE-SAT 9.45PM, SUN 8.45PM TIX FROM $26 [USA]

AUSTRALIAN SOLO SHOW DEBUT

CHORTLE

WINNER

‘Kinane is like a comedy god to us’ TIME OUT CHICAGO

FOSTER’S BEST NEWCOMER EDINBURGH FRINGE 2013

MELBOURNE TOWN HALL 27 MAR – 20 APR TUE-SAT 9.45PM, SUN 8.45PM TIX FROM $25.50

‘The must-see show of the Festival’ The Scotsman

[USA] VICTORIA HOTEL 4–19 APR TUE & THU-SAT 9.45PM, SUN 8.45PM MELBOURNE TOWN HALL MON 7 & 14 APR 8.15PM COMEDY & THEATRE SUPERSTAR

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ARTS CENTRE MELBOURNE TIX FROM $28 SEE WEBSITE FOR SHOW TIMES MELBOURNE TOWN HALL 6PM MON 7 APR

[CAN]

[UK]

MELBOURNE TOWN HALL 27 MAR – 20 APR TUE-SAT 9.45PM, SUN 8.45PM TIX FROM $25.50

Corky and the Juice Pigs

MELBOURNE TOWN HALL 27 MAR – 20 APR TUE-SAT 7.15PM, SUN 6.15PM TIX FROM $25.50

[UK]

  

     

[USA]

  

TRADES HALL 27 MAR – 20 APR TUE-SAT 9.45PM, SUN 8.45PM TIX FROM $25.50

KUMAR [UK]

TIME MAGAZINE

LATE night

gimp fight

SIGHT GAGS FOR PERVERTS ‘Comedy gold’

[ USA]

THE AUSTRALIAN DEBUT OF INTERNET SENSATION

★ JEN KIRKMAN ★ DAVE HILL ★ ★ BROOKE VAN POPPELEN ★ SEATON SMITH ★ DAVE MERHEJE ★ WIL SYLVINCE ★ GREG BEHRENDT ★ ★ APARNA NANCHERLA ★ MELBOURNE TOWN HALL 27 MAR – 20 APR TUE-SAT 9.45PM, SUN 8.45PM TIX FROM $26.50

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‘One of the most ingenious nights of comedy you’ll ever see’ Herald Sun

THE HI-FI 27 MAR – 20 APR TUE-SAT 8.15PM, SUN 7.15PM TIX FROM $26.50 DIRECT FROM LONDON WITH HER BRAND NEW SHOW

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ED LIMITSON SEA

[UK]

Khorsandi

‘He’s a genius, plain and simple’

THE REUNION

‘Thrilling’ EVENING STANDARD

MELBOURNE TOWN HALL 27 MAR – 20 APR TUE-SAT 8.30PM, SUN 7.30PM TIX FROM $26

MELBOURNE TOWN HALL 27 MAR – 13 APR SEE WEBSITE FOR SHOW TIMES TIX FROM $26

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COMEDY FESTIVAL GUIDE 2014 CONTENTS

Page 14 Mooseheads Award Recipients: Geraldine Quinn, Rama Nicholas, The 28th Brian McCarthy Memorial Moosehead Awards BeneďŹ t Page 16 Stephen K Amos, Julian Clary, Amos Gill, Joel Creasey, Sean Cullen, Dave Hughes Page 18 Tom Gleeson, Je Green, Doc Brown, Joe Lycett, Miles Allen, Eddie It Page 20 Tim Vine, Kevin Bridges Page 21 Wil Anderson, John Safran Page 22 Felicity Ward, EďŹƒe, Khaled Khalafalla, Alice Fraser, John Kearns, Lawrence Mooney Page 24 Luke Heggie, The Improv Conspiracy (A Night In Chicago), Alex Williamson, Housos, Colin Lane, Marty Putz Page 26 Jimmy McGhie, Late Night Gimp Fight, Puppetry Of The Penis, Rebecca De Unamuno, Heath Franklin’s Chopper, Huw Joseph And The Immoral Support Band Page 28 Greg Fleet, The Boy With Tape on His Face, Tom Ballard, Sam Simmons, Best of the Ed Fest, Anjelah Johnson Page 30 Matt Okine, Luke McGregor Page 31 David Quirk, Joe Bone Page 32 Rhys Nicholson, Asher Trevealen Page 33 Scott Dooley, George Glass Page 34 Heath Franklin, Bob Downe, Neel Kolhatkar, Josh Wade, Nick Capper, Tym Jeery Page 36 Simon Taylor, The Umbilical Brothers, Reginald D Hunter, Tim Key, Kirsty Mac, Wayne Deakin Page 38 Wonderland Carnivale, Titty Bar Ha Ha, Nick Cody, Genevieve Fricker, Bloodbath, Die Roten Punkte Page 40 Urzila Carlson, Jason Byrne, Tommy Little, Hannah Gadsby, EastEnd Cabaret, Michael Winslow Page 42 Shappi Khorsandi, Ronny Chieng, Good Az Friday, Empire, Xavier Toby (‘Mining’ My Own Business), Des Bishop, Mel Buttle Page 44 Justin Hamilton, Damien Power, Brendon Walsh, Headliners, Set List, The Comedy Confessional, Michael Hing, Steen Raskopoulos Page 46 Michael Workman, Pete Helliar, Denise Scott, Cal Wilson, Kyle Kinane, Milton Jones, Paul Foot, David O’Doherty Page 48 Sara Pascoe, Adrienne Truscott, Max & Ivan, James Acaster, Nish Kumar, Wolf Creek the Musical, Damian Lawlor, Nelly Thomas Page 50 Juliette Burton, Steve Hughes, Simon Chugg, Stephen Hall, Sammy J & Randy, Anthony Morgan, Frank Woodley, The Improv Conspiracy (Harold Night) Page 52 Sarah Kendall, David Collins, Jordana Borensztajn, Dave Thornton, Zoe McDonald, Kate McLennan, The Late Night Board Game Slumber Party, Cath Styles, Xavier Toby (2014 - When We Were Idiots), LOL Comedy Showcase Page 54 Consumption, The Stevenson Experience, Darkness and Light, Shane Matheson, Tony Roberts, Monski Mouse, Sameena Zehra, CJ Delling, Showko, Kelly Rose Ryan Page 56 Death In Bowengabbie, The Legend Of King O’Malley, Porcelain Punch, The Listies, Cheek To Cheek, Faulty Towers, Bite-Size Comedy, Jason Geary & Jimmy James Eaton, Dave Callan, Thomas Jaspers Page 58 A Pocket Full Of Joy, Public Toilets, Private Words, Radio Variety Hour, The First Five, Rose Callaghan, Jason Chong, Jack Tandy, El Jaguar, Celebrity Theatresports, Late Night Impro Page 60: Tien Tran, The Wrestling, Rod Quantock, Henson Alternative’s Puppet Up!, Stella Young, The Fabulous Dame Farrar’s Dazzling Display Of Stupendous Acts For The Stage!, The Return Of The Eric, Craig Hill, Fabian Lapham & The Actual Musicians, Liz Skitch Page 62 Special Events: Capitol Classics, Class Clowns Grand Final, Deadly Funny National Final, Double Up, RAW Comedy Grand Final, The Comedy Zone, The Festival Club, Upfront

THE 2014 MELBOURNE INTERNATIONAL COMEDY FESTIVAL BY MAX & IVAN Hello, Melbourne! We’re British comedy double act Max & Ivan. At the moment, when people talk about us, they say things like ‘talented up-and-comers’ and ‘ones to watch’, but we’re conďŹ dent that, over time, this will evolve into ‘festival favourites’ and ‘comedy royalty’ before, in later years, giving way to ‘burnt out too soon’, ‘should have seen the melt-down coming’ and ďŹ nally ‘now performs on his own on cruise ships’. Last year, we performed at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival for the very ďŹ rst time. Before we arrived in Australia, we knew little about the festival, and were under the impression it was a small, independent chain of bicycle repair shops. How wrong we were. It’s actually an enormous, overwhelming, dazzlingly-curated concatenation of the world’s most brilliant comedians, which, over the course of a month, can nigh-on fulďŹ l your every wish and want (providing your wishes and wants mainly involve watching awesome live comedy). We write this (Ivan types the vowels, Max handles the consonants and punctuation, and our assistant James operates the ‘shift’ key and space bar) having recently performed at the Oxfam Gala in the beautiful Palais Theatre, and, with the fevered dregs of last night’s adrenaline still twitching through our veins, we can conďŹ rm this festival is going to be absolutely incredible. Everyone was brilliantly funny, from host Eddie Perfect through to closing act Joel Creasey, although it has to be said that David O’Doherty looks ridiculous without a beard, and has appalling skin-tone (actually, in retrospect, there’s a chance we’re thinking of Sammy J’s puppet, Randy). Whilst many, lesser, comedians might use these sacred column inches to plug the show they’re performing all festival (Max & Ivan: The Reunion – The Powder Room, Melbourne Town Hall, 8.30pm), we wouldn’t dream of it. We’d like to plug another show. Yep, it would be remiss of us not to mention the most terrifying task that lies before us this month; assembling The Wrestling, a one-night-only mega-show, in the 1200-seater main hall of Melbourne Town Hall, on Monday April 14. Max was once the UK’s youngest professional wres-

tler (obviously), and throughout the next few weeks we’ll be feverishly teaching the festival’s ďŹ nest comedians the dark arts of grappling as they prepare to step into the ring. Sam Simmons. Tommy Little. Tegan Higginbotham. David Quirk. All will be risking life and limb as they do battle – alongside actual massive pro-wrestlers – in a tournament pitting the forces of good (led by Team Captain Jason Byrne) against the forces of evil (led, naturally, by Team Captain Ronny Chieng). It’s going to be extraordinary. So have yourself an awesome month. ‘Festival’ is, appropriately, an anagram of ‘live fast’ (it’s also an anagram of â€˜ďŹ t slave’ and, upsettingly, â€˜ďŹ st veal’, which teaches us that it’s probably not wise to take life lessons from anagrams), so make the most of it. See as many shows as you can, drink plenty of water, and try and ignore that mad street-preacher. Cheers!

A WORD FROM OUR FRIENDS AT

GRAVITY ESPRESSO For decades, Melbourne has been regarded as Australia’s cultural hub, with its oerings of fantastic live music, art exhibitions, food events, fashion, sports – and, of course, world-class comedy. For at least one of those decades, Gravity Espresso has been around to witness Melbourne’s cultural wonders, and to help caeinate its performers, audiences and innocent bystanders. At Gravity, we’re really just a bunch of coee geeks – technically sound, socially questionable‌but the main thing is: we know our coee inside-out, and love it to bits. We supply wholesale coee, tea, drinking chocolate and big love to heaps of your favourite venues in and around Melbourne – but fear not, you can also buy our amazing blends at many local stores, or through our website. We recommend our most popular blends: Zenith, a medium roast with caramel notes, full body, and a smooth, clean ďŹ nish; or 6 Degrees Darker, rich and complex with a creamy mouth-feel and malty aftertaste. We also oer an excellent Organic coffee blend, if you’re that way inclined, and our delicious Project T loose-leaf teas are certiďŹ ed by the Ethical Tea Partnership.

GIVEAWAY$

Maaaaaaaaaaaaaaan! There are, like, 100s of crazygood shows in the festival this year. Unfortunately, if you’re like me, you currently owe thousands of dollars to Mongolian bounty hunters. Therefore, it’s a little tricky to try and see all of the shows you want. But never fear! We’ve got you covered. We’re giving away tickets to so many shows this year. Just keep your eyes peeled for the ‘Win tickets to this show at beat.com. au’ starbursts within the guide and then head to our website to win tickets to see these upstanding stand-ups: Julian Clary, Joel Creasey, Alex Williamamson, Greg Fleet, Neel Kolhatkar, Josh h Wade, Amos Gill, Je Green, Titty TICKE Bar Ha Ha, Luke Heggie, Khaled KhalSHO TS TO afalla, Alice Fraser, Wolf Creek The BEAT.CWS AT Musical, The Comedy Confessional, OM.AU Sean Cullen, Doc Brown, Nish Kumar,r, coe, Late Night Gimp Night, Sara `Pascoe, Tim Vine, John Kearns, Rhys Nicholson, Steve Hughes, Ronny Chieng, Matt Okine, Geraldine Quinn, Rama Nicholas, The Umbilical Brothers, Lawrence Mooney, Miles Allen, Michael Winslow, Puppetry of the Penis, Rebecca De Unamuno, Sam Simmons, Justin Hamilton, Damien Power, Michael Hing, Steen Raskopoulos, Tien Tran, Michael Workman, Rod Quantock, Denise Scott, Cal Wilson, Nelly Thomas, Stella Young, The Fabulous Dame Farrar’s Dazzling Display Of Stupendous Acts For The Stage!, Josh Wade, Genevieve Fricker, Nick Cody, Liz Skitch, Juliette Barton, Steve Hughes, Hannah Gadsby, Tommy Little, Simon Chugg, Stephen Hall, Sammy J & Randy, Anthony Morgan, Frank Woodley, Fabian Lapham, David Collins, Sarah Kendall, Jordana Borensztajn, Kate McLennan, Zoe McDonald, The Late Night Board Game Slumber Party, LOL Comedy Showcase, Cath Styles, The Consumption, Kelly Rose Ryan, The Stevenson Experience, Showko, Monski Mouse, Damien Lawlor, CJ Delling, Shane Matheson, Sameena Zehra, Tony Roberts, Darkness and Light, Death In Bowengabbie, The Legend Of King O’Malley, The Travelling Medicine Show, Faulty Towers, Bite-Size Comedies, Thomas Jaspers, Jason Geary & Jimmy James Eaton, Public Toilets, Private Words, The First Five, Radio Variety Hour, Rose Callaghan And Mates, Jason Chong, Jack Tandy, El Jaguar, Celebrity Theatresports, Late Night Impro, Xavier Toby, Craig Hill, Upfront, The Festival Club, Comedy Zone, Double Up, Deadly Funny, Class Clowns and Capitol Classics.

WIN

PLUS! THE MOODYS The Moodys, ABC TV’s highly anticipated second series of A Moody Christmas, is now available on DVD. The eight-part series follows the loveable and hilariously dysfunctional Moody family as they come together for signiďŹ cant family events over a single year. In the new series Dan (Ian Meadows) and Cora (Jane Harber) return home to Australia to set up house together. Now they are back Down Under, everything in their lives is topsy turvy. We have some copies of the DVD to giveaway. Head to beat.com.au to win.

CREDITS

Editor: Tyson Wray Sub-editor: Nick Taras Advertising: Ash Bartlett, Kris Furst, Patrick Carr Contributors: Augustus Welby, Avrille Bylok-Collard, Joanne BrookeďŹ eld, Josh Fergeus, Liza Dezfouli, Nick Mason, Nick Taras Production Manager: Patrick O’Brien Graphic Designers: Patrick O’Brien Gill Tucker, Nick Bebbington

We hope you enjoy the Comedy Festival this year – hit us up for espresso if you want to stay awake for the late-night shows. More: gravityespresso.com.au

Published by Furst Media 3 Newton Street, Richmond VIC 3121 (03) 9428 3600 info@beat.com.au Š 2014 Furst Media Pty Ltd. No part may be reproduced without the consent of the copyright holder.

              Got a show in the comedy festival this year? Let everyone know through Beat – the proud publisher of The Comic Strip and Comic In The Corner. Heavily discounted advertising packages including free editorials, images, giveaways and more apply all throughout the festival dates (Wednesday March 26 – Sunday April 20). For more information please email ash@beat.com.au or call (03) 8414 9700.

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USA

“If you’re in the mood for comedy, this is the best” - La Las Vegas Examiner

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COMEDY FESTIVAL GUIDE 2014

MOOSEHEAD AWARD RECIPIENTS RAMA NICHOLAS AFTER EVER AFTER

What if all the happy ever after endings of fairy tales weren’t so happy after all? Performer and Moosehead Award recipient Rama Nicholas says her 2014 MICF show, After Ever After, is based on two ideas, the first a question: what happened to the characters in fairy tales, Snow White, Cinderella and Little Red Riding Hood? And the second is the fact that originally these ubiquitous stories weren’t originally aimed solely at children. “The Brothers Grimm watered them down, they are the guys who committed them to the page but the stories all existed and they were just stories, more for adults than for children,” Nicholas notes. “They were very dark. They came from the mediaeval times when there was torture happening, people were doing those types of things. They were gruesome. They were also juicier. In the original story Rapunzel had an affair with the prince before they got married. Her stomach grew and her clothes no longer fitted. The part of the story that related to her pregnancy was edited out. I wondered what

life was like after the fairy tale ended.” Nicholas has created a cast of 15 characters to answer that question in After Ever After, the heroines and heroes of the fairy tales now middleaged. “Life has gone on,” she says. “It’s not a new idea – there’s a lot of fan-fiction in every genre. Everyone has their own version of what happens.” Nicholas says this show has been baking in her mind for “a long, long time”. “The seed came from an improvisation actors’ workshop I did with Randy Dickson. Everyone knows these characters, we all know these stories.” In comparison to last year’s show, Death Rides a Horse, which Nicholas says flowed out of her, After Ever After has required much more in terms of writing. “My biggest challenge – the discipline of writing a script. I’m an improviser; I think on my feet. I’m not a writer per se. I get itchy feet writing dialogue, scenes, story structure; I want to be up doing it. This show required a lot more tweaking. It’s been an interesting writing journey. I did some research. I have an acting background so I think about characters and their backstories – all that’s important to an actor.” What has she needed to do in terms of putting the show together? “For this show I watched a lot of movies, telly shows, read a few versions of fairy tales, which are watered down versions of stories that are actually very dark. I have a story arc, and a clear idea about what I want through the written word – I’ve got good instincts for studying story.”

GERALDINE QUINN

MDMA – MODERN DAY MAIDEN AUNT

Imagine you’re one of a family of seven siblings. They’re all married with children. Every one of them, except you. Geraldine Quinn has 19 nieces and nephews. Not only is she without a partner, house, kids or a proper job, she can’t afford to buy them all birthday presents. Black sheep doesn’t begin to describe it. Modern Day Maiden Aunt is Quinn’s new show about her own life, as a single, childfree, creative woman. The show is supported by a Moosehead Award and is directed by Justin Hamilton; Quinn is one of two Moosehead Award recipients this year, the other being Rama Nicholas. There will be original songs of course, sung in her unmistakeable voice, but what is Quinn doing differently with this show? “I’m saying something different, being honest,” she says. “There are a lot more stories I have to tell in this show; things I need to explain.” Modern Day Maiden Aunt is a look at being an outside of sorts within your closest circle, about not conforming when you’re expected to, and making art. “Modern Day Maiden Aunt is about being an aunty,” she says. “But it’s also exploring the fact that different things happen in different people’s lives; about the presumptions people make about women who are nearly 40. People expect you to get a proper life. Society finds it very hard to place women over a certain age. It can be very hard. I feel like ‘the poor cousin’ sometimes. My dad says things to me like, ‘You’ve got to look at a teaching degree. Who’s going to look after you later?’ But how many other women are in this position? How many of my friends are exactly the same? It’s more normal for us than

they think.” Faced with the monolithic model of the nuclear family unit, it can be hard for the single and/or childless artistic woman to remind herself how rich her world is in so many other respects. “I’ve got other things in my life,” says Quinn. “But it’s always a partner that comes along to family events, so my family don’t get to meet my friends.” In her show, Quinn takes the opportunity to have a go at herself – “all the crap that I do wrong.” Like what? “I’m terrible at relationships and holding down a job. I’ve got no money. I’ve only got a car ‘cause my parents thought I should have one. I get to say to my nieces, ‘You know, it looks glamorous but I’m still getting changed in toilet cubicles when I do shows!’” Quinn also has a go at social media trends, in particular the tendency of parents to keep posting pictures of their kids. “It’s not that I don’t like kids,” she explains. “Just because I don’t have them doesn’t mean I don’t like them. I have a crap-load of kids in my life. I know more about kids more than most other people who don’t have their own. Kids are hilarious, they’re weird and spongy, they’re amazing to watch, they learn so fast. There’s an injection of joy you get when you know children well. But when that’s all you’ve got to talk about…I think, ‘Sorry about posting about my little show…’” Quinn doesn’t necessarily think she should have the usual trappings of adulthood but being the only one in her family without them sometimes leaves her on the outer in family conversations. But hey, she gets to make a comedy show

Nicholas can see the progress she has made from even a year ago. “This show has grown me as a performer,” she says. “Through the collaboration with a director.” Being one of the recipients of this year’s Moosehead Award has made a huge difference to her. “It’s so valuable,” she says. “I’ve been able to just create the work. I don’t have to produce or publicise it. I love the fact that the Moosehead comes at comedy from a creative point of view; it’s not all about standup. They look at all kinds of comedy. It’s such a Melbourne thing. It’s an amazing award, more like a grant really. You get the support so you can go and be the performer.” So what does happen to Little Red Riding Hood? “I like strong independent female protagonists, a female hero,” answers Nicholas. “But I also like a love story; I’m a bit of a softie. My angle is that life’s not perfect. Shit goes down. There are no happy endings. We have to deal with things and life goes on. Crazy stuff happens.”

WIN

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BY LIZA DEZFOULI VENUE: PORTLAND HOTEL – LOCKER ROOM, CNR RUSSELL & LT COLLINS ST, CBD DATES: MARCH 27–APRIL 20 (EXCEPT MONDAYS) TIMES: 7.15PM (SUNDAYS 6.15PM) TICKETS: $18-$27

about it all. “There’s an expectation that if you haven’t had kids, that there’s a reason. It’s ‘why, why, why?’ But I didn’t pick this.” For many women, negotiating this sort of thing in company is excruciating. Quinn doesn’t deny that it’s hard and she says she’s lucky she’s able to joke about it. “Artists are lucky. At least we get to make something – I can pick up a guitar and produce these things that didn’t exist before. And it helps that I dress like a drag queen.” What about the literary or theatrical tradition of the glamorous single aunt, the one who travels, has lovers and inspires her nieces, showing them that the conventional life isn’t the only one? Quinn almost qualifies. “But the difference was that they were all rich! They weren’t married but they were in possession of their own fortunes.” Quinn does try to be a good influence on her nieces and nephews. “I want to be the best person I can be, not just the one who’s different in the family,” she notes. “They like me no matter how much of a fuck-up I am. They like me the way I am.” The last few years have seen her working very hard. “I want to push myself musically,” she says. “I want to be saying something different, not the same things everyone else is saying. I’ve been insanely focussed on this,” she adds, about Modern Day Maiden Aunt. Quinn reckons there’s a particularly strong female element to this year’s MICF. “Women are going to storm the festival,” she says. “Adrienne Truscott, Bryony Kimmings, Jen Brister, Kate McLennan, Juliet Meyers. And the local comics, Felicity, Celia; there are so many Aussie chicks!” As well as her good self. Has Quinn any ideas for her next show? “Not yet. But the ideas will come.” BY LIZA DEZFOULI

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VENUE: MELBOURNE TOWN HALL – LUNCH ROOM, CNR SWANSTON & COLLINS ST, CBD DATES: MARCH 27–APRIL 20 (EXCEPT MONDAYS AND APRIL 16) TIMES: 7.15PM (SUNDAYS 6.15PM) TICKETS: $18-$27

THE 28TH BRIAN MCCARTHY MEMORIAL MOOSEHEAD AWARDS BENEFIT Fresh from a season at the Adelaide Fringe, Justin Hamilton, performer and producer and Moosehead Awards committee member, is ready for Melbourne. He is directing Moosehead recipient Geraldine Quinn’s show, Modern Day Maiden Aunt, for MICF. “It’s nice to be working on a musical, working in a different genre,” he says about Quinn’s show. “It’s been fun. I get a lot out of directing,” he adds. “It’s an extra string to my bow. I like working on shows with people.” In the past, Hamilton’s directed shows by Tommy Dassalo, Nelly Thomas and Halley Metcalfe. As well as directing Quinn in MICF, he’s performing his own show, Johnny Loves Mary Forever 1994. He also podcasts, hosts shows and blogs about every gig he does. How does he manage it all? “I don’t sleep,” he answers. “It’s a good thing I like to keep busy.” Comedy has taken Hamilton to all sorts of places, Afghanistan being one of them. How did he end up in a war zone? “After doing every Adelaide Fringe since 1996 and every MICF since 1995 I told my manager I needed to do something new, something different; I couldn’t do festivals any more. Then the army called my manager. I’d said I wanted something different, but Afghanistan?” Hamilton’s glad he went. “It was life-affirming. Other comics had performed there, Tom Gleeson, Lehmo. I was touring with Dr Karl and Ben Gillies of Silverchair.” What was it like, performing for soldiers? “A life changing experience,” he says. “I met the men and women representing our country. Being behind the scenes at a war zone was amazing, seeing the reality of how they live, how they’re coping with the aggression that’s prevalent, the ups and downs. It was fascinating.” Was it hard to stand up and be flippant in front of people

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facing the possibility of being wounded or killed during the course of their day jobs? “I thought it would be terrifying,” Hamilton says. “But I wasn’t nervous at all. They were chuffed that I’d made the effort to go all the way there. They turned up wearing all the same thing, though. They should have had a chat with each other before going out.” Hamilton was a Moosehead recipient himself in 2007 for his show Three Colours Hammo, a show which won awards at MICF and the Adelaide Fringe the following year. He talks about what a boon the Moosehead is for fostering different kinds of comedy. “We take people with ideas that are left of centre that need a bit more massaging,” he explains. “We team you up with people who can see what you’re trying to do, who will help your craft, work out the edges. It helps those ideas that are a bit more fragile. It’s a big start. Some very big people have come out of Moosehead, people like Sam Simmons, Sammy J & Randy and Asher Treleaven.” Other notable award winners include Judith Lucy, Lano & Woodley, Anthony Morgan, Dave O’Neil, Alan Brough and Corinne Grant. A highlight of the MICF, if not the highlight, is The Brian McCarthy Memorial Moosehead Awards Benefit, the grand finale and a show which traditionally has a secret lineup. Brian McCarthy was a young comedian and promoter who died in 1987 in whose memory the Mooseheads were established. Hamilton says he jumped at the chance to be involved with the award. “It’s great to have something like this that helps people.” He says he’ll be around on the board until he runs out of ideas. “Like anything, once you’re sick of something or if you don’t have any new ideas it’s time to move on. You don’t want to stick around; it’s time to let some new blood in.”

What advice would he offer someone who wanted to apply for Moosehead support? “Think through your ideas,” he says. “Don’t just tell us your idea for a show; think about how you are going to explain it, present it. Is it musical? Will you use puppets? Having an idea is one thing but you need to flesh it out. Really delve into it. Don’t just say, ‘Here’s my idea’ and skim the surface. It’s one thing having a good idea but you need to know how to explain it. Be passionate and have an idea that you’re passionate about.” Hamilton says about 60 shows applied for an award last year. Two shows were awarded: Rama Nicholas’ After Ever After alongside Quinn’s show. “We look into each show on its own merits,” Hamilton continues. “Some are good but just ‘not Moosehead.’” What are the most common mistakes applicants make? “Not thinking it through,” he answers. “People still apply with just that first idea, which isn’t that interesting.” Hamilton is highly regarded in the business with a distinct overview of Australian comedy, and having been involved on so many levels – he’s performed, directed, hosted radio, appeared on TV, written and acted in his own play – for such a long time, he’s in a good position to articulate what makes good comedy. “Perfecting comedy is about getting the idea across as simply as possible. Keeping the concept accessible and as easily digestible as possible. New comics can tend to overcomplicate things. Work on reducing three sentences to one.” He doesn’t think doing courses in comedy is a good idea. “Just get up onstage,” he says. “And until you’ve had that first gig that doesn’t go well, you won’t learn anything. Noone learns from success; it’s the failures you remember.” BY LIZA DEZFOULI

JUSTIN HAMILTON

VENUE: MELBOURNE TOWN HALL – MAIN HALL, CNR SWANSTON & COLLINS ST, CBD DATE: APRIL 20 TIME: 8PM TICKETS: $54.90-$59.90

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COMEDY FESTIVAL GUIDE 2014 JULIAN CLARY POSITION VACANT, ENQUIRE WITHIN

STEPHEN K AMOS

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“It’s a funny thing,” muses Julian Clary. “I’m passionate about gay marriage; it’s such a significant thing for the way gay people are perceived but I’m not bothered for myself. I do have a boyfriend, but we’re too comfortable the way we are. If we do get married no-one will know about it til after the event.” Clary’s new show, Position Vacant, Enquire Within, which he’s bringing to Melbourne on his eighth tour of Australia, does involve him getting married, in a ‘beautiful ceremony’, a rigmarole involving a bishop, bridesmaids, confetti , and a groom chosen from about ten men out of the audience who’ve been rounded up by a cattle prod and herded into a sheep pen. Go get ‘em. Of all his shows, Clary says this one is the most anarchic. “Anything might happen. Indeed it does. I love it. I never get bored; it’s completely different every night. “How much of this new show is scripted? “It’s got a kind of structure,” Clary answers. “The first half is more scripted but with that many people involved you can’t script it all. I prefer that; I never liked being tied to a script.” Clary has been involved in various activities besides stand up in his 30 year career. Recently he’s been on reality TV, done a lot of radio and has authored three books. There’s a new book coming soon, a children’s book. However, stand-up, he says, for him is the ‘purest form of self-expression.’ “The other things one does are to generate audiences. I’m passionate about the books I write but the most job satisfaction I have is from touring.” The biggest challenge with this type of show, Clary says, is the risk factor. “It’s one thing sitting down and having a laugh at an idea, working out what you hope people will do. The scariest thing is the danger; the most difficult thing is taking that risk, with that number of people on stage.” Has Clary ever had any really hairy situations during a performance? “You get people who are drunk, mad or on drugs. Occasionally people escape the sheep pen. It doesn’t really matter. There are plenty more people to play with. I’m very good at handling all situations.”

AMOS GILL

WHAT DOES THE K STAND FOR?

How much of the Julian Clary we see on stage is persona? “If I think about today,” he answers thoughtfully, “I’m here in my house in the country; I’ve been feeding the chickens and the ducks, walking the dogs and haven’t shared much with anyone. It’s a rustic existence a million miles away from the stage. My comedy persona is a thing that takes over me when I’m required to perform, it seems to happen when it’s required of me. I’m sort of a split personality. I’m not very extroverted; I don’t long to be the centre of attention.” Has Clary any unfulfilled ambitions? “Someone has written a play for me,” he answers. “It’s not a comedy. I’m absolutely terrified of doing it. With comedy I know what I’m doing. I know where I stand. In a play no-one laughs, so how do you know? You don’t find out til the end of the play. I am going to do it; the play’s complete, we’ve got to find a place and a space. Not London with its evil critics.” What about Melbourne? “It’s not a bad idea. It appeals to me.” Does Clary ever experience performance anxiety? Regarding stand-up, we mean. “Yes. Always. I’m fairly anxious before a show. I’ve never lost the fear of failure, even after 30 years. I’m not a fan of self-confidence; I don’t think it’s conducive to comedy.” BY LIZA DEZFOULI VENUE: HER MAJESTY’S THEATRE, 219 EXHIBITION ST, CBD DATE: APRIL 19 TIME: 8PM TICKETS: $64.90

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YOU’VE CHANGED You’ve Changed is a show about growing up and growing apart, by a lad who is one of Australia’s hottest young comedians. After a sensational appearance as finalist in the national RAW Comedy competition, Amos Gill was handpicked by Melbourne International Comedy Festival to take the helm of their prestigious Comedy Zone–showcasing the best up-andcoming comedians. Amos’ solo show You’ve Changed was nominated for ‘Best Emerging Artist’ and ‘People’s Choice’ awards at the Adelaide Fringe. He’s just recorded his standup show for SBS TV and spent most of 2013 travelling the globe co-hosting a new show for ABC3. This will be his debut solo stand-up comedy show at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival.

VENUE: PORTLAND HOTEL – LOCKER ROOM, CNR RUSSELL AND LT COLLINS STREET, CBD DATES: MARCH 27–APRIL 20 (EXCEPT MONDAYS) TIMES: 8.30PM (SUNDAYS 7.30PM) TICKETS: $15–$22

Stephen K Amos is a charming, much-loved veteran of the Melbourne International Comedy Festival. He is currently in Adelaide before moving on to Brisbane and then Melbourne for his, what number Comedy Festival in Melbourne? “Do you know what, I can’t, honestly, genuinely remember. When I first came out to Australia many years ago, maybe it was nine years ago, I never dreamt, in my wildest dreams that I would still be here, in 2014, doing another show... in Adelaide it’s raining, very unusually, I’ve been here for a week, and it’s just been the most amazing long weekend ever, with WOMADelaide, the Future Festival, the Fringe Festival, the Festival Festival, it’s all happening.” For his show this year, What Does The K Stand For? Amos is concentrating on his personal stories, and how they relate to the universal. “I’ve called it What Does The K Stand For? because that is the one question, bar any, that I’m asked of, and everywhere I go, be it an interview or someone on the street it’s ‘what does the K stand for?’ and it got to the point where I was thinking ‘What are the other questions people never ask each other, as human beings?’ And I’m sure we’ve all got a question that people keep asking us, whether you’ve got a funny sounding name or maybe you’ve mole on your face, but people don’t normally ask about your sexuality, or religious or political beliefs. You know there’s certain questions that you don’t even broach, you know those dinner party conversation killers? So I’m just having a light-hearted look at all the questions that should have been asked.” But when I ask what that letter K does stand for, Amos is coy. “If I tell you that then the end of the show will be a bit of a giveaway.” For him, this is where the heart of his show comes from, “I propose the idea that it could be anything.” Amos has just wound up his last tour two weeks ago, and is about to start work on a sitcom. “This is something I’ve written and it’s all about my kind of formative years growing up in South London, a child of immigrant parents, so it’s quite an interesting time, and also I’m thinking of doing a three month tour in America, after I’ve finished here in Australia.”

JOEL CREASEY ROCK GOD

Joel Creasey is one of Australia’s youngest, brightest and d most sought-after comedians. Appearing seemingly out of nowhere at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival, Joel quickly became the talk of the town. Creating controversy and gathering legions of new fans wherever he goes, Joel recounts stories of his run-ins with celebrities, politicians, football teams, regional towns and of course his parents. Lovingly referred to as Australia’s ‘Acid Tongue Prince’ – in only a short time Joel has built a cult following that is rapidly growing into the wider Australian community. People everywhere are falling in love with his intelligent observations, acerbic style and pop-culture expertise.

DAVE HUGHES

SEAN CULLEN

Connecting with Hughsey took a bit of doing: Beat chased him from Adelaide to Sydney and back before we got to talk. Our favourite Aussie bloke says he likes being busy. “I’ve been busy for years. I was doing radio in the morning and television at night, for years every day was bookended like that.” Now Hughes is back into delivering straight stand-up after a gap of 12 years, performing every night and he just loves the freedom to say whatever he wants to since he quit radio and TV last December. “On television you’re restricted in what you can and can’t say; on stage I can say what I think’s funny,” he says. “It’s an absolute joy.” There’s no danger of Hughes running out of stuff to talk about. “I’m on stage every night with different material.” In answer to the inevitable question of whether or not he will ever run dry, he says he’s only on stage for an hour. Still, for most of us, thinking of things to say in public for a minute, let alone for an hour, would be a form of torture. When Hughes says he feels ‘so comfortable’ on stage, you believe him. Hughes, like Billy Connolly among many others, is one of these comics who just performs himself and talks about everyday things. His humour, he says, comes simply from his take on life. Pointless, his show for the Comedy Festival, is Dave Hughes talking about himself. “It’s straight stand-up,” he says. “I’m ranting on about my life as a minor celebrity and a father of three. That’s the crux of it. It’s hard to explain, what I try to do…” he muses. “My comedy is mostly funny stories about things that have happened and I try to embellish it for comic effect.” The secret to stand up success according to Hughesy is no more mysterious than realising that life is finite and we’re all going to die. “It’s about seeing the fun in life. Life is ridiculous. Life will always be funny. Living is a silly thing to do.” The pointlessness of life might not strike you as essentially hilarious, and it may have even driven some to suicide, but Hughes says this awareness is all you need to be a comedian. So why don’t more people do it? “I think everyone could do it,” he notes. “As long as you can see that life is silly …life is ultimately pointless. Very few of us are going to be remembered two hundred years after we die, and even fewer 500

“I have ideas percolating all the time so I’ve never really experienced writer’s block,” says Sean Cullen, comedian, actor, author, screenwriter and member of the legendary (and now defunct) comedy trio Corky and the Juice Pigs. The Canadian comedy all-star is bringing his current swathe of ideas to the Melbourne International Comedy Festival in the form of his solo show I Am A Human Man, and we’re chatting about his 27 years as a comedian. “I think especially with comedy, if you keep doing the same thing and go back to the well all the time, stuff just gets boring for you,” Cullen tells me. “If you look at the comics who are really successful...say Jim Carey–he started off as a pretty broad comic and then he kind of moved into being more of an actor and a character performer. People get to know your shtick. Look at Steve Martin, at one point he just said ‘you know what? I’m bored of this. I think I’m done with this’, and he moved on. It’s the only thing that keeps me engaged, knowing that I’m going to be doing something different tomorrow and it won’t be just this, it’ll be other things too. Not that I’m Steve Martin.” With a little under five million followers, Steve Martin is one of the most prolific Twitter users out there, having embraced the technological advances of the last decade which Cullen believes are both good and bad for comedy. “I’ve got about 15,000 Twitter followers and that’s pretty moderate compared to some really successful comedians,” he says. “But I mean it gives you an opportunity to write short, concise, funny, observations or jokes. Or to float things out there and see the reaction they get. When I started out back in 1987...if I’d have had the internet to disseminate what we did, we would have been so much bigger I think. The Juice Pigs always struggled I think because we’re very weird – we’ve got a weird point of view. We’ve never had the exposure that, say, the Doug Anthony All Stars had when they got on television. Australia is a lot more...I dunno...to accept something like the Doug Anthony All Stars...in America at that time television was the only place you could go and they weren’t buying that.” “If we had the internet people would have come to us and we would have built it from that. That’s what happens, people

BY SAM WILSON

VENUE: ATHENAEUM THEATRE, 188 COLLINS ST, CBD DATES: MARCH 27–APRIL 20 (EXCEPT MONDAYS) TIMES: 7.20PM (SUNDAYS 6.20PM) TICKETS: $36–$45

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VENUE: SWISS CLUB, 89 FLINDERS LANE, CBD (MELBOURNE TOWN HALL - POWDER ROOM, CNR SWANSTON & COLLINS ST, CBD ON APRIL 14) DATES: MARCH 27–APRIL 20 (EXCEPT MONDAYS BAR APRIL 14) TIMES: 9.45PM (SUNDAYS 8.45PM AND APRIL 14 6PM) TICKETS: $15-$25

I AM A HUMAN MAN

POINTLESS

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He’s looking forward to seeing his fellow comedians from the UK, but he’s also enthusiastic about the Australian comedy scene. “I’m looking forward to seeing Sarah Kendall, a Melbourne lady who has done some very good stuff in the past, and also there’s some very good news for one of the comedy festival galas, I’m not quite sure if I’m allowed to say anything about it at this moment.” That is something to look forward to, but he’s not to be distracted from encouraging local talent. “All I would say is that I’m very grateful that the Australian audiences, be it Melbourne, Brisbane, or Adelaide, come out and support what I do, but I also think that it’s very important that, you know, you also seek out your local talent. There’s a lot of people coming through the Australian comedy scene that are making waves around the world, so check out people you’ve never heard of, but yeah come and watch me too, you’re guaranteed a laugh.” The other thing that he’s looking forward to is in Adelaide, “I can’t wait for the closing party here, it’s going to be full on.” Have you got any goals, goals for the party? “Maybe to wake up under a table somewhere that isn’t my hotel? It’s a good goal isn’t it?”

years after we die. So there’s nothing to worry about. We rush around taking life so seriously and that’s what is ridiculous. You and everyone you know will be gone. It’s a good thing to be aware of.” We asked Hughesy for advice on how to break into comedy and he says the same thing everyone else does: perform. “Make a lot of mistakes,” he advises. “There’s no training for it, you train on the job. Do the comedy rooms, and remember that if you’re not getting a laugh then that will be very funny to many other people. “ Ah. He adds that getting in the face of organisers of comedy events and rooms is the way to go. “Annoy the organisers, well not annoy them but get in their face, prove you’re willing to work. Turn up even if you’re not booked and say ‘I’m here and happy to go up.’” Horse’s mouth, people. BY LIZA DEZFOULI Venue: Comedy Theatre, 240 Exhibition Street, CBD Dates: March 25–April 20 (except Mondays) Times: 7.30pm (Saturday and Sundays 8pm) Tickets: $30–$45

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download a video a million times and then you don’t have to go to a network and be approved by a bunch of guys, you just do what you want to do and it comes to you. It would have been great to have that direct access to the audience. In some ways it’s hard – for music, say – even for comedy, but I think comedy has always been something which you go see live and music too is now turning back to touring. That’s where you make your money. Go with a bag, you open it, get all the ticket receipts and then you go home. If you can’t sell your album, you tour. And people are aware of you because you’re on the internet, and they’ll come see you. I do podcasts and show up to a town. A show, 2pm on Sunday afternoon–you’ll still be jam-packed because people listen to the podcast and they’ll come and pay for a ticket.” BY JOSH FERGEUS

Venues: The Arts Centre–Fairfax Studio, 100 St Kilda Rd, CBD (Melbourne Town Hall–Powder Room, Cnr Swanston & Collins St, CBD on April 7) Dates: March 27–April 7 (except Wednesday, sundays and Monday March 31) Times: 9.15pm (Sunday 8.15pm, Monday 6pm) Tickets: $28–$35

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COMEDY FESTIVAL GUIDE 2014 EDDIE IFFT

JEFF GREEN

TRAIN WRECK

ALL GUNS BLAZING

“We only roast the ones we love.” So says the gloriously uncompromising Eddie Ifft, who comes from a long line of successful US comics born in the Comedy Cellar in New York City. Ifft’s talking about the US tradition of ‘roasting’ comics in front of their peers, a kind of public scorning we in Australia are far too nice to do to each other. “It really is ugly in America,” Ifft notes. “It’s hard. We’re so callous. We’re not sensitive at all.” When Ifft started out in the Comedy Cellar he’d be number 20 in a lineup that might include Jerry Seinfeld or Louis CK amongst others. Ifft can laugh now but it was a baptism by fire. “One night the MC said ‘we’d like to thank all the comedians and Eddie Ifft for coming here tonight.’” Ouch. “I said ‘I think I want to quit’,” recalls Ifft. “Friends said ‘Are you kidding? They mentioned your name! They only do that to friends.” Train Wreck is Ifft’s new show for MICF, about the last year of his life. He reckons he’s something of a reformed character these days but that’s not what audiences want. “People want to know about the fuck-ups,” he says. “They want to hear about the time I got tackled by a midget, had a snowball thrown at me, when I set off a fire alarm or got into a fist fight or when a guy nearly pulled a gun on me.” A gun? Well, that’s the United States for you. “It happened in Australia,” says Ifft. “I was doing a show in Jindabyne and this out of control guy, who was mad at the act before me, said he was going to get a gun. I asked his friends if he was really going to get a gun and they said yes, he was serious. I was ‘show’s over’ and out the back door.” The early years at the Comedy Cellar were good training, Ifft reckons. “We’re lucky in the US ‘cos there’s so much standup. You can do 11 shows in one night. It gives you a lot of practice. You can write a joke a night and by the end of the night you’ve got your joke crafted. I feel bad for comics in countries where you don’t get as much stage time.” Being up against massive names at the Comedy Cellar helped Ifft form his own brand of comedy. “When you go on with those guys, who are the best comics in the world, if you’re last in line, the audience has heard everything. People say ‘you’re

All Guns Blazing is a show of fighting words from Jeff Green, one of the best and longest lasting comics around. The UK’s loss was Melbourne’s gain when he moved out here, for love, he says. A ‘massive 90 degree turn’ brought Green to live in Melbourne. “I’d always loved Australia. I knew what I was getting myself into,” he says. “I’d probably be wealthier in the UK but I’m happier here.” Green reckons it’s harder for Aussie comics to find the opportunity to perform full length shows. “It’s not like the UK where there are hundreds of rooms. Here you have to do a new show every year so you’re not disappointing your audience.” Green’s new show is something of a departure from what fans have come to know and laugh at. “The new show has some rap,” he says. “I love rap. It’s rhythm and poetry, a beautiful medium for people who like words. It’s not the whole show; there’s just a sprinkle of that. I finish on a poem – that’s new. It keeps me and my fans on their toes. I enjoy a turn of phrase; I enjoy exploring that on stage. You can do that with a whole show, explore deeper; an hour is different to 20 minutes. You don’t have the liberty to do that when you’re performing at 11pm on someone’s birthday and everyone is drunk. “What I love about writing a new show is that it’s like a big piece of marble waiting to be cut. My new show’s about some issues to do with being a father, my kids are eight and six, and the world they’re growing up in. They are facing different issues to what I faced growing up. I bring my own (hilarious – this is comedy) insight to these things. I talk about some of the main broad topics; you don’t have to be a parent to relate to them, things like the dredging of the Great Barrier Reef, the rise of China, the world boiling as we speak. I talk about ageing. There’s that lovely Confucian tradition of revering the elders, whereas we think of aging in terms of senility, sickness, and odd smells. The main issues are dealing with our attitudes, what we think the elderly are capable of.” Green is generous with advice to would-be comedians, given that he’s been performing stand-up for longer than many of his audience members have been alive, he’s worth listening to. “Give up. I can’t stand the competition!” He adds that writing

so rude and mean. Your material’s so offensive’ but it was the only thing I could do to elicit a response.” Ifft says there’s a big difference between the US style of comedy and what our comics do here. “I’m a big fan of Aussie comics,” he says. “It’s a different style. In the US we have 500 TV channels and no attention span. We don’t tell such long drawn out stories. You have to have a laugh every 20 seconds. The challenge is in writing a good show, with about a 100 laughs. Boom, boom, boom.” Ifft says the best advice he can offer aspiring comedians is not to take advice. “You don’t want someone else’s creativity,” he continues. “The guys I’ve heard of who’ve succeeded didn’t take advice from other comics. Do what you think’s funny.” Ifft writes his own material. “I never sit down and write with anyone.” Now that Ifft is married he might be responsible for single-handedly bringing back the mother-inlaw joke. Literally. “My mother-in-law thinks she should be my writer,” he says. BY LIZA DEZFOULI

VENUE: FORUM THEATRE – DOWNSTAIRS, CNR FLINDERS & RUSSELL ST, CBD DATES: APRIL 8–20 (EXCEPT MONDAY) TIMES: 7.45PM (SUNDAYS 6.45PM) TICKETS: $25–$33

BY LIZA DEZFOULI VENUES: FORUM DOWNSTAIRS, CNR FLINDERS & RUSSELL STS, CBD (MELBOURNE TOWN HALL – SUPPER ROOM, CNR SWANSTON & COLLINS ST, CBD ON MONDAYS) DATES: MARCH 27–APRIL 6, 7 & 14 TIMES: 8.15PM (SUNDAYS 7.15PM AND MONDAYS 7PM) TICKETS: $22–$32

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Joe Lycett, a relaxed and joyous British comedian, makes his Australian debut at the 2014 Melbourne Comedy Festival. Still only 25-years-old, Joe rocketed onto the scene just a few short years ago and was nominated for the Edinburgh Fringe Best Newcomer Award for his debut show in 2012. If Joe Lycett Then You Should Have Put A Ring On It is a show that is both naughty and nice. In a ludicrous hour, Joe illustrates with great charm and affection his love for mischief, including pranks he has played on various companies, imparting top tips as to how to annoy your bank and taking on a parking attendant with a vengeance. It’s fun, daft, upbeat comedy.

VENUE: MELBOURNE TOWN HALL – CLOAK ROOM, CNR SWANSTON & COLLINS ST, CBD DATES: MARCH 27–APRIL 20 (EXCEPT MONDAYS) TIMES: 7.15PM (SUNDAYS 6.15PM) TICKETS: $25.50–$33

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ONE MAN BREAKING BAD D

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Look, I’m just going to come right out and say it. If you didn’t like Breaking Bad, then there’s something wrong with you. Seriously. The rest of us our totally into it and if you’re not, then, yes, as you suspect, we’ve all been judging you. It’s one of those pop-culture phenomena that no one saw coming but we can no longer remember life before it happened and are struggling to cope now that’s it over (hurry up with Better Call Saul, AMC) but, like all good love affairs, better to have loved and lost than never heard Jesse Pinkman’s “yo, Mr White” or “yo, Gatorade me bitch”. Miles Allen gets it. The show, about a terminally-ill high school chemistry teacher who uses his knowledge of science to start cooking the best meth on the illegal drug market so he could posthumously provide for his family, triggered obsessive fandom around the world. In Hollywood, Los Angeles, Allen was just as devoted as the rest of us.  The impersonator and comedian, however, has taken his love of the show a step further and turned it into a live stage show, which will see him performing as part of the 2014 Melbourne International Comedy Festival for the very first time. (“I’m so excited” he says of his first trip Down Under) Called One Man Breaking Bad, Allen has condensed the entire series – that’s more than sixty hours of television – into a one hour show, impersonating all the characters and using original dialogue.  “So many revisions!” he says of how he was able to truncate such a detailed narrative, “killing your darlings!”  He debuted the show at the Duna Comedy Lounge in Los Angeles last September, meeting with favourable audience responses, but it was his YouTube video, posing as a homeless man doing Breaking Bad character impressions in exchange for food, that garnered him international press attention plus 1.2 million views. Only a few short months later and the self-described fan boy is on a plane to the other side of the world, with AMC’s blessing. He says it was an organic process. “It’s my favourite show of all time and so this was just the natural progression for someone like me, watching a show like Breaking Bad, (to) let’s make a one hour comedy show about it,” he says.  So why did the show appeal so much to Allen? “I think that

TICKE TS T SHO O THIS BEAT.CW AT OM.AU

OF MIC AND MEN

IF JOE LYCETT THEN YOU SHOULD HAVE PUT A RING ON IT

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is the key to finding one’s voice as a comedian. “The only way to really explore your persona is to keep writing. Jokes are not the main thing, your persona is. Young comics often struggle with the jokes, when they should focus on finding their comic voice. And that can take years. Keep turning material over. Most comics have to write one new 40 minute show a year. If you’re not doing that you’re going backwards. You have to be adaptable,” he continues. “Even in the UK where you can make a good living doing stand-up, and it’s a good life, you still need something else to do. You’ve got to keep yourself fresh. I do stand-up, I write, I mentor some young comics.” Green says the biggest challenge for him as a performer is staying relevant. “My job is to connect with my audience. You have to build that bridge. I have the skills and the experience of being on stage but I find often that I’m not talking to who is naturally my crowd; it’s a tricky tightrope you walk. But every comedian has to have a challenge. Most of us are very competitive, we want to be the best, win them over; we want to be liked, appreciated, and valued. You don’t take that for granted.”

DOC BROWN

JOE LYCETT

MILES ALLEN

WIN

TICKE TS T SHO O THIS BEAT.CW AT OM.AU

Breaking Bad is one of the great works of modern television. It’s honest. Every episode was crafted in a way that you could not not be invested into the characters and love and care about them. Even with Walt getting progressively worse and worse, he’s still your protagonist. Even with Jesse, starting out as a druggie who seems like going nowhere in life but your care about him and it shows that not everything is as black and white as sometimes people try to make it to be.” For Allen, who says he is a non-drinking, non-drug taking Christian (“I live a very vanilla life, some would say”) the show also offered vicarious appeal being the complete opposite of life as he knows it. “I’m attracted to it because it is a life I don’t know, it is a life that I would never actually want to live but I love watching it because I want to know happens next,” he says.  Although Jesse is his favourite character to play, he does them all, Walter White, Jesse, Saul, Skyler, Hank, Walt Junior, Mike and Gus Fring, he brings them all to life. Even if you’ve never watched the show, Allen says it’s worth coming to see the stage version. “Instead of spending however much of your life trying to binge-watch the show, you can watch the condensed version in an hour and you’re going to be laughing,” he says. And he has a special message for viewers of the show. “Even though I haven’t met them yet, I love them and I want them to have an A1 day”. He slips into Walt Junior’s voice, faltering perfectly, “ha..have an A1 day”.  BY JOANNE BROOKFIELD Venue: The Kelvin Club – The Ballroom, Melbourne Place (off Russell St, near cnr of Collins St), CBD Dates: March 26–April 19 (except Mondays and sundays) Times: 9.30pm Tickets: $20–$30

British rapper turned comedian Doc Brown returns to Melbourne with his smart, and very funny hip-hop take on life, politics and everything. Fresh from supporting Ricky Gervais around the world, and appearances on Russell Howard’s Good News, The Inbetweeners and Derek, Doc Brown is a must-see act. After rubbing shoulders with the biggest names in hip hop, performing with Mark Ronson’s band, and providing vocals alongside Amy Winehouse and Lily Allen, Doc burst onto the comedy scene with sell out shows in Edinburgh and London. With a blistering assault on the arrogance of rappers, Doc will delight audiences with his perfectly crafted songs and stories in this brand new show that answers that age old question–what happens to a rapper when he grows up?

VENUE: VICTORIA HOTEL – BANQUET ROOM, 215 LT COLLINS ST, CBD DATES: MARCH 27–APRIL 20 (EXCEPT MONDAYS), TIMES: 8.15PM (SUNDAYS 7.15PM) TICKETS: $27–$35

TOM GLEESON

QUALITY

“Quality,” explains Aussie comedian Tom Gleeson “means I can charge more for the show. My ticket prices can be higher.” This year’s MICF show from Gleeson is more political than what audiences are used to from him lately. “I’m not coping with Tony Abbott as PM,” he offers by way of explanation. “One of the challenges in putting this show together is that the majority of people voted for him.” In the past, Gleeson says, Howard’s coalition government provided a rich seam of material for comedy and so now does the current government. Other things Gleeson is not coping with are having a two year old child and booze. Quality isn’t another comedy show about giving up drinking, is it? This is a worrying trend. “No,” Gleeson says. “My show’s about realising I’ve got a problem and not dealing with it. I’m very honest about where I’m up to in life.” More than anything, with this show Gleeson wants to name stupid ideas for what they are. “Stupid ideas thrive when they’re not discussed. Taking things on face value is not hard to do.” The good part of his life as a comedian is the travelling round the country and getting his ideas across to as many people as possible, people who should be listening. “I did a gig in Canberra and there were people from the Department of Foreign Affairs in the audience. Gleeson likes the idea that his jokes were informed by decisions made by the very people sitting in the front row. “They got to go back to work and say ‘hey, I was in the audience at a show and they were laughing at us.’” Gleeson doesn’t script his routines as such – he goes on stage with a list of ideas in his head and takes it from there. “The longer I perform the better ideas I get at. When I did write everything down what I found that in a show 80% of it wouldn’t work and the three ad libs I did would work. So it was a waste of time learning it. Now I freestyle.” How does Gleeson remember everything he wants to say? “If you forget anything, the only person who’s going to worry about that is yourself. No-one cares about the stuff you forget – they don’t know. You’re only doing five minute spots when you start. If you forget you can start talking about something else or you can stop. Thank you and goodnight. Open mic nights are a great place to make mistakes.” Like other comics, Gleeson prefers the 50 minute or hour

long festival shows where he can say what he likes. “It’s a long time to talk about stuff. You can have something underneath what you’re saying, a subtext and build that up to a point. You can’t do that with a three minute TV spot.” Are there any downsides to his long comedy career? “I wish people would stop staring at me,” is his surprising answer. “I know how tigers in a cage in the zoo feel. When I’m on holiday I do very well to please anybody. But gigs are good; everybody has to go to work and do something to please people.” Is the Tom Gleeson we see on stage anything like the real, preferably displeasing Tom Gleeson? “The longer you go the more your true self comes out on stage. Either what I do on stage is an honest appraisal of myself or I’m becoming lazy. It’s pretty close to who I am as a person. If you’re being yourself it’s easier to stay in character. I’m getting more anti-social. It’s really getting to the point where I’m becoming completely unlikeable.” BY LIZA DEZFOULI VENUE: MELBOURNE TOWN HALL – SUPPER ROOM, CNR SWANSTON & COLLINS STREETS, CBD DATES: MARCH 27–APRIL 20 (EXCEPT MONDAYS AND MARCH 30) TIMES: 9.45PM (SUNDAYS 8.45PM) TICKETS: $28–$37.50

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FEMINAZI

Kirsty Mac March 27- April 6 (except Mon) 7.30 pm Upstairs Lounge @ Hairy Little Sista 200 Little Collins Street

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COMEDY FESTIVAL GUIDE 2014 TIM VINE

THE TIM VINE CHAT SHOW “I’ve just been on a once-in-a-lifetime holiday. I’ll tell you what, never again.” And so British jester Tim Vine deservedly collected the Edinburgh Fringe’s Best Joke award in 2010. Later, he would win a LAFTA Award for this ripper: “conjunctivitis.com – that’s a site for sore eyes”. Adding to this, Vine once held the record for most jokes told in an hour (499), since been broken by Australia’s Lehmo. These accomplishments could be retold in a hypothetical autobiography I proposed to him. What would he call it? “Mine would be called I’m Vine, Thanks.” His new show, The Tim Vine Chat Show, will be his first here in over three years. It’s distinguished from most chat shows in that the participants aren’t celebrities or comics but rather volunteers from the audience. How was the show received in Melbourne last time? “I was booed off every night,” he deadpans. “The show’s great fun, actually. It’s sort of a comedy chat show. I come out and do a bit of stand up at the top, and then I bring people out of the audience and interview them. Everyone has a story, that’s the crux of the thing. People

volunteer – I don’t pull people out of the audience who don’t want to come up. “This whole thing about ‘everyone has a story’, we’re sort of realising that the onus is on me to be funny. I can’t wait for funny stories to come up. Sometimes the stories are odd and you don’t expect them to end where they end. On the form you write your name, what you do for a living, has anything ridiculous happened to you, and sometimes someone will say something like, ‘I found a bat in my handbag’ and you think, ‘This will be a great story’. So you go, ‘What happened?’ and they go, ‘Well I found a bat in my handbag’. The title of the story was the whole story,” he laughs. “‘I found a bat in my handbag’, ‘Right, great.’ Part of the joy are all those moments where we seem to be getting nowhere. There’s fun in there, and I’m always throwing gags in along the way.” Vine is a one-liner legend, a pun king, a patron saint for dad jokes. Not that he likes that term, however. “I’m not a big fan of the dad joke tag. To me, it’s me being silly. A dad joke kind of means it’s unfashionable or something, which is fine, but that’s not how I think of these jokes. I love them, like my children. So I’m a dad, I suppose – there you go, I’ve just confirmed it,” he laughs. “They may be silly jokes, but we laugh at them. I think people are afraid to be silly, generally in life, and comedy is all different styles and that’s great, but Charlie Chaplin said it takes courage to be a fool, and I think there’s a lot

of fun to be had if you can get past the fear of making a fool of yourself. And I think that’s part of what this phrase ‘dad joke’ means, it’s people’s way of distancing themselves, ‘I wouldn’t want to tell those jokes’. “That’s the best thing about kids, they haven’t gotten to the point where someone’s said, ‘Listen, you need to be sensible’ so I feel like children’s way of thinking is similar to my way of thinking. To make a child laugh, you just do something stupid, you don’t have to do all that much or make up some clever little word play. “I think it’s a part of everyone’s nature when they’re younger, and maybe something went wrong in the gene that’s meant to make me grow up. I think that’s true of a lot of comics; to get up onstage you are risking making a fool of yourself. I didn’t make a conscious TICKE TS T decision to be silly, I just didn’t make a SHO O THIS conscious decision to stop being silly.” BEAT.CW AT OM.AU BY NICK TARAS

WIN

VENUE: MELBOURNE TOWN HALL, LOWER TOWN HALL, CNR SWANSTON & COLLINS ST, CBD DATES: MARCH 27–APRIL 20 (EXCEPT MONDAYS) TIMES: 7PM (SUNDAYS 6PM) TICKETS: $26.50–$35

KEVIN BRIDGES LIVE

Kevin Bridges’ brilliant career trajectory is legendary. He thought he’d have a go at stand-up after leaving school before going off to work in a call centre or ‘some shite like that’ in the real world. So he performed for the first time in an open mic spot. ‘Shite like that’ never happened as Bridges went on to become one of the UK’s most successful comedians. “I don’t plan anything,” the Glaswegian says. “My first gig went well. I did another, and another. Once you get on TV you get a few breaks.” A few breaks, as well as his rise to fame as a stand-up super nova, include opportunities to write a screenplay, his own TV show, and the offer of a book deal from Penguin for his memoir. Envious, much? Bridges is adorably unspoilt by a decade of sold out shows in arenas, television, red carpets, winning awards, meeting celebrities like David Beckham and touring, which may be due to an early experience performing at a prison. “I did a gig in a prison when I was 18, which was quite difficult, and one guy stood up and went back to his cell. It was like - ‘this guy’s shite; I’ll go back and finish my life sentence!’” Bridges is well able to laugh at himself, which is pretty much his secret to success. “Looking back, it was so brutal,” he says, of the prison gig. “But if you take that sort of thing seriously, you’ll just go insane. You develop a thick skin and use it as material, take the opportunity to find a joke in it. A lot of guys only one or two years into it are bitter and resentful, they say, ‘how does this guy get the breaks, how does he get on TV and that’, but you don’t take it too seriously.” This accidental comic says he ‘keeps to the same outlook’. His is a natural talent, one which has been described as ‘frightening’ but Bridges says he doesn’t think about it too much. “You might tell the same joke but you try and tell it differently each night. I expand on ideas; if you come and see six shows in a row they won’t ever be the same. You speak to the crowd. Try to find the balance, be yourself. A live stand-up show is a bit of yourself, your own opinions. If I have a funny idea, I’ll make it a bit more for the audience, as soon as you see comedy in something you overact it, do an accent, and put on a voice.” Interestingly, Bridges says he’s not naturally extraverted. “I’m pretty confident in the things I feel I can do but if I’m standing in the pub, I won’t be the one going crazy. I’ll be taking a back seat, just observing. But I’m not a weirdo; I’m not taking a back seat ‘cos I’m going to take the whole pub out with a machine gun weirdo.” That’s good, then. Keeping it real is the most important element of standup, Bridges reckons. He knows better than to pretend to audiences that he still gets around on public transport. “As long as it’s always you,” he explains. “You can talk about stuff. If I say ‘I’m just like you, I catch the bus’, noone’s going to believe it, but you can always find a new angle, you can talk about your experiences; it’s how you handle it”. Taking advice from his dad helped. “He said, ’If you want to keep it going, pull back, take a break, go to America and have some fun’, It was great advice,” Bridges notes. “I feel fresh and sharp. I’ve just done some shows in London and the buzz is back.” BY LIZA DEZFOULI

VENUE: TRADES HALL – NEW BALLROOM CNR LYGON & VICTORIA ST, CARLTON DATES: MARCH 27–APRIL 20 TIMES: 8.15PM (SUNDAYS 7.15PM) TICKETS: $28–$33

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COMEDY FESTIVAL GUIDE 2014 WIL ANDERSON WILUMINATI

As an interviewer, I love speaking to Wil Anderson. He’s not only incredibly ebullient and receptive but you can bring up almost any topic and he’ll have something witty, interesting or clever to say. As a writer, I hate interviewing Wil Anderson. With over 3,000 words of his words yet only 600 words of space, every letter I write feels meaningless. Here. Onwards. I write. Like this. Save space. OK? New show, Wiluminati, what’s craziest conspiracy? “9/11 I do find completely wacky. Part of the theme of the show – even though I don’t talk about this specific topic – is about the idea of what we believe and the things that we don’t believe. The things that are happening around us every day, and the fact that sometimes we take things as true and they don’t turn out to be true. I remember six months ago somebody was telling me that the government was reading our emails, and I was like, ‘You are a crazy person, get an aluminium hat, did you learn that from

JOHN SAFRAN

MURDER IN MISSISSIPPI

Wheel of Fortune?’ And then like six months later, ‘Oh fuck, no the government are reading our emails. Turns out you were right. What do I know?’ “My favourite weird one is definitely the lizard people – that we’re controlled by lizard people, like Jay-Z, Beyoncé and all those guys are in the Illuminati. I read this great article online of Rihanna throwing a rap sign and they were like, ‘That’s the Illuminati sign’ – why would she be doing that in public? “A lot of people think the Queen’s in the Illuminati and she’s a lizard. She’s old, but I don’t think she’s a lizard. We all believe ridiculous things every day, about our own lives that aren’t true, about ourselves. One of the things I talk about in the show is that we concentrate on attacking the wrong people. For example, there was an article in the paper recently that 85 people control as much wealth as half of the rest of the world. So that’s 85 people versus 3.5 billion people. It was in the paper for one day. One day. That should be in the paper every day. ‘Hey guys, just before we move on to anything else, 85 people have as much stuff as 3.5 billion people’. ‘Oh but someone came in on the boat’ well I don’t give a fuck about the boat! Let’s just find one of those 85 people and take their stuff and then everyone can come in on a boat and we’ll have a massive fucking party. And there’ll only be 84 people, and we’ll have some of that money. “That’s who we should be worried about that. How the fuck do we get to a world – I’m all for people who can earn their own living, I charge people to come to the show, it’s not called ‘Free Wil’ – but there’s something severely fucked up with the world when 85 people control as much wealth as 3.5 billion people,

particularly when some of those people starving and dying because they don’t have enough money. We’re so obsessed with there being big conspiracy theories that we’re not looking at the stuff that’s happening right in front of our eyes that we should be talking about.” Who crazier: Putin or Kim Jong-un? “If they were having a Fucked Up Leaders of the World Olympics, Putin might make the podium, at least the finals I’d say,” he laughs. “I think if you were gonna rank them in terms of evil, you still gotta have Kim Jong-un in front of Putin at the moment. The UN recently released a report that compared the crimes of North Korea to the crimes of Hitler and the Nazis. Again, another article in the paper [for one day], and we kind of joke about him because he’s so stupid and he told everybody in his country that he won all the Olympic medals and they all believe him but hundreds of thousands of people are tortured to death…he sent his own uncle to the dogs, and we’re all like, ‘Isn’t that hilarious?’ and just let it go. “I wonder what would have happened if Hitler was around now. Will we just be making jokes about him on social media and going, ‘Oh he’s a crazy one isn’t he with all his shouting!’ “Kim Jong-un then Putin. Magabe hasn’t done much of late, Magabe’s just consistent, you always know he’s gonna be around the medals.” Hope enjoy article.

BY NICK TARAS

TOM CANADA

STADE

VENUE: THE COMEDY THEATRE, CNR EXHIBITION & LONSDALE ST, CBD DATES: MARCH 25–APRIL 20 (EXCEPT MONDAYS) TIMES: 9PM (SATURDAYS 9.45PM, SUNDAYS 6PM) TICKETS: $30–$49.90

KAI HUMPHRIES

UK

CARL UK

DONNELLY

“Truly ru y hys hysterical… y ri A flair ir for sharply p y observational and superb humo a humour nd d a sup perbb delivery” FEST MAGAZINE

VENUE: THE COMEDY THEATRE, CNR EXHIBITION & LONSDALE ST, CBD. DATES: APRIL 5 & 13 TIMES: 6PM (SUNDAY 4PM) TICKETS: $35



USA

BOB DOWNE



“I was in Mississippi because we wanted to prank a white supremacist for the TV show Race Relations and the idea was to procure a saliva sample from him and take it to get tested,” explains Safran on the origins of his true crime book, Murder In Mississippi, published in September last year. “Hopefully, inevitably, their DNA is more complicated than first appears. And then we’d go back to one of his white supremacist meetings and deliver the results. So we did that, but he was a lawyer, and he started legal action against me and the ABC and we never put the thing to air. And then a year later, he’s murdered in his house by this young black guy. I’m a bit thrown off, and then I decide I’ve gotta write a true crime book about it all.” Safran is referring to the murder of white supremacist Richard Barrett by 23-year-old African-American Vincent McGee. After finding out about Barrett’s death online, Safran frantically deliberated whether or not to fall further into the rabbit hole, ultimately deciding to seize his “Truman Capote moment”. “I think what drew me over there was this sense of fate,” he reflects. “Why the hell would this unusual event happen to me? Why would I happen to meet the guy and then he happens to get killed and all this stuff? I kinda felt before I left that there’s a reason why I’m meant to go over there and I’ll work it out once I get there. And then once I got there, I got really obsessed with the world and the town and how it’s this small, enclosed, locked off place filled with bitter, lonely people who all had gripes. “The thing that was driving me crazy when I was there was I kinda wanted Vincent to cough up what I thought was the truth – which was there was some sort of existing relationship between those two. A lot of the book is me bashing around trying to get someone to cough up the truth.” Indeed, the rumour that a white supremacist Barrett was secretly gay and in a relationship with a black man is exactly the sort of quirky story that Safran seems to attract. The book is filled with trademark Safran wit and intelligence, but his live show adds an extra element that the medium of the novel prohibits. “It’s a bit of an expansion pack in some ways. You get to see the banned story, that wasn’t shown on the ABC. I play some of the phone calls between me and the killer…but then I tell the story of how I end up there, which is different to the book, really. I talk about my times in Mississippi and it’s got this story arc of beginning, middle and end. “I did these test shows where I babbled on a bit and you get away with it because the story is about this murder and a white supremacist and I met him and stuff, you can kind of tell the story badly and still get away of it. So I did a few test shows where I told everything that happened and then I realised it wasn’t working so I went back and rewrote it. Now it’s a proper, satisfying story arc and everything like that.” One of the more ballsy moments of the experience is when Safran admitted to a group of white supremacists in a secluded cabin in the forest that he is in fact Jewish. Whether it’s confronting white supremacists or even the fearsome Ray Martin, Safran has little regard for his own safety, which makes him even more compelling as a true crime writer. “It’s a bit like when you’re speeding in your car, you’re never processing, ‘Oh I’m gonna be quadriplegic for the next 60 years’…I always just think, ‘Oh you know, I’ll be fine’. Sometimes you feel threatened but it’s usually less obvious things. Like just because the person’s a clansman or something, I almost think, ‘For god’s sake they’re just putting on some theatre’.” Interestingly, Safran has managed to turn a tale of cold-blooded murder into a comedy show – a testament to not only his style but the audience’s desire to be intrigued rather than just simply entertained. “I wanna make things interesting rather than funny but I guess because of my style they kind of end up as funny. Even in this show there are bits that are interesting but I don’t think in a needy way, ‘I have to get this laugh at this point’. Because I’ve been gifted with this strange story, it seems to just chug along and have its own energy to it.” BY NICK TARAS

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COMEDY FESTIVAL GUIDE 2014 EFFIE

FELICITY WARD THE ICEBERG

If you’re not familiar with Felicity Ward, here’s a brief yet effective introduction: recently, she took Australia’s biggest comedy festivals by storm, earning multiple Best Comedy Award nominations for her show The Hedgehog Dilemma. Not only that, two of those nominations yielded awards. Her success was unprecedented, raising the bar for Australian comedians in the process. Much has been made of her proclivity for deeply personal material, with critics often celebrating her candid approach. According to Ward, though, her comedic style comes naturally. “I don’t choose to be honest. It just comes out of my mouth and I regret it. The difference now is, sometimes I get paid for it,” she jokes. There’s a sense of modesty about Ward as she reflects upon her craft. “I don’t have any objectivity on the amount or quality of work I’m writing or creating,” she says. “Even if I come up with something I’m proud of, it only highlights how much more I should or could be doing.” This year Ward is looking to build upon the immense success of The Hedgehog Dilemma. Amusingly, her drive to succeed has little to do with any sense of self-satisfaction, peer-recognition or even the prospect of another award-winning season. “I like to keep that dangling carrot of failure right in my sight line, so any time I’m slacking off I am faced with the reality of consequence,” she muses. “Fear is a great motivator. Just look at our country: we’re thriving on it!” Ward’s new festival show, The Iceberg, explores ‘perspective’. To sum it up, Transformers-style, there’s generally more than meets the eye. “The concept of the show came out of repeated situations where I thought I knew the extent of a problem, then the water drained and I realised I was in far more trouble than first expected,” Ward explains. “Me and the Titanic: very similar.” In touring the UK and the USA, Ward played to different audiences, honing her craft in the process. What’s life like as a travelling comedian? “It’s been a poor experience. I don’t mean, spiritually, I mean it’s sending me broke,” she admits. “I hope I’m better as a result of all this touring. I can’t afford not to be.” Naturally, touring has its fair share of challenges. As it happens, the UK – specifically Edinburgh – has a reputation

LOOKING FOR LOVE… AND CHILD SUPPORT!

for ruthless crowds, with comics invited to perform at their own peril. Ward, having forged a familiarity with the scene, takes a moment to share her wisdom. “A lot of comedians hate sleep, money and self-esteem. Edinburgh Fringe is the perfect antidote to that. I also think there’s this self-hazing that a lot of Australian comedians experience; they think they have to go to Edinburgh…just to say they did,” she reveals. “You don’t! You don’t have to go! Save yourself! Run!” Ward herself took a brief time-out during Edinburgh last year, later writing a blog about her experience. The piece highlighted the emotional intensity that comes with pursuing comedy. “I think you need to have endurance and tenacity,” Ward advises, speculating on the make-up of the average comic. “ In boxing terms, it’s the old rope-a-dope.” Ward is set to return to the sanctuary of the Melbourne comedy circuit after a long absence. “It’ll be interesting. I don’t know if absence makes the heart grow fonder or more forgetful. We’ll find out!” BY NICK MASON VENUE: ACMI – CUBE, FEDERATION SQUARE, CBD (MELBOURNE TOWN HALL – POWDER ROOM, CNR SWANSTON & COLLINS ST, CBD ON MONDAYS) DATES: MARCH 27–APRIL 20 (EXCEPT APRIL 8–10) TIMES: 8.30PM (SUNDAYS 7.30PM) TICKETS: $22–$34

KHALED KHALAFALLA

WIN

TICKE TS T SHO O THIS BEAT.CW AT OM.AU

FRESH

Come and see one of Australia’s fastest rising comic stars, Khaled Khalafalla, in his new show Fresh. An awardwinning standout in every competition; Khaled has piled up the entertainment cred of a veteran in just his first two years. Countless television and radio appearances, interviews, national tours and a presenting role on Australia’s flagship network have seen Khaled become one of the most talked about new faces in the country. His acerbic wit and uniquely buoyant social commentary in his first Melbourne Comedy International Festival show attracted stellar reviews. The ensuing buzz saw an unprecedented 2,000 tickets sold in just 22 nights. This year he comes hot off a sold out trail to bring you his best show yet, Fresh.

VENUE: TRADES HALL – THE MEETING ROOM, CNR LYGON AND VICTORIA STREET, CARLTON DATES: MARCH 27–APRIL 20 (EXCEPT MONDAYS) TIMES: 9.30PM (SUNDAYS 8.30PM) TICKETS: $15–$25

JOHN KEARNS

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SIGHT GAGS FOR PERVERTS John Kearns, winner of Best Newcomer at the Edinburgh Fringe in 2013, is ‘a bit gummed up with some type of flu’ when Beat speaks to him. Talking to him you get the sense that whatever ails him could happily be put to use on stage. Sight Gags for Perverts (the title comes from a description of the Kubrick film Dr. Strangelove) is supposed to make you curious, according to its creator. “I’m in a wig, with false teeth,” says Kearns. “Wearing a dress, with an inflatable horse around my waist. I pull things out of a big bag, and plus I’m in size nine heels.” Sight Gags for Perverts is a show in the dear old pommy tradition of cross-dressing, then? “It’s stupid and silly and I can’t pinpoint exactly what it is,” Kearns says. “It’s based around me holidaying on my own, suffering unrequited love.” Kearns reckons he didn’t know what to expect himself when writing the show. He was struggling with doing straight stand-up but after doing a clowning course with Dr Brown (clown phenomenon Philip Burgers), things began to change drastically. “Dr Brown said that no-one gives a shit about your shitty ideas, no matter what you’re trying to say,” recalls Kearns. How does that help? “It teaches you to be sensitive on stage,” Kearns says. “Listen to the audience. You’ve got to pay attention to the audience. If the audience laughs when you move your left arm like this, you play it again. It’s being sensitive to the audience.” Sight Gags for Perverts is currently number one with a bullet, as they used to say. Kearns has been very successful very quickly and there are projects with the BBC afoot. The London Evening Standard gave him four stars and called his show ‘a brilliantly constructed piece of absurdist clowning. A latter day Godot, funny and profound.’ What does Kearns think makes him funny? “A lot of the reviews called it ‘bold’. When someone comes on stage in a wig, people find that funny. It distracts them. I have this quite high cockney voice. It depends on who’s there,” he adds, modestly. “If they don’t heckle, it’s purely because they don’t know what to heckle. They don’t know what it is; they’re intrigued.” How much of his show is scripted and how much is improvised? “It’s scripted, but there are bits in between that go the other way,” Kearns replies. “With clowning you don’t go on stage

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with pre-conceived ideas; you meet the audience half way.” Kearns says that at his some of his shows in Edinburgh he was walking a knife edge at times with ‘people not getting it.’ “At least get people to understand what it is you’re doing,” he continues. On the subject of the comedy greats and the aforementioned great British tradition of cross-dressing, Kearns says, “I find it funny. I find it very funny. The great thing about those type of comics, the likes of Les Dawson, Jack Lemmon in Some Like it Hot, you don’t watch them and go ‘Oh it’s a girl. You’re laughing ‘cos it’s not. Tommy Cooper, whatever he was doing, he was still Tommy Cooper. I want people to laugh at me, a man, an idiot, dressing up. ” What advice would Kearns offer wannabes? “It’s quite difficult to hear advice,” he answers. “You have to learn it. You’re always being told to be honest, do what makes you laugh. The reason why people like this show is that a lot of it is true. I did a free show at the Edinburgh Fringe and it gained momentum; people really liked it. People like the underdog.” Most of all, according to Kearns, a good performance is about commitment. “It’s true commitment – ‘this is going to happen, this is the act.’ In the first minute you don’t blink. With any art form – commitment is a force.” BY LIZA DEZFOULI Venue: Melbourne Town Hall – Old Met Shop, Cnr Swanston & Collins St, CBD Dates: March 27–April 20 (except Mondays) Times: 9.45pm (Sundays 8.45pm) Tickets: $25.50–$33

Kim Kardashian and Kanye West, prepare to step aside. Baby North’s time in the spotlight is coming to end, as Effie is about to come cashing in on the celebrity baby craze. Effie, who three and half months ago gave birth to “a baby boofhead called Aphie, as in Aphrodite,” has big plans for the child who, she says, was immaculately conceived. “We know the story about the other person that was immaculately conceived, we know what kind of followings can be achieved, we know what sort of adoration comes with that and like religions, big business, so is celebrity. You don’t see baby North, she’s always shrouded, you know, they just tease with a little bit. And where’d she come out of? That tunnel has seen more traffic than Burnley Tunnel. Yet mine is an immaculate, pristine, never been touched by human hands so I just want to maximise, that’s all. I’m not going to overtly flog this kid for a little bit of money, I will flog her for as much money as possible when the time comes,” she says of her grand plan for her daughter.  Effie perhaps needs no introduction, but for those who don’t know, she happily describes herself as the Greek Goddess of Comedy. She’s returning once more to the Melbourne International Comedy Festival and she’s on a mission. “So I was looking for love last year but now I’m looking for love and child support,” she says.  As a single mother, she’s hoping to snag herself a man and her two shows in Yarraville are designed to help her meet her perfect match. “I pick out three guys from the audience who could very well have all their fantasies come true should I pick them. In fact, I don’t pick them, I get the audience to pick out of the three because I’ve chosen badly in the past and I can’t be depended on. So I figure my audience love me more than they love themselves so they’re going to do the right thing and pick the right guy for me and then we go out on a date,” she says.  Effie feels her immaculate conception should be a selling point for any interested suitors, who also get a baby as part of the deal. “It’s all about bundles these days, innit? It’s the Boofhead Bundle,” she says. “You can get two for the price of one, if

ALICE FRASER

you’re the luckiest guy in the world”. “I’ve made some bad choices in the past, we all have,” Effie laments. “I’ve suffered, well I didn’t suffer, I just cracked it really and the good thing with me, I come with a lot of things a lot of women don’t come with. Apart from a baby, I’m still inexperienced, I mean that’s a nice way of putting it, but untouched, untarnished, if you know what I’m saying,” she says.  While she’s characteristically confident of her own appeal, there’s a criteria her ideal man must meet. She’s very clear she doesn’t want some user “that’s my job.” Neither is she interested in some “sleazy shifty sort of guy”. Good looks are important to her as well, although not as important as his financial status. “Loaded,” she says emphatically. “Cash flow more than just hard assets because you know you wanna have access to money regularly and easily. You don’t want to have to sell a piece of property, especially us Greeks, we don’t sell, we just buy. So I don’t want to milk properties, I want some cash flow that’s coming through… and I want them to be generous, I don’t want some stingy guy and I want someone that is morally sound.”  BY JOANNE BROOKFIELD  VENUE: YARRAVILLE CLUB, 135 STEPHEN ST, YARRAVILLE DATES: MARCH 28 & 29 TIME: 8.30PM TICKETS: $35–$40

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TICKE TS T SHO O THIS BEAT.CW AT OM.AU After her debut show sold out festival seasons in Adelaide, ide, Melbourne and Sydney, Alice Fraser brings you a new sidedesplitting, mind-blowing hour of comedy about winning, losing and the lies we buy. Alice is a performer, writer, comedian, word geek, academic, ex-corporate lawyer and bad musician. We’re talking banjo. She started stand-up when she moved to New York for a year and in the absence of an ensemble sketch crew, shifted her focus to solo comedy. Since then, she’s performed in cities in every corner of the globe, including Sydney, Munich, Bangkok, New York, LA, VENUE: THE SWANSTON HOTEL – THE DOWNSTAIRS LOUNGE, Damascus and London. Alice is a writer for the satirical 195 SWANSTON ST, CBD news radio show A Rational Fear and hosts Tracksuits on DATES: MARCH 27–APRIL 20 (EXCEPT MONDAYS) FBi radio. She is a member of the all-star girl comedy troupe Aggressively Helpful and writes regularly for television, radio TIMES: 8.30PM (6.15PM BETWEEN APRIL 8–20) and anywhere else thet’ll have her. TICKETS: $15–$22

EVERYONE’S A WINNER

LAWRENCE MOONEYY IS A STUPID LIAR

dThis year Lawrence Mooney celebrates 20 years in standt’s up comedy, an achievement impossible to overlook. “It’s an extraordinary milestone, isn’t it?” he laughs. “It’s largely considered by most to be a very insecure job – in fact, not a real job – but to raise a family and remain in the business and to do it all with only two or three jokes...impersonating a bogan and a couple of airline gags, it’s not a bad effort.” Mooney has a new show in store to mark the occasion. “Essentially it’s a stand-up show about the little lies I tell myself in order to get through – and there’s a lot of them,” Mooney explains of his new show. “I was watching The Hangover II with my wife and at the beginning, they’re again lying in a hotel room, wasted. I said, ‘Why do men do that, do you think? Why do they trash themselves so badly?’ Without even taking her eyes of the screen, she said, ‘Because they can’t deal with their reality and they’re stupid liars!’ I thought, ‘Yep, that’s the way that women look at us isn’t it?’” Lawrence Mooney is a Stupid Liar is an intriguing title – after all, if there’s anything to be gleaned from Mooney’s comedy, his countless podcast appearances, or even his Twitter feed, it’s that he’s a fairly forthright individual. One has to wonder if stray comments ever stir up trouble. “You never know how much something’s got you into trouble because people won’t tell you. They’ll act on that in a secretive way. It’s like being dumped: no one’s ever going to tell you exactly why,” Mooney explains. “They’ll say, ‘I just don’t want to be in a relationship right now’...they’re not going to say, ‘You know what? I hate your earlobes. They just drive me crazy.’” “With that in mind, there’s two ways to go: not be yourself and also run the risk of offending someone or some other consequence, or be yourself and fuck what people think. I’m the latter,” Mooney declares. “They’re either with you or they’re not, so you may as well be yourself. You see people manipulating their image for what they think the media wants and it’s like, ‘Wow. You look like a fuckwit’ insert long list of names here.” It’s likely that, as the host of ABC2’s Dirty Laundry Live, Mooney could formulate a list about a mile long, with the program exploring celebrity gossip. In discussing the show, Mooney reflects upon the lead-up to its debut episode. “I was probably more nervous than I’ve ever been, ever. My mind

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started to implode. I’d done a lot of live performance but live TV is something else. “There was, to an extent, a lack of control. But that is also the upside: it’s incredibly exhilarating, your adrenaline is pumping, your heart is pounding in your eardrums...you’re travelling through time and space at an incredible rate and half-an-hour evaporates. It’s like hyper speed. It’s a lot of fun, it’s a quiz in the loosest way...it’s a wild ride.” An accomplished host, Mooney will again MC Music, Mirth & Mayhem this year, A Comedy Festival favourite in support of the Mirabel Foundation – an organisation that looks after children orphaned or abandoned due to parental drug abuse. “This year, we have Colin Hay (Men At Work), Vika and Linda Bull, Deborah Conway, Josh Earl, Dave Hughes and Dave O’Neil,” Mooney reveals. “It’s going to be a huge night. Each year it gets bigger and bigger. It’s one night only at the The Hi-Fi Bar and it’s for a great cause.” BY NICK MASON Venue: Melbourne Town Hall – Mini Main, Cnr Swanston & Collins St, CBD Dates: March 27–April 12 (except Mondays) Times: 8.15pm (Sundays 7.15pm) Tickets: $22–$31

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it g n i n r u t ied r t u o y ATED e v R a E d h T w L , o r U T C I D “Hello, on again?” - The IT OT WITH THE UITNACROWD RE-BO TION OF THE D off and N A E -WIR LLEC , RE VALLED CO H C T A P E I R AND UNR

AVAILABLE NOW In the tradition of The Office and Parks & Recreation

Politics is like dog fighting. Let battle commence.

AVAILABLE NOW Starring Greg Davies (The Inbetweeners) and Andy Samberg (Saturday Night Live)

EVERY PARENT’S WORST NIGHTMARE... AVA I L A B L E

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A P R I L

ADD THESE TO YOUR COMEDY COLLECTION AVA I L A B L E AT

A N D S P E C I A L I S T D V D R E TA I L E R S M - Recommended for mature audiences

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COMEDY FESTIVAL GUIDE 2014 COLIN LANE

LUKE HEGGIE

PRESENTS

BUSH WEEK

With a laugh, Colin Lane concedes the title of his new comedy festival show – Presents – might have been an oversight. “Because you’re just talking about the show to yourself, you know exactly what the inflection is on the title,” the Australian comedy favourite explains. “Only recently I’ve started doing interviews and the festival program has come out and I’ve had people go, ‘I dunno, is it ‘Presents’? Or ‘Pre-sents’?’ It’s Colin Lane presents something...in ballet terms, you go into first position and you’re presenting, as yourself.” Lane recently submitted himself to the world of social media, just in time to promote the new show. His initiation hasn’t been easy. “I got a tweet from a girl saying, ‘Is this show going to be like the last one you did at the comedy festival and it’ll look like you only wrote it a week before the festival started?’ I said, ‘Thanks very much for that!’ No I didn’t–I didn’t actually answer it. I’m learning the rules of Twitter: engage, but only with the positive ones.” In a sense, the tweet served Lane a spoonful of his own medicine. The local comic indulged in the role of armchaircritic throughout 2013, before finally developing Presents. “I was just mucking around last year and there was just a tendency creeping into my persona of sitting on the couch and just being this comedy aficionado... just looking at stuff on the TV and in the media, going, ‘That’s good, that’s bad, that’s inventive, that’s derivative.’ I was being a kind of middle-aged, couch-grump critic,” he recalls. “I thought, ‘Well at some point, C.Lane, you’re going to have to put up or shut up! You can’t just sit there and be the convenor of comedy quality – you’ve actually got to put something forward yourself! The comedy festival’s coming up, you should do a show and put your money where your mouth is!’ In some ways, that’s the theme of the show,” Lane reveals. “With this show, I’ve decided to try. I’m not going to sit back and hang shit on the new version of Spicks and Specks, I’m going to actually decide to try and put something forward to be judged.” Fans of Lano and Woodley – one of the nation’s most beloved double-acts, consisting of Lane and his comedy colleague Frank Woodley – might be curious as to what to expect from Lane and this solo venture. “I think there’s still a degree of buffoonery,” he reveals of his present-day stage

On Luke Heggie’s fourth gig, he won the national final of RAW Comedy. By day, he was transcribing police interview videos for suspected murderers, but a New Year’s resolution – “to do something uncomfortable” – motivated him to sign up for the comedy competition. “It was pretty spur of the moment. I didn’t think about becoming a comedian. I’ve never had much in the way of ambition. I just jumped up, and still am. If you try a little of everything, eventually I suppose you’ll find something you like,” he says. Seems Heggie likes comedy and comedy, at least those who hand out awards, like him right back. A lifetime of lurching between different jobs culminated in his debut stand-up show, Master of None, which earned him a nomination for Best Newcomer at the 2012 Melbourne International Comedy Festival. His itinerant lifestyle forms the basis of his third solo show, Bush Week, which he will be performing as part of the 2014 Melbourne International Comedy Festival. Last year’s show, Mega Dry, was about another job he had. “It was nearly an hour of me complaining vigorously about the general public from the standpoint of a bottle shop assistant. Every night after the show I’d have someone approach me who also hates the general public and agree with my sentiments,” he recalls. Bush Week, however, is not about work but travel. Heggie, who is 39 and lives in Coogee, NSW, says he travelled a lot in his youth. “Probably for about 10 years, and a chunk of that was on a pushbike, some in cars, hiking, camping and backpacking,” he says. The show is not about one specific trip, but rather a collection of tales. “It is a show about travel, with an emphasis on the annoying people I’ve met while doing so. I also reserve my right to crowbar in whatever unrelated jokes I feel compelled to include,” he says. With travel comes the obligatory snaps to go with it, but there’ll be none of those, nor video, in Bush Week. “There’s no AV component. If people want to watch telly, they may have to stay at home,” says Heggie. “It’s stand-up”. Since winning RAW back in 2010, Heggie has travelled with his comedy. Part of his prize was “a free flight to Edinburgh, where I learned that audiences of five or six burly Scottish drunks at midnight hate me as a general rule,” he says. He’s

ALEX WILLIAMSON DUMB THINGS I’VE DONE

After sell out seasons across Australia, New Zealand and the UK in 2013, Alex is back with a hot new show. As always, it’s irreverent and caustic, featuring music, stand-up and never before seen videos. Alex is the first Aussie to successfully straddle “YouTube Star” and mainstream comedy sensation. With his subscriber base across social media platforms now at around one million, he’s a hit – and you should catch this show to see why! Alex began performing stand-up in 2007, going on to feature prominently in the high profile RAW Comedy national talent search run by Melbourne International Comedy Festival. This live comedy background blended with his talents as a film-maker, provided an unrivalled platform for him to launch himself onto the internet via YouTube along with all the other major social media platforms; where he has also showcased instrumental abilities (piano

persona. “I still adore the rampant stupidity of Lano and Woodley. I’ve never been someone who stands up and goes, ‘Oh how’s that Tony Abbott, he’s got big ears!’ I’ve never really felt qualified. I don’t feel like I’m the kind of person that stands up and goes, ‘This is how I think it is and this is how I think it should be!’ All in all, a sense of fun and silliness continues to define Lane’s comedy. “I’m just hopefully looking at things that are part and parcel of my life with a bit of stupidity in there as well. Sometimes that stuff is much more hilarious and satisfying for the audience,” Lane speculates. “That’s what always interested Frank and me, as well: we much preferred to run around and fall over a lot than stand there with a microphone and give witty observations about the world we live in. It was more about our naivety, the audience looking at us with affection and having fun.” BY NICK MASON

VENUE: MELBOURNE TOWN HALL – REGENT ROOM, CNR SWANSTON & COLLINS STREET, CBD DATES: MARCH 27–APRIL 20 (EXCEPT MONDAYS) TIME: 8.30PM (SUNDAYS 7.30PM) TICKETS: $22–$28

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and guitar), acting skills and singing talent. This multi-media comedy experience is unique, pushes boundaries and has left audiences gasping for breath between gales of laughter! VENUE: ATHENAEUM THEATRE, 188 COLLINS ST, BD DATES: MARCH 25–29 TIME: 10PM TICKETS: $20–$32

also performed at the New York Comedy Festival and in New Zealand. “Other than that, around Australia a bit, but I spend most of my time in Sydney,” he says. He’s not quite a full-time comedian just yet, working these days as a builder’s labourer, a job (and “super cool boss”) that gives him the flexibility he needs to pursue comedy. “I can’t hold down a full time good job, because I keep leaving to go interstate for shows,” he says. He’ll be taking this next month off the job site, because he’s doing a full run of Bush Week in Melbourne. He decided to call the show that because “it would offend some people to call a show Dickheads I’ve Met in Hostels. So why should audiences come see this show? Because they may want to spend an hour not learning anything at all, and enjoy listening to a surly man relaying his prejudices in the form of some casually aggressive jokes and stories”.

VENUE: TONY STARR’S KITTEN CLUB, 267 LITTLE COLLINS ST, CBD (MELBOURNE TOWN HALL–LUNCH ROOM, CNR SWANSTON & COLLINS ST, CBD ON MONDAYS) DATES: MARCH 27–APRIL 20 TIME: 8.30PM TICKETS: $15–$25

HOUSOS

LIVE ON STAGE

Bogans and ferals unite! Housos are heading your way. Get along and catch your favourite Sunnyvale misfits at this year’s Fringe. Get there or get thonged by Frankie! Critics have called this show “a waste of tax payers’ money” but we all know it’s a great night out! One of the most controversial TV shows to emerge from the SBS studios, 2013 saw Housos air its second season- reaching new heights with record viewer counts of over half a million per week. The series is a bone fide cult hit across the housing estates and in every Centrelink office in our wide brown land! Get ready for adventurous and hilarious mishaps as members of Sunnyvale public housing attempt to battle their way out. Crack out your designer uggies and let the crusty characters you know so well entertain you.

VENUE: CROWN CASINO – PALMS AT CROWN, 8 WHITEMAN ST, CBD DATES: MARCH 26–28 TIMES: 8.15PM TICKETS: $32–$37.50

THE IMPROV CONSPIRACY

MARTY PUTZ

A NIGHT IN CHICAGO

VERY WEIRD AND SLIGHTLY DANGEROUS Canadian comedian Marty Putz returns to the Melbourne International Comedy Festival after a ten year sortie into producing and writing television. His show, The Very Weird and Slightly Dangerous is an all ages affair, but it still retains its edge. “I think we all like that rush of something that tends to make you feel just a little dangerous, whether it’s the first time we get on a bike, or the first time we ride a skateboard. For me my hero was Evel Knievel growing up, so a lot of the dangerous elements I kind of see myself that way a little bit, and the weird, I’ve always loved weird things, I’ve always loved magic... magic was always weird to me. I loved the sideshow freaks at circuses and quirky inventors and anything that was slightly odd.” The Comedy Festival loves its family-friendly comedy as a way of getting laughs to as many people as possible. “I like to call the evening shows ‘Simpsons-friendly’…there’s a little bit of edge that would go over the heads of kids, for the adults, there’s a lot actually, and the afternoon show is really geared towards, you know, full-on family and kids.” These afternoon sessions will be concentrated over the school holidays, so that everyone can witness the gadgets and inventions Putz is going to bring to his comedic visual weirdness. Comedy came to Putz as, literally, an accident. “I loved magic as a kid, and I was a really bad magician…I had things go horribly wrong, like I dropped the rabbit...and people laughed, and rather than be upset about it I kind of just fed off it and proceeded to muck everything else up purposely, and that’s when I heard the laughter, that was it.” These early days have grown into full-blown spectacular, with flying hamsters, exploding suits, weird inventions and huge marshmallow fights making up the show. “We’re locked away in a secret location where right now I’m working on all the pneumatic fittings to try and get some of this stuff going. I’m excited to go into the Spiegeltent, and I think it lends itself to my show because it’s kind of a new vaudeville vibe to it...and I think there’s this great sense of ‘What happens in the tent stays in the tent’.” His enthusi-

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asm beyond the Spiegeltent, for touring Australia and New Zealand is palpable. “I love this part of the world, everything about it... there’s a nice sense of reckless opportunity here as a performer. I find Australian audiences welcome strange and creative people who are willing to step on the edge to try something different... it’s just fantastic.” And his love of Australian and New Zealand performers is just as enthusiastic. “I haven’t really sat down to decide what I want to see, but I remember Fleety, Greg Fleet I always enjoy. I pretty much want to see anyone that’s not North American just to get a taste and a flavour of what’s going on in this part of the world. And the Umbilical Brothers are great, and I always loved loved loved Lano and Woodley, and I know each of them has a show going now too so I sure would love to see both of them. They were fantastic.” BY SAM WILSON Venue: The Famous Spiegeltent – Federation Square, CBD Dates: March 27–April 19 (except Mondays and April 11, 13 &18) Times: 7pm (Sundays 6pm) from March 27–April 6, then 2.30pm (Saturdays 5.30pm) from April 8–19 Tickets: $15–$28

Amy Poehler, Tina Fey, Will Ferrell, Steve Carrell, Kristen Wiig. Apart from international fame and presumably impressive personal fortunes, one the things some of Hollywood’s biggest comedy names share is a background in improvised comedy. Parks and Recreation’s Poehler is one of the founding members of the Upright Citizens Brigade, or UCB as it’s more commonly called, one of the main impro institutions in the States, alongside Groundlings, Second City and iO (formerly known, prior to the US Olympic Committee threatening to sue, as ImprovOlympic). Fellow Parks and Recreation’s cast members Aziz Ansari (Tom), Aubrey Plaza (April) and Ben Schwartz (Jean-Ralphio) all trained with UCB, as did 30 Rock’s Jack McBrayer and The Hangover franchise’s Ed Helms. Calling himself “a backpacker who got stuck” prior to moving to Australia in 2010, Adam Kangas was training with both UCB and iO back in the United States. “I had started improvising in 2006 in LA and I got into it just for something to do but realised very quickly that wow, this is something that I really wanted to do for the rest of my life,” says Kangas. “Now, one thing about Los Angeles is there’s so many actors there… every agent is telling their client to do improv so it’s a huge thing, so there’s probably 10,000 to 20,000 people who are really good improvisers in LA, it’s very hard to get stage time and make a name for yourself but the training I got was so good that when I moved here I was able to get accepted into every improv group I tried out for and start my own improv school with no competition there,” he says. Kangas is founder and Artistic Director of The Improv Conspiracy. “Theatresports is really big over here but there’s so much more to improv than that and I saw a niche that was ready to be filled and so set up shop here in Melbourne and now it’s two and half years later, we have over 50 people in our performance ensemble and we’ve trained in classes over 150 people,” he says. The Improv Conspiracy work in the Chicago style, first developed by Del Close, who Kangas affectionately describes as a hippy and an oddball. “In Chicago style, it’s all up to the performers do a good job and there’s no safety net for them if it’s not going well. Whereas in Theatresports if a scene is dying, an MC will blow the whistle and save it,” he says.

“Other difference is that we only take one suggestion for the entire show”. For this year’s Melbourne International Comedy Festival The Improv Conspiracy are actually presenting two shows. They run a weekly Harold night year round at Carlton’s Dan O’Connell, which will be continuing Wednesday nights during the festival, “but to make it competitive with everything else in the festival, we’ll actually make it free for those four weeks,” he says. “Then we have our flagship show called A Night in Chicago”. A Night In Chicago will feature long-form impro comedy formats The Deconstruction (creating a realistic two-person relationship they then deconstruct), The Harold (a team presents a variety of scenes based on a single suggestion) and The Remix (truthful tales that are sampled and remixed). Improv Conspiracy have six different teams that rotate the performances at the weekly night and Kangas says they have “cherry picked the best members of all of those six teams and put them together” for the lineup for A Night In Chicago. Suggestions from audiences, he says, aren’t always taken literally, which is all part of the Chicago style. He gives the example of carrot. “We might think ‘conceptually, what is a carrot? Something that grows underground and is hidden from the light’ Maybe the scene takes on some thematic content from that. It gives the players a lot more room to be intelligent and also the audiences, we don’t club them over the head with what’s funny about the show, it’s up for them to figure it out for themselves, so we kind of draw a smart crowd”. BY JOANNE BROOKFIELD Venue: The Croft Institute, 21 Croft Alley, CBD Dates: March 26–April 19 (except Sundays and Mondays) Time: 6.30pm Tickets: $12–$16

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COMEDY FESTIVAL GUIDE 2014 JIMMY MCGHIE

LATE NIGHT GIMP FIGHT

After huge success at the 2013 Melbourne International Comedy Festival as part of Best of the Edinburgh Fest, Jimmy McGhie has made the trek over from the UK to debut his first solo show, Artificial Intelligence. “It’s about how we broadcast our personalities to the world,” explains McGhie. “How you can often come up against...like if you’re talking to someone who’s really smart you find yourself quoting things you’ve read in the paper, pretending it’s your own opinion so you can sort of be even in the conversation. I deconstruct that idea and I have some funny examples of ways you can talk to a really intelligent person without offering an opinion using a series of nods and certain ways of answering questions which sound like you’re engaged.” I suggest that comedians, even more so than most performers, must broadcast a personality to the world at large – they must craft an image. McGhie agrees. “I think a lot of comedians probably like to think that they’re ever so clever and then when you actually de-construct what they’re saying there isn’t much to it. Conversely, there are a lot of comedians who are incredibly intelligent and you’re just sitting there thinking this is a really interesting mind at work. I’m not sure which camp I put myself in, but just in normal social interactions I do find that sometimes in my head I feel a bit like Joey in Friends going ‘Oh my god they’re talking about politics, I’m going to make an idiot of myself’. I just find it funny the difference there can be between what you’re presenting to the world and what’s going on in your head.” Having never had any particular desire to be a stand-up comedian, McGhie studied drama at university. “Fortunately in my drama course there was a module in stand-up as a medium of performance, and it was a proper revelatory moment,” he recalls. “That’s what did it for me. I used to admire actors like Peter Sellers and what not – but stand-up was what I got into when I was at uni.” “I think at first you have an instinct. The simple fact is that in any situation at any point in my life pretty much, my first instinct has been to say something funny. I think I have an instinctive need or desire to make people laugh. And then it’s just a case of whether or not you’re able to realise that, and I realised it through being a shit drama student. I was

‘‘A crash test dummy, Scooby Doo costumes, dresses and some really awful wigs that haven’t been combed for five years.” If this sounds like something quaintly following the great British tradition of cross-dressing comedy, don’t be fooled. Late Night Gimp Fight’s props also include thongs and gimp masks: “The works, and something quite special with hoodies,” says performer David Moon. Why do they call themselves Late Night Gimp Fight? “The name came from a drunken conversation,” Moon answers. “It’s the most memorable name we came up with and it does bring in an audience who’s intrigued by it. The name is very difficult to explain to grandparents.” Err, are they actually gimps? “We prefer to leave our masks in the office,” Moon says with a laugh. “We don’t take our work home with us.” Moon continues. “We got together early 2009. Two of us did a kids show in Edinburgh in 2007. At the end of the year nights became available at the Hen and Chickens in London; eight of us put a night together, did some sketches and it worked really well.” The Gimps put together a new show every few months. Have they tailored anything special for their first trip to Australia? “It’s a big show,” says Moon. “We’re doing some favourites and some pieces we’ve never done previously; with our show for Australia we thought about what would be the best sketches for audiences who’ve never met us. What gets our personalities across? We’re introducing world to us. The show contains a bit of ourselves but we’re very, very different to everything else. Most things will translate. We had to lose one sketch about Red Henry, a hoover who’s got a face – it’s a coming of age story, a sad, beautiful sketch but you don’t know Red Henry in Australia.” Naturally the Gimps are very excited to be coming to Australia, although Moon says that he’s not looking forward to the plane trip. “I’m terrible at flying – I will take a lot of valium. There’s nowhere further you can fly than from the UK to Australia.” Hauling their props across the world is the biggest challenge facing the Gimps. “Who gets the crash test dummy in their luggage?” wonders Moon. What makes Late Night Gimp Fight different from other shows? “We’re not particularly political, not satire, not

ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE

REBECCA DE UNAMUNO

so spectacularly average that the only thing I was remotely better than anyone at was making people laugh.” “It’s nice to make the step up now and do a solo show. I personally find that I almost come across better over here. If an Australian comedian in Melbourne says ‘Oh hey Melbourne, why do you do this?’, people might have a chuckle, but if an international comedian does then people fall about laughing. Canadians come over and go ‘What’s the deal with the stuff?’ and people just go ‘Oh my god, this guy’s a genius’. As a performer you have to have a sense of being an outsider, and people will take your observations and find them a bit more interesting. I make out that England is a miserable windswept rock just full of miserable people and you guys just love it.” BY JOSH FERGEUS VENUE: MELBOURNE TOWN HALL - COUNCIL CHAMBERS, CNR SWANSTON & COLLINS ST, CBD DATES: MARCH 27-APRIL 20 (EXCEPT MONDAYS) TIME: 7.15PM (SUNDAYS 6.15PM) TICKETS: $22-$30

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KISS MY DATE

In her brand new stand-up show for the Melbourne International Comedy Festival, Rebecca De Unamuno is looking for love in all the wrong places. Kiss My Date is inspired by 12 months of online dating and follows De Unamuno’s hilarious, revealing and often moving journey to find Mr. Right. After years of travelling through life as a single woman, De Unamuno signed up to an online dating website and welcomed invitations from a bevy of bachelors, suitors and everything inbetween. From watching a man’s pet bunny rabbit via webcam to crossing the generational divide and dating a Gen Y, De Unamuno examines how the internet has changed how we meet new people and fall in love.

VENUE: TRADES HALL – EVATT ROOM, CNR LYGON & VICTORIA ST, CBD DATES: MARCH 27-APRIL 20 (EXCEPT MONDAYS) TIMES: 8.30PM (SUNDAYS 7.30PM) TICKET: $19-$24

BIG F**KEN LATE SHOW

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topical,” Moon answers. “We have lots of visual, multimedia, projections, songs…we are trained actors rather than comedians so it’s theatrical. We have puppetry, dance, physical routines, ‘video stings,’ which are little quick pieces in between. We hate black outs and we don’t allow any moment for audiences to breathe – we keep the laughs going; we don’t want to drop the ball.” How do they create their work? “We try out something in rehearsal, later on we do it in front of an audience – we’re nothing more than lads in banter, five guys in a room together having fun. You can joke about almost anything; it depends on where the joke is coming from. Our humour is close to the bone, but varied; for every dark sketch that produces a gasp, there’s a silly one. We don’t set out to shock; it’s just what we find funny.” BY LIZA DEZFOULI VENUE: TRADES HALL - NEW BALLROOM, CNR LYGON & VICTORIA ST, CBD DATES: MARCH 27-APRIL 20 (EXCEPT MONDAYS) TIME: 9.45PM (SUNDAYS 8.45PM) TICKETS: $25.50-$34

PUPPETRY OF THE PENIS Approaching its sweet 16th birthday, Melbourne’s own Puppetry of the Penis returns for a season of ‘testicular twisters’ this Melbourne International Comedy Festival. Off the back of a European tour, this hilarious vaudeville romp is still leaving audiences in stitches the world over. Featuring the belt buckle, the hamburger and the fruit bat, audiences should expect the usual shameless, buck-naked men manipulating their ‘instruments’, while also utilising the latest CGI and live video projection technology.

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TICKE TS T SHO O THIS BEAT.CW AT OM.AU VENUE: CROWN CASINO-THE PALMS, 8 WHITEMAN ST, SOUTHBANK (AND METROPOLITAN VENUES ACROSS MELBOURNE FROM MARCH 28-APRIL 12) DATES: APRIL 17-20 TIMES: 8.15PM (METROPOLITAN 8PM) TICKETS: $39.90-$44.90

HUW JOSEPH AND THE IMMORAL SUPPORT BAND

HEATH FRANKLIN’S CHOPPER Heath Franklin’s Chopper is back at this year’s Melbourne International Comedy Festival, hosting – you guessed it – late night shows featuring some of the best new and established comedians at the festival. “It’s a revolving lineup,” Franklin tells me. “I try and figure out who’s incredibly good at the festival, and who’s the sort of person that the Chopper crowd will be right into. “Chopper’s hosting it which is great because he can come out and whip everyone out into a frenzy, bring out a few comedians who people may not have heard of and hopefully people will get along to see their shows. Then at the end of the night he’ll bring out a really big name, a legend of Australian comedy, and give the whole evening a real sense of occasion, you know? “I can’t give away too many big names at this point, but we’ll be releasing them on the day. So far we’ve had Dave Hughes, Peter Helliar, Wil Anderson...big solid names. We’ve been doing it in Adelaide for a few years now so it seems strange not to give the people in Melbourne a go as well. We’re really looking forward to it. It usually goes right off so I can only imagine what it’ll be like in Melbourne with an extra 400 people.” It’s been an interesting year for Franklin, with the passing of Mark “Chopper” Read from liver cancer last October. “I have to admit I find that people’s attention span are quite short these days,” says Franklin. “Considering it was last year...people for the most part have forgotten about it. It’s hovering somewhere in their consciousness, but it’s certainly not front of mind anymore. “It was quite a strange day to be quite honest. It’s not like we were really close or anything like that, I think we only met once or twice, but it’s strange because so much of my life has been connected to this guy directly or indirectly and to have him die was quite strange. To a certain extent, he put such an effort into making sure his story was more myth than fact. I don’t think there’s anyone who could tell you exactly what he did and didn’t do and all that sort of stuff. I guess

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SOMEBODY CALL A WAMBULANCE!

in a strange way his passing was a bit like ‘alright, well the legend continues’. Whether it’s based on truth or otherwise, he’s still out there.” I wonder out loud whether young, inexperienced comics might be a little nervous receiving a call from Uncle ChopChop asking them to meet him late at night in a dingy greenroom in the bowels of the Athenaeum. However, Franklin assures me that “for the most part everyone is bang up for it. It’s also going to be at the main room of the Athenaeum, so there’ll be lots of witnesses if anything does go down.” BY JOSH FERGEUS VENUE: ATHENAEUM THEATRE, 188 COLLINS ST, CBD DATES: MARCH 28-APRIL 19 (FRIDAYS AND SATURDAYS ONLY) TIME: 11.30PM TICKETS: $25

“My dad told me when I was a kid not to rush decisions,” Huw Joseph tells me. “I actually decided to do a Comedy Festival show five years ago but only just got the thumbs up from dad that I’d waited long enough.” He’s trying to explain why it’s taken him quite so long to take part in the Melbourne International Comedy Festival, which happens to be based in the city in which he lives. “So there was that factor and also it was a timing thing really. I wanted to wait until I felt ready because it’s a big job to take on especially with the full band and production plus organising everything behind the scenes. It’s different to touring this band because in that sense we are like any other band logistically, except really weird and the solo acoustic shows – well it’s just me, so not as much to worry about. This is the first time we’ve done a show like this where sketches and all sorts of strange things are incorporated throughout the entire show. I wanted to wait until it felt manageable.” Joseph’s new show, Somebody Call A Wambulance!, will be his Comedy Festival debut. “I love the idea of a Wambulance being ready to pick someone up who’s whinging because it sort of reminds me not to be too indulgent,” explains Joseph. “We can pretty safely say that everyone has a good whinge from time to time, and to be honest I actually think it’s healthy as long as it’s not too indulgent. Someone once said ‘Have your emotions like a baby, let it out and let it go’, but I guess it’s probably not a great idea to get advice from babies. They can’t even talk, so how smart can they be right?” Joseph has been fairly busy, chalking up over 300 shows throughout Australia, the UK and Europe over the last five years. “It’s generally been a good response when they speak English,” he says. “I had some people come to a show in Amsterdam once who I thought really hated me. They looked angry and didn’t say a word even when I asked them questions. It was terrifying. As the show went on it was

eventually revealed they didn’t have a clue what I was saying. You can say anything you want after that because hey, they don’t know what you’re saying! Fun. The UK has been really good. I think I’ve done about 25 shows there now, and it’s been mostly positive. Of course some people no matter where you go won’t always like what you do but hey who cares about them right? After I’ve cried myself to sleep for a week they don’t mean shit to me.” Throughout the festival, Joseph will be playing with his group, The Immoral Support Band, named so because of his cheeky songs and the type of support that he may require. Joseph tells me that they’re “total legends and incredibly good at their chosen instruments which makes up for my inevitable blunders. I’ve been playing guitar for 25 years and never had a lesson. These guys are total pros. Between them they’ve played for artists like Pete Murray, Paris Wells, True Live and the list goes on. “It’s a crazy all encompassing job but incredibly fun and rewarding at the same time. Being able to tour the band again and doing the Comedy Festival is very exciting for me as music is my first love and getting to combine everything I love – music, comedy, sketches and crazy shit - well that’s a dream come true, so I really hope people enjoy the show. If you don’t, remember I will cry myself to sleep for a week, so please go easy or say anything you want behind my back, that’s totally fine.” BY JOSH FERGEUS VENUE: THE TOFF IN TOWN - LEVEL 2, 252 SWANSTON ST, CBD DATES: MARCH 29 & 30, APRIL 12 & 13 TIMES: 4PM (2PM MARCH 30) TICKETS: $15-$19

BEAT’S COMEDY FESTIVAL GUIDE 2014 BROUGHT TO YOU BY GRAVITY ESPRESSO


What’s life really like on a FIFO site? Catch the live show at Melbourne Comedy Festival Mar 27 – Apr 20 6 pm (60 mins) Portland Room The Portland Hotel Corner Russell St and Little Collins St

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COMEDY FESTIVAL GUIDE 2014 GREG FLEET

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THE GAMES MASTER Along with Simon Keck’s brilliant show last year about his failed suicide attempt, I’ll never forget the numbing awe I experienced when leaving Greg Fleet’s show. It was honest, it was dark, and while I laughed throughout, labelling it a ‘comedy show’ seemed so limiting. With last year’s show touching on Fleet’s heroin addiction, cheating friends out of money and whatnot, I found it surprising that the press release for this year’s show, The Games Master, writes, “What is sport? Do we really need it? It’s about Fleety’s obsession with the Olympics and his mistaken belief that he could make it as a high jumper at the Games.” What the fuck, Fleety? “It’s a very bogus title,” he laughs. “It has nothing to do with what it says it’s about. It’s weird with comedy festivals because they ask you many months before what the show is about and quite often it’s just what you’ve been thinking about that week and you go, ‘Yeah this is a great idea’ and then you start putting it together, and there are references to games in the show, but it’s sort of just morphed into a thing about social issues, racism, homophobia – all the go-to comedy topics,” he laughs. “I like talking about things that are, well not controversial, I’m not like, ‘Oh I’m so shocking’ but I like talking about things that people have to think about or possibly even re-evaluate the way they think about things. With sport, you don’t really do that. I’ve done the show in Perth and I’m doing it in Adelaide now. It’s probably the tightest – it doesn’t have the theatre element that a lot of my shows have had – there’s some tough moments in it I think, bits where people go, ‘Whoaa’ but it pays off with laughter. Probably a little bit less pretentious than most stuff I’ve done before. There’s some stuff about racism and a gay friend’s funeral which is pretty full on but the rest is pretty easy going.” With Paralympian Oscar Pistorius currently on trial during the interview, I remind Fleet of one of my favourite off-the-cuff gags from his last show: “So uh Oscar Pistorius…what’s the Pistorius with that!”. “I’d forgotten that joke,” Fleet erupts. “That’s a beauty.” Fleet’s ability to soften his dark comedic stories with random moments of frivolity is a skill only veteran comedians can master. In light of Philip Seymour Hoffman’s tragic death, I wondered what Fleet thought about the dangers of drug legalisation, or more importantly, the dangers of drug illegalisation. “They should just legalise all of it. There would be some repercussions but very quickly things would level themselves out. There’s never

THE BOY WITH TAPE ON HIS FACE MORE TAPE

gonna be a drug that causes the death or misery that alcohol causes. Crime would fucking disappear overnight. There would be no more breaking into houses, no more fucking robberies. Millions of dollars would be available for social things that are not available now. The tax on drugs they would make would be phenomenal, billions. “When they’ve done it in other countries – Switzerland, Sweden – crime bottoms out. It’s incredible. But there’s a whole lot of people who wouldn’t want that, breweries – they get to cause all the death and destruction and they don’t wanna share that. I would say legalise it but I say that from a position of someone who doesn’t take drugs anymore, apart from a couple of joints occasionally. “I’m not saying legalise it because I want my free heroin. Damn I missed that boat! There’d be issues and deaths and craziness but nowhere near as much as the moment. I think hiding it, as demonstrated by Philip Seymour Hoffman’s death, if you’re forced to hide – and the only times I’ve almost died was when I was in a hotel room alone doing something because I didn’t want people to see – it’s dangerous because there’s no-one there to help you if something goes wrong. Hiding anything, even emotions, is a bad idea. “Any addiction is an addiction. I’ve got a friend who’s got an eating disorder, and it’s just as destructive as any other addiction – hiding it, the guilt and the shame. I don’t know exactly what the word addiction means, but I think it means doing something to the point where it’s not healthy. To be honest though, there’d be times in rehabs and stuff like that and most of us would be in there for heroin or booze or ice and there’d be a couple of people in there for a pot and you’d kinda look down on the pot people like, ‘Really, pot? That’s not a real problem’. It’s very druggist behaviour.” BY NICK TARAS VENUES: MELBOURNE TOWN HALL - COUNCIL CHAMBERS & POWDER ROOM, CNR SWANSTON & COLLINS STS, CBD DATES: MARCH 27-APRIL 20 TIMES: 9.45PM (MONDAYS 7.15PM, SUNDAYS 8.45PM) TICKETS: $20-$29

The Boy With Tape On His Face has gone from strength to strength since his breakout Edinburgh Fringe season four years ago. The New Zealand comic, real name Sam Wills, uses a blend of whimsical visuals, prop gags and puppetry, along with gentle audience participation. Wills tells me more about his character and his brand new show, which he is currently performing in Adelaide. “The Boy With The Tape On His Face was a character I developed seven years ago. I used to do sort of normal standup comedy back in New Zealand until I got bored of my own voice and bored of doing the same sorts of tricks and stuff, so I set myself a goal to develop something which had no talking and no tricks, and I wanted to find a way to get the audience to entertain themselves, so the character came from that.” The clincher, though, which created his namesake, came more out of necessity than anything else. “On the first night of the show, I went onstage – and I didn’t have tape originally – I went onstage and ruined it within the first couple of minutes by talking to the audience, out of a general panic of being way out of my comfort zone. And so the next night I was backstage joking with some other comics, and a roll of gaffer tape was around, and one suggestion turned into now a career.” When talking about influences and how he builds his character, like his show, Wills draws a little bit from everywhere, including his main inspiration, Wile E. Coyote. “I love that concept where you can phone in and you get this delivery and it’s this crazy invention. And for me I take that to junk shops – there’s a shop here in Adelaide called The Reject Shop, which is very good, you know the shops that carry brica-brac, multivitamins, clothing, hardware, I love them because you can find everyday objects that everyone knows, and for me it’s a challenge just to take that object and make it into something else that people aren’t expecting, and match it with a perfect song to create a whole new thing with it, which is really fun.” Which means he’s over the moon when I tell him we have a Reject Shop in Melbourne. When I mention Arthur Daley’s Clearance House he knows all about it, “Oh I know

TOM BALLARD

SAM SIMMONS

UNAUSTRALIAN(ISH)

DEATH OF A SAILS-MAN

Tom Ballard wrote a page in the history books when he became the youngest ever host of triple j’s iconic breakfast show at the age of 20. After four years of his alarm clock going off as his contemporaries were coming home, Tom has hung up the triple j breakfast headphones to return to his main squeeze – stand-up comedy. Tom reached the national finals of RAW Comedy in 2006, won the Melbourne International Comedy Festival’s Best Newcomer Award in 2009 and since then has taken the stage at some of the most prestigious gigs across the country and the world, supporting everyone from Wil Anderson to Stephen Merchant. One of the most switched-on satirical brains in the country will be on display in his brand new hour, UnAustralian(ish) – a joyous and personal show about a family holiday, history, bullshit, flags and blood. Don’t miss it – it’s your patriotic duty. 

A man fights a photocopier live on stage for an entire hour whilst having an existential midlife crisis on a sailing boat. Death Of A Sails-Man is a true story performed by the inimitable Sam Simmons. Home briefly from his base in LA and fresh from his debut appearance on the comedy powerhouse Conan in the US, Sam is about to go off like a prawn in a hot sock! Sam held down his own weekly show at the Virgil in Hollywood, inviting the cream of American indie comedy into his world. He took the stage in Montreal, Toronto, Chicago and in London with a sell out West End run. A true global comedian, Sam has now settled (as much as he ever does) in LA, dreaming up improbable ideas and saying them out loud to important people. He is surely our nation’s most splendidly life affirming idiot. See Simmons now before he’s disappears into a world of hookers and Hollywood.

VENUE: MELBOURNE TOWN HALL – COUNCIL CHAMBERS, CNR SWANSTON & COLLINS ST, CBD DATES: MARCH 27-APRIL 20 (EXCEPT MONDAYS) TIMES: 8.30PM (SUNDAYS 7.30PM) TICKETS: $22-$28

BY SAM WILSON VENUE: THE FORUM - UPSTAIRS, 154 FLINDERS ST, CBD DATES: MARCH 27-APRIL 20 (EXCEPT MONDAYS) TIMES: 7.30PM (SUNDAYS 6.30PM) TICKETS: $25-$30

VENUE: THE FAMOUS SPIEGELTENT - FEDERATION SQUARE, CBD DATES: MARCH 27-APRIL 20 (EXCEPT MONDAYS) TIMES: 8.30PM (SUNDAYS 7.30PM) TICKETS: $24-$32

ANJELAH JOHNSON

BEST OF THE EDINBURGH FEST I feel charmed but slightly depersonalised when I ask Tom Stade – one third of the Best of the Edinburgh Fest show playing at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival, and acclaimed Canadian comic – to tell me about his show. “Well Beat – I hope you don’t mind me calling you Beat? I feel kinda of close to you guys now. I am the show...you come to see Tom Stade and not a theme. And Tom Stade has many themes, to focus on just one would not be a true celebratory representation of life. Just buckle in and get ready to relate!” He then apologises for speaking in the third person. Since I am being referred to as Beat I can’t really find the heart to complain. Stade got into comedy the way most seem to − in an extreme moment of clarity and inspiration. “I was elevated out of whatever humdrum existence society had for me before comedy intervened! I was planning to ‘end up’ being an actor until I went down to a comedy club many moons ago and saw a friend who was on, and he pulled some strings and next thing I know I did my first gig and I never looked back.” This is Stade’s second Melbourne International Comedy Festival, and he’ll be playing with two of the UK’s hottest new comics. “My partners in comedy crime are the super comedy talents of Carl Donnelly and Kai Humphries, I’m proud to be one of their wingmen.” Donnelly has been referred to as “A remarkable talent – a relaxed, easygoing anecdotalist with an eye for funny details.” While Kai Humphries’ style is known as “Happy, original and surreal.” When Stade talks about where he’s at, he’s philosophical about his ambitions. “I think I’m hungrier now for success than I was a couple of years ago. After we signed a DVD deal and recorded the Tom Stade Live DVD it lit a fire under me! I try to stay true to the comedy art form, and would always try to be successful in the comedy biz on my own terms – looks like the biz likes my terms!”  What thing, person or idea are you most obsessed with at this time? “That’s easy, first we’ll start with ‘thing’ and

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that one, I remember that one from five years ago and it was freakin’ amazing!” It’s time to clear up peoples’ fears about the audience participation element of his show, something that could wrongly send punters running. “It’s the nice sort – this is the other thing I’m trying to do one audience at a time is change the perception of audience participation, cause when you say that everyone freaks out...people who have done audience participation have been doing it wrong, where they tend to humiliate the one person onstage...whenever I get someone up on stage I want to celebrate them being there and that they helped out with the show, so that when they leave, they’re leaving the stage a hero! And it’s reached the point now where people are actually wanting to be on stage which is very strange.” It seems like audiences can expect a thoroughly positive and hilarious experience from The Boy With Tape On His Face. “The last time I was in Melbourne was five years ago at the comedy festival, and that was my first show so the show that’s happening this time is never-before-seen in Melbourne, it’s 100 per cent new material...it’s good fun.”

that has to be my Kindle Fire HD. ‘Person’? That’s easy the wonderful, challenging, sexy, frustrating, ‘why won’t she just do things my way, yes I’ll listen,’ and smart, the greatest photographer in the world and equal partners in the Stade family business...Trudy Stade! And ‘idea I’m obsessed with at this time’ is why is Scotland the only place if you buy a house you have to bid over the asking price? Messes with my head!” When I ask what else he gets up to in his spare time apart from being depressed about real estate he replies, “I’ve joined a beginners jogging club and I’m up to 5 minute walk, 15 minute jog, 5 minute walk, cool down. Oh and I enjoy gambling all my money away! There’s a horse track in Melbourne right?” Sure is. He’s coy when I ask if he has any other projects in the works right now, but he is at least super enthusiastic about the festival. “I could’ve of done a lot more [festivals], it’s not like I wasn’t asked constantly, but sadly I have an awesome family so it was hard to get out there without leaving them behind. But the kids are older now, so look out cause the Stades are a-coming!” BY SAM WILSON

VENUE: RMIT CAPITOL THEATRE, 113 SWANSTON ST, CBD DATES: MARCH 27-APRIL 20 (EXCEPT MONDAYS) TIME: 7.30PM (SUNDAYS 6.30PM) TICKETS: $26-$34

If you’ve ever had a manicure or pedicure up at Northcote Plaza, or anywhere, then YouTube Nail Salon by US comic Anjelah Johnson. I swear to god she has her nails done at the same Vietnamese place I go to, even though this year she’s coming out to Melbourne for the first time to do a show. The woman’s a natural. Johnson fell into comedy by going along to a workshop held in a church, because it was free. “I moved to LA to be an actress and I took a joke writing class, thinking ‘I’ll just give this a go’,” she says. “I asked if it was free and it was so I decided to do it. I didn’t even realise I was funny but I really excelled at it. I now do shows in nightclubs but I started out in a church.” Nail Salon went viral on You Tube and life took a whole new direction for the Mexican/Native American comic. She’s clearly an evil mimic. What else does she think makes her funny? “I don’t know; it comes back to being relatable,” she answers. “I do observational stuff. I connect with my audience. My comedy is relatable. Many people have had similar experiences. I talk about my travels, some marriage material, things I’ve learned during three years of marriage, doing jury duty, health insurance, varied things that everybody probably has experiences in.” The San Jose native finds that everyone wants to be her friend, moreso in some parts of the country than others. Johnson says she has a certain market. “It depends where I am. If I go to Tulsa or Oklahoma, people say ‘if you lived here, we’d be best friends.’” For some reason her comedy has more traction in the South, she reckons. “The bible belt area, where they are church folk: I do really well in those areas. I don’t do so well in northern working class towns like Pittsburgh or Cleveland.” Without being in any way soppy or sweet, there’s a femininity and naturalness to her that comes across strongly on stage; she’s accessible, and well, nice, so perhaps that’s it. Whatever, it’s working for her. “I had the benefit of YouTube,” she continues. “I do me; I bring my own personality and mannerisms to the stage.” Is she naturally extraverted? “No, it’s funny, but I’m a homebody. I have a circle of close friends. I get invited to a lot of events but I would rather have a low-key dinner party at home.” Until she gets up with a mic in her hand, that is. “I’m a people person in front of people, I love telling jokes and travelling the country.” Johnson reckoned it took a while for her to find her comic voice. At first, she says, she played up to something of a Latina stereotype which wasn’t her real self. “Starting out I

was trying to be what everybody thought I should be, be what people expected. I’ve learnt to weave my way, I’ve embraced who I am and I’m finding my own voice, I’m being myself.” What’s life like for a female comic in the States? “I think we’ve come a long way,” she answers. “There are so many more women comics now. We still have a lot to fight through. We have more respect but still, people don’t affiliate (sic) women with ‘funny’. If a random person is going to a show and there’s a guy’s name and a woman’s name, they’ll take the chance on the guy. They’ll think ‘who’s this girl’? But we do have more respect now and more of us need to be seen and heard, for sure.” BY LIZA DEZFOULI VENUE: VICTORIA HOTEL - BANQUET ROOM, 215 LT COLLINS ST, CBD DATES: MARCH 27-APRIL 6 (EXCEPT MONDAY) TIMES: 9.45PM (SUNDAYS 8.45) TICKETS: $26-$33

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COMEDY FESTIVAL GUIDE 2014 MATT OKINE

HAPPINESS NOT INCLUDED From the outside, it seems like Matt Okine has achieved so much in the Australian comedy scene in a miniscule amount of time, having won Best Newcomer at MICF in 2012, sold out shows in 2013 and now co-hosting triple j breakfast as well as supporting Dave Chappelle in 2014. However, Okine has actually taken a very old school approach to his stand up, spitting gags onstage at clubs for roughly eight years before performing his first solo show. “That’s the crazy thing, I started in 2004 just doing the club scene for ages. It really took me a long time to build up the courage and determination to do a solo show in 2012. It was one of those things where it was eight years in the making which is why I guess it was fairly good,” he laughs. “I wasn’t really focusing on stand-up. I was trying to be a serious actor and it’s only since I’ve started to focus on comedy that it’s starting to pay off. “It’s kind of pretty surprising, I guess. It was easy for me to start getting all negative about it all or feeling underappreciated, but I keep telling myself, ‘You’ve gotta be in it to win it’ and I kept plugging away and doing my

thing and all of a sudden it’s started to pay off. “I guess this show is gonna be more about some of the mistakes I made in those eight years I was seemingly doing nothing and some of the reasons why it took so long to get in the position where I could finally utilise my opportunities now. While I also said I was kinda making TV pilots, I was also being a 20-year-old dickhead who was stuffing up a fair bit. I guess I just talk about life’s stuff ups and what you can learn from them, really.” I don’t really know what it’s like to have a real job, but I imagine one of the few upsides is that you’re awake early enough to listen to Matt and Alex on triple j. I wondered how Okine has coped with some of the challenges of his new job. “Yeah dude, it’s not easy I’ll tell you that much,” he laughs. “I used to go to bed at 2am every morning and now I’m up two hours after that. That’s certainly been the biggest learning curve. Even on the weekends, [I’d] head out and not get home in bed until 4am and then I’d wake up on a Saturday morning at 11.30am or something and that’s when I’m now finishing work. Every single weekend and beginning of each week is like I’ve just caught a plane halfway from around the world and I’ve gotta re-adapt to the time.” It was only about a-year-and-a-half ago that Okine almost stole the show opening for comedian Aziz Ansari (Parks and Recreation; I Love You, Man). Just a few weeks ago, Okine opened for comedy legend Dave Chappelle, one of

the highlights of his young career so far. “Those gigs were incredible, man. It’s not often that you genuinely get to be in the same room as someone who you looked up to for ten years and a genuine idol of mine. I was awestruck because I was just fanboying out so hard. Every single thing I did I’d be like, ‘God was that a stupid thing to do? Should I have said that?’ Even he’d walk in and I’d be like, ‘Oh hey Dave’ and then I’d think, ‘Should I have said, “Hey Dave” or should I have said, “Hi Dave” or should I have said, “What’s up Dave? What’s goin’ on man?”’ So ridiculous.”

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BY NICK TARAS

VENUES: SWISS CLUB, 89 FLINDERS LANE, CBD (MELBOURNE TOWN HALL – SUPPER ROOM, CNR SWANSTON & COLLINS ST, CBD ON MARCH 30) DATES: MARCH 27–APRIL 20 (EXCEPT MONDAYS) TIMES: 7PM (SUNDAYS 6PM, MARCH 30 8.45PM) TICKETS: $19–$29

LUKE MCGREGOR

I WORRY THAT I WORRY TOO MUCH

A real life version of the teenage clerk from The Simpsons, Luke McGregor’s show was one of my favourites at MICF last year. His hilariously awkward persona is so endearing that along with Damien Power, Dayne Rathbone and Steen Raskopoulos (whose shows were all among the elite of the 147 shows I saw in 2013), McGregor was nominated for the Best Newcomer award, which he subsequently won. Despite this success as well as appearing on shows such as Spicks And Specks and Dirty Laundry, McGregor still feels frightened about his future. “Probably the thing I’m most scared of is even though I love this job and I love comedy, that I’m not good enough to really make a living off it,” he says with that trademark nervous voice-crack. “Like it’s going good now but I kinda feel like an imposter and someone’s gonna go, ‘Whoop, we caught him. Not a real comic’ and take it all away. I feel like someone’s gonna come in and go, ‘Caught ya, you’re not that funny’. “The new show is I Worry That I Worry Too Much and I worry that title is a bad title for a comedy show. Usually I worry about how long it’s been since I’ve spoken to my parents, and then don’t ring. I gotta ring more,” he laughs, anxiously. As a correspondent on Dirty Laundry, one of my favourite interviews ever is McGregor’s interview of X Factor winner Samantha Jade. He begins by gifting her a basket full of banal plants, then after some uncomfortable flirtation, goes on to ask questions such as, “You’ve got a single called What You’ve Done To Me. What did they do to you?” and “You won X Factor. Kylie Minogue had an album called X. INXS also had an album called X. Do you have an exes?” McGregor credits the juxtaposition between his awkward character and light-hearted questions as the reason his interviewees are generally so open. “The secret was we didn’t give them any questions they didn’t want to answer. They felt awkward but comfortable that they weren’t gonna get any curveballs that were gonna put them off, like, ‘I heard you killed a dog once’. Well, they probably wouldn’t kill a dog, but if they did we wouldn’t ask them. It was strange kind of playing a character but also pretty much me.” Then, halfway through our interview, McGregor stumped me with something that has never happened to me in 100 of interviews before. “Sorry it feels weird having one side of the conversation,” he apologises. “I feel like we should talk about you more. I feel bad.” After some assurance that he hasn’t hurt my feelings, we move on to McGregor’s hero Dave Chappelle. It’s particularly interesting that McGregor is infatuated with Chappelle, given that their comedic styles are so vastly different. “I met Dave Chappelle once really briefly. I love him. I used to watch him do stand-up on YouTube before a set to get me in the right mood. I got to shake his hand once at Montreal Comedy Festival. I was talking to a guy and the guy goes, ‘Have you met my friend Dave?’ and I know everything about Dave. I research about him, I watch every stand-up he comes out with, I try to find hidden clips, interviews, podcasts –  everything. The guy means so much to me, so I felt like I wanted to thank him for everything he’s given me in the five seconds we had together. So I went to say, ‘I’m Luke from Tasmania’ but I ended up saying, ‘I’m Luke Tasmania’ and then he goes, ‘Cool man’ and then he had to go.” When I interviewed comedian Matt Okine soon after, he confirmed McGregor’s bizarre relationship with the comedy icon. “We were with [Chappelle] in Adelaide. Luke came backstage and then we all went out to the clubs as a sort of after party and watching Luke, and I thought I was gonna be bad but I gotta admit, Luke really took the cake. He was shaking I swear.” BY NICK TARAS VENUE: MELBOURNE TOWN HALL – PORTICO ROOM, CNR SWANSTON & COLLINS STS, CBD DATES: MARCH 27–APRIL 20 (EXCEPT MONDAYS) TIMES: 8.30PM (SUNDAYS 7.30PM) TICKETS: $20–$25

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COMEDY FESTIVAL GUIDE 2014 DAVID QUIRK CAREER, SUICIDE

What’s the un-funniest topic you can think of? For Melbourne based stand-up comedian David Quirk, it’s animal rights. So, naturally, he’s going to talk about it in his new show Career, Suicide. “Even by saying it now I have a slight embarrassment because I figure no one wants to laugh about (animal rights), they don’t even want to talk about it. I thought well, that’s something you could attack in this show because that’s probably career suicide,” he says. “But there’s a comma in between the words career and suicide so it’s about my career, sometimes it’s literally about suicide and it’s about towels”. When Quirk speaks with Beat via phone, it’s from the Adelaide Fringe Festival where he is performing Shaking Hands With Danger, the show that collected him the Piece of Wood (Comedians’ Choice Award) at last year’s

JOE BONE

BANE 1, 2 & 3

Melbourne International Comedy Festival. He quotes one of his favourite comedians, Doug Stanhope, who says of awards they are just someone’s opinion, no more relevant than someone who thinks you suck. “He does have a point there and it keeps you in check,” says Quirk about the American’s perspective. “But that particular award, knowing how I feel about comedy and how much I love some of the others who have won that award, I am absolutely flattered. I really am,” he says. He also thought that show, confessing his infidelity, might also be his last, so he decided to put everything into it. “I thought ‘well I’m just going to at least do this show. I don’t know what the future holds but I will write this show and write it well’ and it paid off…people responded to it . I thought, ‘oh? Is that all you have to do? Just pour your life and soul into a show? OK. Fine,” he says with that characteristic deadpan. Fortunately for Melbourne International Comedy Festival audiences, it wasn’t his last show. Career, Suicide, he promises, will tackle both those topics and like he said, towels. Towels? “It started out very literally,” he says. “There’s a thing that happened to me, where I realised that I didn’t travel with a towel and I got into this massive altercation, which became ridiculous, with someone who I was staying with who I had never met. I had borrowed the wrong towel, quite literally, and used it to dry myself, and it just got so out of hand that I thought well that’s a story that can be in a show.”

However, as Quirk started to ponder the deeper meaning of towels and how they relate to the human condition, he started hatching a theory that they are “this subconscious thing we always need,” he says. “I say at the start how I found out about a decade ago that we are driven by an unconscious fear of death and most people have heard this before. It’s why we do everything but what I don’t believe is that it’s unconscious because we’ve all thought about death at some point, and some of us at length, so its not really that unconscious. But what I do believe is the unconscious motivator in our lives is a towel based drive. I also point out it’s also what sperate us from the animals, after thought, is towels. I don’t know if it’s possible to pull off a show centred around towels but I will sure try”. If anyone can take towels and spin them into gold, it will be David Quirk. BY JOANNE BROOKFIELD

VENUE: MELBOURNE TOWN HALL – CLOAK ROOM & LUNCH ROOM, CNR SWANSTON AND COLLINS ST, CBD DATES: MARCH 27–APRIL 20 (EXCEPT MONDAYS, EXCEPT APRIL 14) TIMES: 9.45PM (SUNDAYS 8.45PM) TICKETS: $20–$28.90

Joe Bone is Bruce Bane. His very singular comedy show could be described as one man performing a noir detective film on stage, with live acoustic guitar soundtrack. Beat ran him to ground in Thailand, on holiday between touring South East Asia and coming to Australia. Bone is performing not one but three separate shows for MICF. How does he remember everything? “I don’t know,” Bone says. “I’ve been touring for a little while now. It keeps them fresh, keeps my mind focused.” You could say that Bone does what kids do with stories they hear or things they’ve been watching: he acts them out. “I’ve never grown up in that sense,” he says. Bruce Bane is his parody of a hardboiled gunslinger, his shows are narrative based performances of all the noir detective type tropes we are familiar with, rather than about any one film in particular. “It’s a difficult show to describe in one sense,” he says. “There’s a little bit of everything. Physical theatre, storytelling, slapstick, sweating, live music.” Bone got into comedy performing with five minute skits when he was at uni, and developed his character, Bruce Bane, inspired by films he was watching at the time, classics like The Maltese Falcon and The Postman Always Rings Twice and Double Indemnity. Bone now brings his hybrid character to life night after night. “I use the language of cinema,” he says. “You can feel the smoky subway and the streets – we’ve all seen those type of movies; we’ve all got a loose knowledge of the visuals and the plot structures. It’s become an interesting language to play with. The audience knows where we are. Once we’re all on the same page we can start to have fun.” How much of his stuff is scripted? “It’s not scripted in the traditional sense,” he answers. “I’ll improvise bits as I go along and it’s subsequently written down. I’ll do it and then go back and think about it.” The three shows are performed in sequence. Bone starts with Someone’s Gonna Play on Tuesdays (and Fridays), followed by The Beast Within on Wednesdays (and Sundays) then the third story in the trilogy, Welcome to Sunnyview on the Thursdays (and Sundays) and the cycle starts again the following week. Bruce Bane is fast becoming an international man of mystery offstage, too, having inspired a graphic novel, a social media presence and a radio production. Guitarist Ben Roe was initially reluctantly roped into the show. He is now an integral part of the performance and has been since 2009. It’s a bromance that works well; Bone uses Roe as a sounding board for his shows. “I test everything on him. He’s like the dramaturge.” Neither Bone nor Roe expected anything like the sort of success they’re enjoying now including winning comedy awards and touring the world. What does Bone attribute his shows’ successes to? “It doesn’t take itself seriously; it’s fun. I don’t do flashy mime work; haven’t had any training as a mime. All I need is for the audience to understand what I’m doing, if I move my arm like this, how does that read?” Bone doesn’t only perform Bruce Bane, though, there is a supporting cast of up to eleven other characters he’s created. Bone’s become famous for his ability to deliver a colourful raft of distinct personalities and create a deeply familiar yet imaginary world on stage using nothing but himself and Roe. “It’s a very ‘tourable’ show, very portable,” he says with a laugh. “No fancy lights or anything. When we tell venues how little we require they rub their hands with glee.” BY LIZA DEZFOULI

VENUE: VICTORIA HOTEL, ACACIA ROOM – 215 LITTLE COLLINS ST, CBD DATES: MARCH 27–APRIL 20 (EXCEPT MONDAYS) TIMES: 7.15PM (SUNDAYS 6.15PM) TICKETS: $15–$20

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COMEDY FESTIVAL GUIDE 2014 RHYS NICHOLSON

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EURGH

Rhys Nicholson is fast becoming a veteran of the Melbourne International Comedy Festival, after making his debut in 2012. The 23-year-old comedian, originally from Newcastle, won the Best Newcomer award at the Sydney Comedy Festival that same year, and, in a short amount of time, has made quite an impact on the Australian comedy scene. “People like Joel Creasey and Tom Ballard and I, we’ve all been doing it for a few years,” says Nicholson. “I think you know you’re not the new up-and-comers anymore when you can see a new generation coming through. You’re the ones going backstage going ‘fuck, he’s pretty funny for a young person’. There’s 17 and 18-year-olds and you’re like ‘I wish I had your timing when I was your age’. Because of the internet I think...that’s the reason there’s so many younger comedians now. It’s so much easier to get to comedy and learn how it works. And also getting yourself out there and knowing where to go. 20 years ago if you wanted to start in stand-up you’d have no fucking idea how to do that, and no-one knew who you were either. You may as well just start cold-calling people in the phone book.” “There’s definitely a new generation coming through, people like Aaron Chen and Brodi Lucas. There’s a whole bunch of new people. I plan to burn their venue down. If someone asked me my age a couple of years ago they would go ‘oh fuck’, and that doesn’t happen anymore. So that hurts my feelings. So we’ve got to start killing the younger ones. Yes.” Nicholson, now a regular on the festival circuit, is still trying to get his head around the weird and wonderful world that is stand-up comedy. “At a festival...I’ve been flyering and there might be a few people there who know who I am, but most people are there because I told them to go. On the street. But then I’m doing Brisbane Comedy Festival right now, and because it’s curated you don’t have to flyer, people come to see you. I don’t know which one I prefer. I always feel nervous when I’m doing a solo run of shows because it’s like you’ve got to live up to something. It’s like ‘oh they’ve all come to see me’, and that’s a bit worrying. I did Edinburgh last year and if there was more than ten people in my audience I was like ‘who are these people’. Every now and then you have an existential crisis. You look out at a large audience and you think – who are you? What has lead you here? It’s a very strange profession. Essentially you’re saying to people ‘you know what you

should do? You should sit and listen to my thoughts for an hour. And pay money’.” “There’s something about a microphone and a sea of people you don’t know sitting in the dark which means you get much more open than you normally would. In last year’s show I had a whole story about how I had an eating disorder for a few years. And I’d never talked to my family about that. It happened when I moved to Sydney and I’d never really spoken to them about it. But I was happy to talk to strangers around the world, and to be quite graphic. I have family here and they’re coming to see my show tomorrow night – I’ve been doing the same show to big houses all week without any worries but now I’m nervous because I’ll have family there. It’s not that I’m saying anything about them, it’s just weird.” BY JOSH FERGEUS

VENUE: PORTLAND HOTEL, GOLD ROOM - CNR RUSSELL & LT COLLINS STS, CBD DATES: MARCH 27–APRIL 20 (EXCEPT MONDAYS) TIMES: 9.45PM (SUNDAYS 8.45PM) TI CKETS: $15-$25

ASHER TRELEAVEN

SMALLER POORER WEAKER CHEAPER Asher Treleaven won’t tell me about the lobster dance, but then again he’s barely had breakfast. I catch him on the phone in Adelaide on what he promises are his final mouthfuls, and will dutifully call back a few minutes later. I tell him not to worry, I’m not going to work the questions too hard. “That’s good because I am an idiot. For a while there I was talking into a brick, instead of my phone when it rang.” The critically acclaimed comedian who is known for his keen blend of smart political satire and ridiculous physical comedy is back for his seventh comedy festival, and this time his show, Smaller Poorer Weaker Cheaper, approaches his subject, fear and the economy, a little differently. “I set out to write a show about how rich people being arseholes is bad for the economy. When I finished writing the show I talked to my wife, she said ‘That sounds like a shit idea, can you please just write a fucking show that is you, rather than pretending to be this kind of activist, left-wing intellectual browbeating comedian telling people how the world is when you’re really not like that at all.’ And I said, ‘Tell me more.’ and then she gave me the most serious dressing down have ever had in my life as a comedian, and I have had some savage reviews from some absolute pricks. So I started again.” With the aid of this editorial savagery, Treleaven has transformed the show into something that is “about a man desperately trying to convince an audience, any audience, that you can do a good show while everything falls to shit around you throughout the day.” With Treleaven’s distinctive, energetic style, combining wit and physical comedy, it’s hard to fault an evening spent at his mercy. Although his comedy has always been centred around the physical and the silly, his political force has been a fixed aspect of his work. “Politics are part of me and part of my personality. It’s about picking the political things I talk about, rather than letting the new social media wash over me...you just get bombarded by all this shit to be angry about all the time, it can be difficult sometimes to not only, I guess, pick the topics, that matter to you, but also to pick topics politically that you are educated enough to approach in a fresh way.” This sort of talk is definitely refreshing. “You hear so many comedians going ‘blah blah blah gay marriage’ and you’re

like, you’re not part of the community, you don’t give a fuck about this, you’re just saying it to get kind of like, a clap. I’m as angry about things as anyone else, but just because I’m angry about the wrongful incarceration about refugees on Manus Island, it doesn’t necessarily mean that I have the intelligence, the research and the comedy chutzpah to go on stage and talk about it as a white middle class vanilla fucking pedestrian guy.” Wise words, but what becomes most apparent about this chat is the special event that is in store for his audiences. He says, “Why don’t you ask me about my big lobster dance finisher?” I’m not one to disappoint. Please, can he tell me about this lobster dance I’ve heard so much about? “Oh come on it’s a secret, I mean you’ve gotta see the show, then you’ll get the lobster dance at the end of the show, I can’t tell you about the lobster dance now.” It’s more something you have to experience for yourself? “It really is.” BY SAM WILSON

VENUE: GIN PALACE – THE SWAMP, 10 RUSSELL PLACE, CBD DATES: MARCH 27-APRIL 20 (EXCEPT MONDAYS) TIMES: 9.30PM (SUNDAYS 8.30PM) TICKETS: $20-$28

Available on DVD in stores and online April 16 *While stocks Last

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COMEDY FESTIVAL GUIDE 2014 SCOTT DOOLEY DEBUT

Stand-up comedy is generally considered the hardest and most gruelling scenario in which to be funny. Thus, a lot of successful radio and television comedic-personalities will give up their regular pay cheque to chase onstage glory. Scott Dooley (or ‘Dools’) is known for his time on air at triple j and Nova, as well as regularly appearing on Channel Ten’s The Project. But for the past two years, Dooley has been toughing it out in the small comedy clubs of New York. “When I first arrived I wouldn’t say I was arrogant, probably complacent,” he says. “I’d been treated really well for a while in Australia, performing at nice places to nice audiences. Coming to New York has made me start from the beginning all over again, which I was a bit worried about at first but now I love it.”

GEORGE GLASS ADVERTISING DEATH

Following this rigorous comedy bootcamp Scott now feels he’s progressed far enough to be considered brand new. This will be demonstrated when he brings the show Debut to MICF. For those who are familiar with Dools’ radio and TV work, his stand-up personality doesn’t precisely match. “I swear more,” he warns. “And I can tell you my radical theories on the elderly: they’re so fucking lazy. I love doing radio and telly, it’s really fun, but you’re limited to what you can say. That’s not to say that I want to say ‘fuck’ on The Project, but you just don’t have the time. With stand-up I have an hour or so to talk about things that I think are funny or stupid or maddening.” Showing up as a complete unknown and submitting himself to the scrutiny of American audiences hasn’t only made Dooley a more stage-savvy comic, it’s also prompted him to look closely at the material he’s presenting. “Because I’m performing at really small places here to noone the idea of shrieking every punchline is frowned upon, which really puts the focus on the writing,” he explains. “I think that you can get away with some loose writing if you can sell a joke, but if you take that away you’re forced to rely on a more nuanced approached which, in my opinion, can only make you a better act.  Having said that, the strongest part of my set is still the five minutes when I yell different slang terms for penis. ‘COCK’ I will bellow, followed by ‘DICK’ and…well it’s my opener and closer so I’d better not give too much away.”  So, uh, believe it or not, being a ‘funny-guy’ actually isn’t

always an asset. The impulse to turn everything into a joke can even become a nuisance in social settings. Dools explains how he’s gotten better at preserving spontaneous humour for the stage. “There’s no one more annoying than the guy at the dinner party who’s constantly interrupting with jokes, so you’re conscious not to do that. I write everything down. I’m starting work on the next show, which is probably going to be about being single for the first time in my life. So I spend a lot of time writing little notes in my phone, which gets it out of system and hopefully makes me a much more pleasant person to be around.” BY AUGUSTUS WELBY

VENUE: FIVE BOROUGHS, 68 HARDWARE LANE, CBD DATES: APRIL 7-13 TIME: 8.15PM TICKETS: $15

Melbourne International Comedy Festival is renowned for supporting the best emerging national talent; the George Glass boys are no different. Heralding from the bowels of Adelaide, the quintet will be returning to Melbourne with their newest creation, Advertising Death, a collision between HBO’s revered Six Feet Under and Death at a Funeral (2007). Ahead of their appearance this April, Beat caught up with one fifth of the group to talk about death, bodily fluids, and those times that props can backfire. “We used that once and that stuff just sticks like cement,” admits Nicholas Conway, discussing that time they made fake blood out of cornflour, golden syrup and food dye, a common but deadly combination. “It was terrible, and I guess because we weren’t very quick getting it off afterwards; we added it at the start of the show and it sat there for an hour, and by the end of the [show] it was pretty much [super] glue.” Advertising Death is the brainchild of Nicholas Conway, Pud Hamilton, Henry Koehne, Alister McMichael and Daniel Murnane, a black musical comedy that illustrates the tale of two brothers who own a financially unviable funeral home and their vain attempt to save it from bankruptcy through an illicit funeral arrangement. The show boasts influences from classic British comedies – Monty Python, Black Adder, Faulty Towers – and cult-generating comedic duo Flight of the Conchords, imbued with a matter-of-fact manner that would even make David Mitchell (Peep Show, Would I Lie To You?) laugh. “I guess that’s the good thing about black humour,” muses Conway, “you can appeal to a lot of people, mainly because it’s a darker level of comedy. Perhaps the jokes aren’t always laugh-out-loud funny, but I’d say they probably resonate with people for a lot longer. It’s [also] quite piercing comedy as well. You have to rely on the words and not the slapstick [comedy] around it.” This was a challenge that saw George Glass Boys draw upon their combined years of comedy work, including stand-up gigs, high school theatre, and Adelaide Fringe Festival. It allowed them to craft Advertising Death into a definitive comedy that both mocks and celebrates death – drawing upon the dichotomy of life and death – and turning their faults into multifaceted relatable jokes. “One of the main things about our [work] is the music involved. It’s [also] very, very abstract and a lot of it is not very plausible or possible,” elaborates the comedian, iterating that audience members can expect plenty of bodily fluids, cross-dressing, dancing and plain ole shenanigans at Advertising Death in April. “In our show [the characters] kind of [balance] the line between deciding the best way to kill someone or not kill someone.” A decision that is the crux of the comedy, whether to murder a man to reap the the benefits of his funeral, or not. “I think the characters don’t necessarily like what they’re doing, or the fact that the business is struggling so much,” continues Conway thoughtfully. “But I don’t think many of the characters do terrible things throughout the show, [but when they do] there’s definitely self-loathing [there]. It’s like Death at the Funeral – that strong type of British [dark] humour, but ours is less British and more Australian.” BY AVRILLE BYLOK-COLLARD VENUE: MECHANICS INSTITUTE, 270 SYDNEY ROAD, BRUNSWICK DATES: APRIL 16-19 TIME: 8PM TICKETS: $15

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33


COMEDY FESTIVAL GUIDE 2014 HEATH FRANKLIN

BOB DOWNE

MAY I BORROW A CRISIS?

BOB, SWEAT & TEARS

Heath Franklin has been a highly acclaimed and commercially accomplished comedian for the last eight years. Yet, the name Heath Franklin will certainly be new to many. Franklin’s spent most of his career performing as Chopper Read, but at this year’s Melbourne International Comedy Festival he’ll represent himself for the first time. “It is sort of pressing the reset button on things a little bit,” he says. “Hopefully I can retain my Chopper audience and gain a whole new audience of Heath Franklin fans who may not necessarily find Chopper to be their cup of tea.” Franklin’s MICF show, May I Borrow A Crisis?, is packed full of biographical detail. It might be a relief to strip away the costume and talk about himself, but Franklin isn’t being blasé about the transition. “I want it to be as good as it possibly can be, so I’m not taking it easy on myself this year,” he says. “There’d be nothing worse than being like, ‘If you like Chopper then how about – Heath Franklin!’ and then everyone’s like, ‘Nah, I like Chopper better.’ I’m being as brutal with myself as I can be to get it there.” The Chopper act’s substantial renown guaranteed Franklin decent crowds, so what sparked the decision to finally introduce his everyday-self onstage? “The Chopper shows were getting less and less Chopper-y,” he explains. “It was still being delivered by a moustache and the glasses but instead of being Neville Bartos jokes it was gripes about Subway and cars and all this sort of stuff, which I think reflects my suburban lifestyle a little bit [more] than the Chopper world. So it’s one of those things – why take the moustache to work when you don’t need to?” Although Mark ‘Chopper’ Read passed away late last year, Franklin is hosting Chopper’s Big F*ckin Late Show during MICF, indicating he hasn’t put the Chopper character to rest. “As long as I’ve got a good idea for a Chopper show I’ll do a Chopper show, but this year I had a good idea for a Heath Franklin show,” he says. “Now that I’ve started doing stand-up as me, it’s re-invigorated my interest in doing Chopper. It’s a little bit like Thom Yorke putting out a solo album so he can get back to writing some cracking Radiohead stuff – to use a very clumsy analogy to a musical great,” he laughs.

“It was completely organised, planned anarchy,” muses Mark Trevorrow, widely-recognised by his alter ego Bob Downe. I’m interviewing the fabulous 55-year-old comedy veteran by email, and the subject of his hugely popular appearances on Good News Week has inevitably arisen. “The best kind. Skillfully corralled by Ted Robinson, one of the greatest showmen Australia has produced.” Good News Week is where I, like many members of Generation Y, discovered the hilarious and hugely talented Trevorrow, often joining host Paul McDermott to belt out a raucous singa-long (if you haven’t seen them, you really should…they’re on YouTube). However, the comedian and some-time singer’s career has been going strong since the early ‘80s, when Red Symons produced cover versions of Tintarella di Luna and The Beat Goes On which Trevorrow recorded with Wendy De Waal as cabaret duo Globos. “Red produced and arranged both of the Globos hit singles, in 1982 and 1983,” recalls Trevorrow. “We’ve had a long distance bromance for 30 years as we’ve watched each other carefully, making sure one doesn’t get too much more famous than the other. A balance of terror, you might say.” Nowadays both men are ABC regulars, with Symons hosting 774 ABC Melbourne’s breakfast show, and Trevorrow appearing regularly on 702 ABC Sydney as fill-in presenter of the evening show. Over the past 30 years, Trevorrow has popped up everywhere – radio, free-to-air and pay television in Australia and the UK, and as the wildly successful host of the Mardi Gras Parade – often as Bob Downe. Downe, the “Prince of Polyester” and the host of the fictional regional daytime TV show Good Morning Murwillumbah, was created by Trevorrow in 1984, and launched his solo career in 1987. Since then, Trevorrow has consistently toured Australia and the United Kingdom with great success and forming many firm friendships. “The best thing about touring for 30 years and more is how many you make along the way,” he tells me. “The same cities and towns tend to crop up on the tour schedules, so you’re always back before you know it. And of course, once you’ve got friends on the road – real ones, I mean, not the Facebook kind – you’ve got a couch to sleep on. Win win!”

NEEL KOLHATKAR GENERATION COMEDY

YouTube sensation Neel Kolhatkar is one of Australia’s a’s fastest rising young comedians. In 2013 he was named as one of the best up and coming comedians in Australia whilst simultaneously shooting to fame with his viral hit Australia in 2 Minutes. Now he brings his debut show GENeration comedY to Melbourne after selling out his run in Sydney, which culminated in a performance at The Sydney Comedy Store. GENeration comedY delves into Neel’s experiences growing up, the media and his take on what it’s like to be part of today’s internet generation. Neel specialises in faultless impressions, impeccable accents and acute societal observations with a refreshingly amiable style of delivery. He boasts a comedic CV many seasoned professionals would be envious of including a run at the prestigious New York Comedy Festival last year, 130,000+ YouTube subscribers and 200,000+ Facebook fans. Oh, and he is also only 19.

The show’s titular plea for a crisis came from Franklin’s realisation that he’s led a calamity-free existence. He elaborates on why this became the premise for his solo debut. “I’ve seen a lot of these really wonderful comedy shows where it talks about some crisis or moment of darkness in someone’s life. When it’s deftly handled, the levity and the payoff for those things is so great. The big problem I had was I don’t have any of these moments in my life. I’ve never been to hospital except to have my two children, I’ve never been arrested, no drug problems or dad issues. So I guess that was about: how do you write a totally moving or wonderful comedy show when you don’t have that moment in your life where things fell apart?” Franklin launched the show to strong applause at the Adelaide Fringe last month, but he’s not resting on his hands just yet. His three-week run at MICF is likely to be the ultimate test. “I’ve been really enjoying doing it and audiences have been enjoying seeing it so far. I can’t wait to get it to a Melbourne audience. The Adelaide audiences are great because they’re big and generous, [but] the Melbourne audiences are very comedy-literate.” BY AUGUSTUS WELBY VENUE: TRADES HALL – THE FRONT ROOM, CNR LYGON & VICTORIA ST, CARLTON DATES: MARCH 27–APRIL 20 (EXCEPT MARCH 31, APRIL 7 & 13) TIMES: 9.45PM (SUNDAYS 8.45PM) TICKETS: $18-$27.90

WIN

TICKE TS T SHO O THIS BEAT.CW AT OM.AU

VENUE: TRADES HALL - THE QUILT ROOM, CNR LYGON AND VICTORIA ST, CARLTON DATES: MARCH 27–APRIL 20 (EXCEPT MONDAYS) TIMES: 7.15PM (SUNDAYS 6.15PM) TICKETS: $15-$22

JOSH WADE I’M JOSH WADE

Comedian and YouTube sensation Josh W Wade d brings bi hi his debut show I’m Josh Wade to the Melbourne International Comedy Festival. Now 19, Josh has performed sell-out shows since he was just 15 years old. And he’s built a solid fan base along the way, with a huge online following and over 15 million – and counting- hits throughout social media with his weird, wacky, yet truthful observations of society. Come and experience the mayhem and craziness live as Josh gets down and dirty with his life experiences. From not having a girlfriend since grade six, to being a skinny white virgin - nothing is safe in this weird and wacky one hour observation of himself and today’s society.

STANDING ROOM ONLY

A DIABETES DISCURSION

Melbourne International Comedy Festival is a prime opportunity for comedians to perform in front of audiences that are less likely to attend smaller club gigs. However, due to the overwhelming influx of comedy at this time of year, younger comics are at risk of going unnoticed. Sydney’s Nick Capper realises the imperative to offer a show that’s of a world-class standard. “I’ve actually kind of saved myself for the Melbourne Comedy Festival,” he says. “I’ve delayed it until I was really good so I could bring a show of this quality to it. It is a little bit petrifying because there’s so many good comics that I hang with and that are at my level that are just amazing. [But] I’m quietly confident because my show is different.” What is it that makes Capper so assured he’ll sway the comedy festival crowds, you ask? Well, essentially, he’s thrown together the best bits from his six-year stand-up career and formed the show Standing Room Only. “This is like a premiere of this show,” he says, “but basically it’s made up of all my other shows. I’m not just some comedian bringing down his hour show that he’s done after a year of stand-up, or whatever. This is the best of the best, it’s consistent, it’s hard hitting all the way through.” Yep, it sounds like Capper’s taken the task of jumping out from the pack rather seriously. But he clarifies that this show is still an extended goofing-around session. “It’s got the basic through-line of when my grandfather died and all the funny stuff that happened after that. But, really, don’t be turned off by [thinking] it’s an epic show about how I find myself and about how good comes from my grandfather dying. You learn nothing and it’s just nonsense.” This nonsense is not limited to Capper relating silly tales (though there’ll be plenty of that). As has become customary since he starting performing lengthy solo shows in late 2012, Standing Room Only will incorporate Capper’s original drawings and songs. He explains why he prefers to stretch beyond the conventional stand-and-deliver format. “I found that when I went to Melbourne International Comedy Festival, even after 45 minutes when I was seeing the best comedians, you always look at your watch. When I watched Tim Vine years ago his show was just constant one-

You wouldn’t imagine being a Type 1 diabetic would be that funny. Type 1’s when it’s not your fault, as opposed to Type 2 (or Adult Onset) which mostly comes about from eating crap, sitting on your arse all day and getting fat. Tym Jeffery makes comic lemonade out of the lemon life handed to him in his new comedy show A Diabetes Discursion. The show came about as a result of a promise he made himself – that if he lasted in the business of stand-up, he’d do a show about being diabetic. “It’s been 15 or so years,” he reflects. “I said if I made it to 20 I would do this show. I thought, ‘It should be pretty easy, reflecting on the decades’.” Jeffery says his previous comedy was political, “social satire sort of stuff” so this new show involves opening himself up to audiences in way that are new to him. Some of it’s easy, some of it’s hard. He is as laid back about performing as he is about having diabetes. “I’m fairly confident,’ he says. “I think I’ll be right.” Where does Jeffery find the fun in having such a serious health problem? We’ve seen the warning posters on trams about the possibilities of developing blindness, spinal paralysis or gangrene if you suffer from diabetes. “It’s hard to explain but I spent a lot of years not being a textbook diabetic,” he confesses. “I wasn’t looking after myself. You come to terms with it in your own time. When you present that onstage there’s a lot of humour in that. Now I’m living a pretty boring life but certain things have happened and the stories write themselves.” Jeffery explains that going through a ‘low’ can result in some funny behaviour – after the fact. “It’s a dangerous situation but you can do some funny things ‘cause your brain’s not functioning at a higher level. Looking back I can reflect on certain things that happened – I’m not dwelling on the negative. It’s not strictly about diabetes. Diabetes can have a snowball effect, on socialising, on dating, on friendships, on relationships. It’s not just about blood sugar levels or what I do to control my diabetes.” What’s the biggest challenge for him in putting this new show together? He’s too ugly, he reckons. “All those good looking guys,” he muses. “They’re comfortable with their audiences ‘cause they’re easy to look at. I don’t know about

34

VENUE: FORUM THEATRE – CARPET ROOM, CNR FLINDERS & RUSSELL ST, CBD DATES: MARCH 27–APRIL 20 (EXCEPT MONDAYS) TIMES: 9.45PM (SUNDAYS 8.45PM) TICKETS: $15-$18

VENUE: ATHENAEUM THEATRE, 188 COLLINS ST, CBD DATES: MARCH 28–APRIL 20 (FRIDAYS, SATURDAYS, SUNDAYS & TUESDAYS) TIMES: 6PM (SUNDAYS 5PM) TICKETS: $28-$34

WIN

TYM JEFFERY

BY AUGUSTUS WELBY

BY JOSH FERGEUS

TICKE TS T SHO O THIS BEAT.CW AT OM.AU

NICK CAPPER

liners, gags – but it seemed like 20 minutes and it went for an hour. Stand-up’s good and I get good results with stand-up but I think you’ve got to break it up a little bit. “It just keeps it interesting. You can’t make everybody laugh. I want to make something funny and interesting. My favourite comedians, sometimes they haven’t been hilarious but people have walked away and gone, ‘Well they weren’t that funny but they were very interesting.’ I guess you’d rather have three people that just love it, rather than 20 people mediocrely going, ‘Oh yeah that was good.’” To paraphrase, Capper’s gathered all of his tried-and-tested best material and packaged it into a show that strives to be consistently and surprisingly stimulating. Yet, this doesn’t mean Standing Room Only will be a tightly controlled affair. “I’m the kind of guy who gets bored of doing the same stuff over and over again,” he says. “A lot of the time when I’m in a show if I’m having a good time just [improvising] with the audience then I’ll keep it that way. Even if I have to cut out some of my stuff, it doesn’t matter. You’ve got to leave it random and make each show personal.”

Trevorrow, born and raised in Murrumbeena in Melbourne’s south-east, is a contemporary of other Australian comedy greats such as Gina Riley and Jane Turner, and appeared in episodes of their hit sitcom Kath and Kim. “We’ve all been close mates for over 30 years,” says Trevorrow. “We came up in the same theatre/cabaret/comedy scene in Melbourne in the early ‘80s – so it was a complete and utter delight. Gina, Jane and I worked a lot together onstage before Kath and Kim – in fact, we invented Gina’s character, Coralee Hollow, in 1980 – four years before I thought of Bob!” This year, Trevorrow is bringing Bob Downe back to the Melbourne International Comedy Festival with his show Bob, Sweat and Tears. Downe’s local paper, the Murwillumbah Irrigator, has accused him of living a lie, while the rumours which have been swirling for years have forced him into staging a tell-all extravaganza. Asking Trevorrow for clues is fruitless. “I’m like Schapelle Corby,” says Trevorrow. “You’ll have to pay me a lot of money before I’ll tell you a thing. Suffice to say it’s a roller coaster ride of shocks, revelations, great music with John Thorn and a live band, and special surprise guests. That sound good enough for you?”

VENUE: TONY STARR’S KITTEN CLUB, 267 LITTLE COLLINS ST, CBD DATES: MARCH 27–APRIL 20 (EXCEPT MONDAYS) TIME: 7.15PM TICKETS: $15-$22

making this a career.” Seriously? He doesn’t dream of the sort of success that takes him overseas, makes him money, has women hurling themselves at him? “I’ve got women hurling,” he quips. “But they’re not hurling themselves at me – they’re just hurling! I’ve always had comedy in my blood,” Jeffery adds. “I’m now trying to get it into my act.” He reckons there’s no other show like his but occasionally wonders if he should be more mainstream. “But different can be good.” What is his advice to would-be stand-ups? “Be honest and be yourself. You can try and cover that up but audiences know if you’re not being authentic.” Is there anything he wouldn’t joke about? “Nothing that wasn’t funny,” he says. After a break from comedy, during which he had a proper job and was engaged and then lost it all, Jeffery reckons it’s good to be back onstage. “I messed all that stuff up…but I should be right.” BY LIZA DEZFOULI VENUE: NORTHCOTE SOCIAL CLUB, 301 HIGH ST, NORTHCOTE DATES: APRIL 1, 8 & 15 TIME: 8.30PM TICKETS: $12.50-$15

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35


COMEDY FESTIVAL GUIDE 2014 THE UMBILICAL BROTHERS

SIMON TAYLOR FUNNY

Prepare to be very envious and not in a nice way. From doing stand-up at MICF, three years later local talent Simon Taylor ended up in LA writing gags for Jay Leno’s The Tonight Show. Shut UP! “It’s fun to see your material on TV,” Taylor says, “It’s a visceral joy.” He has written for the singularly absurd Shaun Micallef as well. Taylor is about to appear onstage at MICF in Funny, which is either a brilliant or basic title for a show. Is Taylor allowed to recycle all those TV jokes? “Legally not,” he says. “I don’t tend to, anyway. I don’t do topical humour. What I do is storytelling.” Taylor describes himself as a “reclusive observationist.” “Actually, I’m a pretty joyful person,” he admits. Is he the sort of comic who writes everything down? “Writing sort of goes hand in hand with performing,” he says. “But this show for MICF, there’s no script. I wrote nothing down. It is ‘written orally’…But I’ve worked it out onstage in comedy clubs over 11 states in the USA. Ideas I’ve talked about, things I’ve found funny – I talk about my impressions, my observations. It’s an organic approach.” Is he onstage for himself or for the audience? “Funny started out as a challenge. My only focus was to be funny. What I find funny dictates what I share. What makes me laugh personally, that’s what I share. Usually what I enjoy the most is being overanalytical.” How has he found performing in the States – are the clubs as brutal as we imagine? “Comedy clubs are the same as in Australia,” Taylor replies. “Clubs have these condensed shows. At a club people do want gags if you’re doing a 15, 35 or 45 minute gig. Other people are in the lineup. They want the rapid fire gags. Festivals are different. You’re doing a longer show. People are there to see you; they’re a little more patient.” Is the man onstage close to the one his friends know? “I’m getting closer and closer to the real me,” he says. “There is a transition from the normal me to the stage me. I do use some stage technique, like a heightened voice; it’s an overly exaggerated me. But it’s a progressive thing, it’s ebbing and flowing.” Comedy comes from some special and intense drive, Taylor reckons, something that keeps him, and probably many others,

KIDSHOW (NOT SUITABLE FOR CHILDREN) striving for laughs. “That confidence, that ambition driving you, it’s deep in you. There’s a dichotomy: if it falls flat you need to do it again and again until you get it right. When it does work, there’s the glory.” He says he loves to listen. “If there’s a conversation or a debate going on, I’ll be in the background, I’ll sit back and see how it unfolds. There’s always a part of my head that’s ticking away, thinking about where the joke is in this.” Is there anything Taylor wouldn’t joke about? “No. In the right context, with the right sensitivity and empathy, everything is jokeable.” What’s the worst thing he’s experienced in his stand-up career? “I did a Rovers camp on the coast of Victoria. It was in the middle of a forest. These were people who are too old for Scouts but they don’t want to leave. It was terrible. They were drunk, they were throwing things at us, yelling, not listening, and they were heckling. I was with my comedy buddies and we were lambs to the slaughter. But I didn’t get off the stage; I thought ‘I’m doing my time’. It’s such an obsessive comedian thing to do. I don’t care, I love being onstage. Our attitude that night sums up comedians pretty well. It made me stronger. Once you die, as I did then, you can’t be scared of death!” BY LIZA DEZFOULI VENUE: IMPERIAL HOTEL, CNR BOURKE & SPRING ST, CBD DATES: MARCH 26–APRIL 20 TIME: 9.15PM TICKETS: $20

In an international career that now spans 25 years, all kinds of things happen. Like meeting the Queen. The Umbilical Brothers had performed for the Royal Variety Performance and, as per custom, lined up at the end to meet her. “She said, ‘Oh that was very unusual’,” recalls Shane Dundas, one half of the much loved Australian physical comedy duo, “and I said, ‘I hope we gave you a few decent chuckles’ and she just smiled. Then Phillip just came along after and said, (Dundas adopts a pompous British accent to imitate Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh) ‘How do you do it?’ I said, ‘Oh well it’s just a bit of silliness’ and then he went to the next person, and he said, ‘How do you do it?’ I think he was saying that to everyone, that’s his line”. The Umbilical Brothers’ success overseas is such that they have been busy touring their four other shows and have been noticeably absent from the Melbourne International Comedy Festival in recent years. However, they are back this year with a brand new show, called Kidshow (Not Suitable for Children). Several years ago, when performing in New York, they killed Kermit onstage one night. Staff from Sesame Street were in, loved it and offered them the opportunity to make their own kids show, that was actually suitable for children. The result was the Logie Awardwinning TV show The Upside Down Show in 2006 and it provided the initial seed for this new stage show, which promises violence, sexual references, drug taking and frequent coarse language. “Being comedians, your brain is always looking for the wrong version of what is going on so The Upside Down Show was a jumping off point for that. What if we really tried to do a kids show but this went wrong and that went wrong and the basic jumping off point is that we’re not even aware the audience are all adults?” he explains. A kids show with violence, sex and swearing? “Well all of that comes out of the missteps that we take during the show and it’s working out quite well,” he says from Adelaide, where they have been performing the show as part of the Fringe Festival. “Its amazing how much relative depravity an audience is willing to go along with,” he laughs. “It’s more extreme than we’re used to but

BY JOANNE BROOKFIELD VENUE: THE ARTS CENTRE, PLAYHOUSE THEATRE, 100 ST KILDA RD, CBD DATES: MARCH 27–APRIL 13 (EXCEPT MONDAYS) TIMES: 7PM (SUNDAYS 6PM) TICKETS: $34-$39

SINGLE WHITE SLUT

WAKE IN SLEIGHT

VENUE: FORUM THEATRE - DOWNSTAIRS, CNR FLINDERS & RUSSELL ST, CBD DATES: APRIL 8–20 (EXCEPT MONDAY) TIMES: 9.15PM (SUNDAYS 8.15PM) TICKETS: $26-$38

Tim Key returns to Melbourne with a hugely anticipated and inventive new solo show, Single White Slut. It’s Tim Key’s next “slut” event (following The Slutcracker and Masterslut) and we just cannot wait. A lot of grubby water has been sloshing under Key’s bridge since he last enchanted Melbourne, and this time round he’ll be doing some serious churning to lift some of that personal baggage off his chest. But don’t despair, it’s not all doom and gloom. During this brilliantly bizarre hour of comedy, he will recollect simple tales of love, lift the lid on Hollywood, gaze dead-eyed at the ladies, recite Indian verse and do some basic talking. Guaranteed, there will be owls and maybe fairies.

KIRSTY MAC

WAYNE DEAKIN

FEMINAZI

AIRLINE

“I’m just a comic,” says Kirsty Mac. “I’m not a feminist comic, I’m not a female comic; I happen to be doing a show about feminism. Next year I’ll be doing a show about something else. Being called a ‘female comic’ drives me nuts.” Mac’s show Feminazi is about to shake up anyone who is silly enough to generalise about women in the business. “If I suck onstage, I own it,” she says, “It just means I’ve bombed on that night. Not because I’m a woman. If ten male comics and one woman are on and one of the men sucks, no-one says it’s ‘cause he’s a man.” Fighting words. Mac thinks the time’s right for what she’s got to say in Feminazi – mostly that feminism is good for everyone. “Why has feminism become a dirty word?” she wonders. “People still say sexist things but the tables have turned. If someone calls me ‘love’ or ‘dear’ I’ll say something to them. I say, ‘Would you call the CEO of a company ‘love’ or ‘dear’? People are ready for feminism,” Mac notes. “If guys can call themselves feminists then half the battle’s won. It’s like racism ten years ago. If you heard a racist joke people would think, ‘That’s not appropriate’ but they’d still laugh. Things have changed; things came to the surface when Julia Gillard was PM. It brought things to the surface that had been bubbling underneath. Hats off to her; she was amazing.” Mac describes herself as being in comedy overdrive. “I’ve been doing comedy for a while but now I’m doing a show every year.” She started off selling tickets at the Comics Lounge in North Melbourne; at the time she was dating a comic, talking about comedy and seeing comedy every night so it wasn’t long before she was onstage having a go herself. “I’ve had a lucky run,” she says. “I’m good at it. To begin with I didn’t put that much thought into it.” After spending some years overseas and travelling with her then partner, she moved back to Australia determined to make a career of comedy on her own terms. “I did this I did that but it was for the benefit of his career,” she recalls. “Then I thought, ‘I’m funnier than you, I’m funnier than most people’. I wrote some jokes and went from there.” Does she have a stage persona or is what we see onstage a heightened version of Kirsty Mac? “It’s me,” she answers. “I own the stage. I’m quite full on.”

Generally speaking, Australians are a very well-travelled mob. Due to our geographical obscurity, overseas travel often includes a very lengthy flight, which is by no means pleasant. With this in mind, UK-based Australian comedian Wayne Deakin has fashioned a show all about the flying experience. “It’s nice and broad,” says Deakin. “Most Australians fly, most Australians fly long distances so they get it. I’m getting a lot of industry people coming through. Thirty of [the audience] last night were from Singapore Airlines and there was a couple of pilots.” In contrast to Deakin’s customary stand-up approach, this show has him stretching “different comedic muscles than what you use just doing the normal clubs.” Basically, this is because Airline has a narrative structure. Adopting the narrative format meant evaluating the strength of the jokes was a little more ambiguous than usual. “I take it from when the plane takes off to when the plane lands and you go through customs and everything that happens in between,” he explains. “It’s really difficult to try that material out in clubs or open mic sort of thing. So, it’s just that embarrassing thing of walking around the kitchen talking to yourself for a few weeks. The first night I did it, out of a 50 minute show, probably 35-40 minutes I had no idea whether or not it was funny.” However, all of these fears were alleviated when Deakin premiered the show at Perth’s Fringe World Festival last month. “I sold out every show and put on another one and sold that out and got nominated for best comedy show at the festival and best show at the festival. It could have been absolutely horrible but it worked.” This immediate esteem would be an additional relief when you consider that putting on a show of this nature isn’t only a comedic gamble. Deakin underlines the financial risks involved in comedy festival events. “You pay so much money up front for these shows, for your flyers, for your ticketing, for your accommodation, for your flights – all that sort of stuff. Then, if it doesn’t work, you’re out of pocket tens of thousands of dollars.” Many comedians face similar financial concerns at this time of year. However, there’s one major consolation for Deakin. “Most of my friends aren’t as funny as I am, so that takes the

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it’s still very much our sense of humour. We take what you recognise and twist it,” he says of their slapstick physical comedy and vocal effects. “We like to deconstruct and rebuild in funny shapes”. 2012 and 2013 saw Dundas dipping his toe into solo performance, staging stand-up show Believe. “Necessary but extremely painful,” is how he describes the experience now. “I just got eaten by the Edinburgh monster.” David Collins, the other Umbi, is also dabbling in solo performance this festival, but doing an actual kids show, called The Luck Show, which he is performing in the mornings in the Spiegeltent. But in the evenings, they’re back together as the Umbilical Brothers, getting a nightly workout. “This show is as physical as any other show we’ve done. That may have been a foolish decision but that’s what’s required of a kids show,” says Dundas. There’s minimal props – just a storybook “because we read the kids a story, as you must” – but there are multiple characters. In addition to each playing the fictional TV hosts Dane and Shavid, “I play the producer of the show, which is a very aggressive hand puppet and David does play a very suspicious character who hangs out at the docks supplying us with stuff.” They also “do some incredibly violent things to the Brady Bunch,” he says. “The gleeful twisted inner child of every adult is willing to go along with this,” he says. “There’s nothing onstage, and I just love that, I just love that an audience is willing to help create a world onstage with you”.

TIM KEY

REGINALD D HUNTER Melbourne gets the chance to renew its love affair with one of the smartest comedy minds in the business in 2014. After a three year absence, Reginald D Hunter is getting ready to climb back onto his controversial high horse with his brand new show, Wake In Sleight. Do not expect tea and a biscuit. Not afraid to tackle sensitive issues head on, the man with the beaming smile and the oh-so-polite Southern drawl will deliver musings on matters of race, sex and relationships. Sliding effortlessly from the risqué to subtly political, his jokes will leave audiences questioning their preconceptions – they won’t know whether to laugh or think. Brutally honest, equally intelligent and completely unpredictable, the threetime nominee for Best Show at the Edinburgh Fringe has become one of the most sought after tickets in comedy.

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Holding special women-only events in comedy, Mac feels, is patronising to women comedians. “I don’t approve of all female rooms or all female nights,” she says. “There should be just rooms, just nights. It should just be a comedy night. I’d love to see an all-female comedy night without anyone saying it. It’s like saying, ‘Oh, come on guys, let’s give it to the girls,’ I refuse to be part of that.” Has she ever had any strong reactions to her comedy? “It was at a feminist fundraiser,” she says. “Believe it or not. I was heckled in a hateful, spiteful way. It wasn’t a comedy night per se and I came after some timid acts, like poetry reading, spoken word; I had my balls out on the table and there was this cross-dresser who’d come to the gig just to make trouble, yelling out, ‘You just hate men!’” Mac’s advice to anyone wanting to get into comedy, male or female? “Just do it. Forget that you’re female and just do it. If you know what you want to do, don’t hear the negative.” BY LIZA DEZFOULI VENUES: HAIRY LITTLE SISTA - THE UPSTAIRS LOUNGE, 240 LT COLLINS ST, CBD DATES: MARCH 27–APRIL 6 TIME: 7.30PM (EXCEPT MONDAY) TICKETS: $15-$22

VENUE: THE ARTS CENTRE - FAIRFAX STUDIO, 100 ST KILDA RD, CBD DATES: APRIL 8–20 (EXCEPT MONDAY) TIMES: 9.15PM (SUNDAYS 8.15PM) TICKETS: $27.50-$37.50

pressure off quite a lot,” he says. “I always say that 85% of all comedy festival shows are unwatchable so that makes you feel a bit better. Bitterness and ego, that’s what gets you through comedy.” All bitterness aside, Deakin is a seasoned performer at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival, having previously performed shows such as Death In Vegas and At Least At Gallipoli There Were No Seppos. To come to the festival, Deakin obviously has to endure the 24-hour flight over from London. So, given his evident distaste for air travel, why did he opt to base himself so far from home? “London, England is the epicentre of stand-up comedy at the moment. New York is the artistic centre of it, but London and most of Britain are certainly where you can make more money. They all go to see comedy and the Poms also drink like fish. So if you get them in a room they’ll drink and they’ll spend money and therefore there’s money in the industry. You get paid a hell of a lot more than you would in say New York or LA where people don’t drink as much. It’s just simple economics. Britain’s where they’ll spend every red cent they’ve got on booze and entertainment.” BY AUGUSTUS WELBY VENUE: THE SWANSTON HOTEL - THE DOWNSTAIRS LOUNGE, 195 SWANSTON ST, CBD DATES: MARCH 27–APRIL 19 (EXCEPT MONDAYS) TIME: 8.45PM TICKETS: $15-$25

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COMEDY FESTIVAL GUIDE 2014 WONDERLAND CARNIVALE

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How does one learn to swallow swords? Miss Behave taught herself. She’d been working in nightclubs in her late teens but was feeling burnt out from all the 6am finishes and feeling lost and directionless. “I read a book about a sword swallower and thought, ‘Right, well I’m orally fixated and always have been, that’s what I want to do’,” she says. Without anyone to mentor her, she just started practicing and figured it out herself. “So you do it with feel and also the headstrong idiocy of youth where the concept of death isn’t really that real to you until you actually have a brush with it. It took me about three years to learn…it was sort of trial and error with your internals,” says Miss Behave. Amazingly, there were few errors although one night, when performing at the Royal Opera in her native UK, she didn’t realise it at the time but when she woke up the following morning “whiter than paper” and took herself off to hospital, she had actually nicked her stomach lining and nearly bled to death. “Now, a sensible person at that point would have stopped,” she laughs, “and here I am!” Instead, as the only female sword swallower working at the time that she knew of, and one of only a handful worldwide now, that novelty meant she was busking in pubs but also appearing on TV, “which was a very surreal way of doing it”. Since then, she’s added many other freakshow skills to her repertoire and has spent the past decade touring with La Clique and La Soiree, taking in cities such as New York, London, and Montreal. She has performed in Sydney and Melbourne, although the last time she was here was six or seven years ago but she’s back now for the 2014 Melbourne International Comedy Festival, hosting the Wonderland Carnivale …Simply Spiegelicious shows at the Wonderland Spiegeltent in the Docklands, located under the Melbourne Star Observation Wheel. Miss Behave describes herself as being like “a live cartoon with a late night attitude.” Dressed in a very tight rubber dress, she will swallow not just swords but also table legs. “I neck pints of beer, I play with the audience and lick people’s heads, I put cigars out on my tongue – it’s all quite self-masochistic in some ways, but it doesn’t hurt me, honest

guv,” she says. Joining her throughout the festival will be a rotating lineup of comedians, such as Lehmo, Mick Molloy, Bev Killick and Ian Bagg, with a range of circus acts as well. Miss Behave, who also hosts similar types of variety nights in the UK, says, “This will be an evening variety show for adults” meaning she’ll be “supplying the naughtiness”. She promises the shows, which only happen on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights, will be entertaining as opposed to the “gross freaky side” of sideshow tricks. “So you’re kind of spending an evening with a slightly eccentric madam, who can drink any one of you under the table, who’s going to make sure you have a good time and throw her arm around you and will show you some rather bizarre tricks and also some fantastic acts”.   BY JOANNE BROOKFIELD VENUE: WONDERLAND SPIEGELTENT, 120 PEARL RIVER RD, HARBOURTOWN DOCKLANDS DATES: MARCH 27–APRIL 19 (THURSDAYS, FRIDAYS & SATURDAYS) TIMES: 7.30PM (SECOND SHOW AT 9.30PM ON FRIDAYS AND SATURDAYS) TICKETS: $30-$35

TITTY BAR HA HA “I used to make a theatre [show] that went around my boobs,” says Boo Dwyer. “I had these little marionette sticks with tights that went under my boobs and I stuck googly eyes and wigs on them, and made them sing duets and drink wine.” She’s talking about a piece from Titty Bar Ha Ha’s first show. It’s a far cry from what she was doing prior to forming the “high end filth” musical comedy duo. Dwyer, who is married to stand-up comedian Mickey D, was originally performing solo theatre shows about serious subject matter. One show was about obsessive fandom, another about autism, which she brought out to Adelaide Fringe a couple of years ago. “I was doing lovely shows and getting very beautiful audiences but in the single figures and then going across to Phat Cave to see Mick,” she says of Mickey D’s late night comedy room, “and seeing all these audiences and thinking, ‘Why am I doing these shows where people die at the end? I want to do a show next year where I can put on heels and sing songs and have a dance and be silly!’ And Titty Bar Ha Ha was born,” she says. Dwyer, who had also previously written songs and political satire, decided she was “fed up” with doing shows on her own and wanted to sing more. “I knew that I had to get a framework to put those songs in,” she says, so she first came up with the idea of setting a show in a strip club that had to combine with a comedy club to save on rent due to the financial crisis. While the name stuck, the original idea didn’t, Dwyer preferring instead the idea of an underground bunker. Enlisting the help of a uni-friend, sketch comedy performer Nai Bowen, the result is a naughty night of dirty songs, set during wartime. “We’re stealing off our customers to survive hard times and we’ve buried a body in the cellar so that’s basically the framework to hook our filth on,” says Dwyer. Songs include “everything from I’m Just a Little Bit Psycho to Ex-Sex to an awesome kazoo medley. We’ve managed to get a bit of Chess in there, bit of Proclaimers, bit of Queen and eventually the girls escape, chased by police,” says Dwyer of their characters Hope and Gloria.  The plan is to write three shows. The police chase will lead into the next show, set in a women’s jail (“so it’s Prisoner Cell Block H meets Shawshank via Johnny Cash kind of thing,” which they will perform in Edinburgh this year) and the third will be set on a deserted island. Dwyer wants Titty Bar Ha Ha to work like television comedy series Blackadder in that they

NICK CODY

GENEVIEVE FRICKER

HERE’S TROUBLE

THE PINEAPPLE

In the past year, Nick almost got killed by a bear in Alaska, went to Afghanistan to entertain the Aussie troops and went three months without a drop of alcohol. The last one was probably the scariest for him. Let’s be honest, the first two things sound pretty fun if you’ve had a couple of drinks. He also become one of the first ever Australians invited to perform stand-up on US network Comedy Central and supported comedy superstar Jim Jefferies on his Australian tour. Come along and see why is he one of the fastest rising stars in comedy today.

Genevieve Fricker is trying to be happy. She’s starting with fruit. The pineapple – a juicy tropical fruit with a spiky exterior, an unwanted pizza topping, and for Genevieve Fricker, the only thing standing between her and THE VOID. Genevieve Fricker returns to Melbourne International Comedy Festival with The Pineapple – a personal mess of songs, stories and stand-up.

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can set their shows in any time or location. “I want to be able to play with whatever time period we wanted so we could have fun and not stuck in the one place, so it wasn’t cabaret, so we could play with it more and be recognised more for comedy,” she says. Having said that, she’s discovered that Titty Bar Ha Ha has a foot in each camp when it comes to the comedy/cabaret divide. “Weirdly, we have been nominated for critics pick for Best Cabaret in Adelaide and it definitely has a cabaret vibe to it, but we play and host all of the comedy clubs as well so we’re straddling the two forms definitely at the moment, which is nice,” she says. Nice, but don’t forget the dirty. “The vibe is party, and irreverence and naughty, but not too naughty,” she says.   BY JOANNE BROOKFIELD VENUE: TONY STARR’S KITTEN CLUB, 267 LITTLE COLLINS ST, CBD DATES: MARCH 27–APRIL 20 (EXCEPT MONDAYS) TIMES: 9.45PM TICKETS: $15-$25

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VENUE: THE DUKE OF WELLINGTON HOTEL, 146 FLINDERS ST, CBD DATES: MARCH 26–APRIL 7 (EXCEPT SUNDAYS) TIME: 9PM TICKETS: $10-$20

DIE ROTEN PUNKTE

BLOODBATH If the performers in Bloodbath at Dracula’s Cabaret look like they’re having the best fun, that’s because they are. They’re not faking those grins. Beat speaks to the host of Bloodbath, musical theatre performer Diamond, who otherwise goes by the name of Stewart Reeve. “We’re given a lot of freedom in the show,” he explains, although the ideas and concepts for the acts come from their boss Marc Newman who runs the family show business his parents set up decades ago. It’s in the blood, so to speak. As part of the show, Diamond gets to sing Diamonds are Forever, which is a suggestion Reeve made. “I always wanted to be part of it,” explains the Gold Coast native. “My mum took me along to Dracula’s when I was about 14. I never thought I’d be performing in Melbourne, though.” Bloodbath is a classy mixture of vaudeville, tease, burlesque, song, dance, circus and comedy, a stylish show something like a smaller version of Empire referencing The Rocky Horror Picture Show and True Blood; a show which nicely balances rudeness with sophistication. There’s a variety of acts including black light puppetry (one of the funniest moments involves a surprise snake), breathing Roman statues, also very funny space age stilt walking and enough good music to keep everyone happy. Reeve’s favourite costume is the bubble bath outfit. “Excuse me, I’m going to be a shower curtain,” he says with a laugh. Who inspires him when he’s not on stage himself? “Marilyn Manson, he’s who I go to for inspiration for my opening song, Mama, and Robbie Williams,” he answers. Have there been any really hairy moments onstage? “Something goes wrong every night,” he says. “But we all work together.” Nothing too outrageous from audiences either. “People usually do behave themselves.” Reeve is evolving as a singer and has recently changed his singing style from classical to contemporary. He says he enjoys everything about what he does, something which is echoed by every other member of the outrageously talented cast Beat speaks to, including Philippa Hulcome. The singer/ dancer landed here from the UK and a lucky break gave her the opportunity to audition and she landed the role of Aorta. Her favourite moment is getting to sing Tori Amos’s Cornflake Girl to a striptease with a real difference. “It’s a great song, a nice costume and then there’s the surprise at the end.” The act she’s talking about involves a strip to the

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EUROSMASH!

bare bones, literally. What does Hulcome like to watch when she’s not performing? “Going to the ballet,” she answers. “I’ve loved it, from being a little girl and watching the Nutcracker Suite to now, I still adore it. The dancers are beautiful and they’re doing something I could never do. And there’s the atmosphere; the audience behaves in a certain traditional way, I do enjoy that.” Both performers have great faith in the conceptual and theatrical nous of Newman. “He knows what he’s doing,” says Reeve. “He knows what he wants but we do have artistic license.” Shows evolve throughout their season. “He knows what works,” adds Hulcome. “He’s always working on it, he’ll see something on TV, hear a sentence of dialogue; he never stops.” Another thing the two artists agree on is the supportive ensemble atmosphere they enjoy at work. “Sometimes working in theatre can be tense,” says Hulcome. “It can be a little bit autocratic. But there’s no competition between us because we each have our own speciality. There’s no clashing; we all have our different strengths.” Hulcome reckons the only challenge for her has been learning lines. “I’m a dancer and a singer; it’s taken me a bit longer to learn dialogue.” Nice work if you can get it. BY LIZA DEZFOULI VENUE: DRACULA’S, 100 VICTORIA ST, CARLTON DATES: MARCH 26–APRIL 19 (EXCEPT MONDAYS AND SUNDAYS) TIME: 7.30PM TICKETS: $75-$95

I discovered when interviewing Die Roten Punkte that even rock stars draw the line somewhere. Or, as is the case with Otto, one half of the acclaimed art-rock duo from Berlin, refuse to draw on certain things. They’re happy to sign their new CD, Eurosmash, which they will be launching during the 2014 Melbourne International Comedy Festival. “We can sign anything really, if you have a t-shirt or body part or something,” he says down the phone in his thick German accent. “Astrid, one time in Scotland, this guy he pulled down his pants and she signed his ass,” he says, referring to his older sister and bandmate. “Actually, that also happened at the Woodford Folk Festival, too, she signed an ass there as well. But I encourage people to not show their nipples, that’s kind of getting to a point where maybe, that’s a private space that maybe you shouldn’t use a sharpie on,” he says earnestly. “Like, if you want to do that at home, that’s ok, but I think if we’re doing that, it’s not a good example for the kids”. Being a good example to their fans is something very dear to Otto’s heart. “I think more than a musician and more than a rock star and more than being a guy in a band, I am a role model. That is actually my number one job. So, like, it doesn’t matter what I do for now until the rest of my life, that is my number one job,” says Otto, who was orphaned at nine, when Astrid was 12, and together they lived in a squat in Berlin, discovering music that way. Since then, they have travelled the world as Die Roten Punke (The Red Dots), selling out venues in New York, Edinburgh, Montreal and Dublin. Most recently, they have been touring Australia and Europe with Amanda Palmer, after being nominated for a Time Out and Soho Theatre (TOST) Cabaret Award at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. “Which is cool. It’s a little bit weird for us because people say, ‘Oh, you are the best cabaret show’ and it’s like, ‘But yeah, we are a serious rock’n’roll band’, so I don’t understand,” he says. While others may think Otto and Astrid are merely joking, Otto takes his life as a role model and rock star seriously. Their new album, which follows on from Kunstrock, contains songs with positive messages in them for their fans. “With the last album it was amazing, like, because we could express ourselves and we didn’t have any limits, but Astrid said, ‘On the new album, I just want hits. I want pop hits and rock hits’,”

says Otto, who also reveals that during recording of the album Astrid was lying on the studio floor, smelling of sick, unable to be woken. “So there’s a lot more dancing and electronic music and lots of hook on this, and for me, I really want to spread the message of using music so that people can do things like recycling and like, one idea I had, just let homeless people sleep in your house,” says Otto, who sleeps with his guitar and computer, all plugged in, just in case inspiration should strike as he sleeps. One of his favourite songs on Eurosmash is Good Choices, which contains ideas like teaching orphans how to play guitar. “Just things that are helpful but she doesn’t like the song at all, and she said that. We have to have two minutes of silence at the end of the album and then I can have my song,” he says of Astrid, who because she is the older sister, has her vote worth more in their voting system. The squabbling siblings may not agree on what order to play songs on their new record, but they’ll be playing all their new tracks when they launch Eurosmash at The Forum, but with three shows only you’ll have to book quickly. BY JOANNE BROOKFIELD VENUE: FORUM THEATRE - DOWNSTAIRS, CNR FLINDERS & RUSSELL ST, CBD DATES: APRIL 17-19 TIME: 10.30PM TICKETS: $28-$32

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ASHER TRELEAVEN SMALLER. POORER.

“swearing & rubbing his body up & down”

better homes & gardens

barry Nominee 2009 & 2010

WEAKER. CHEAPER.

“A born comedian” The age

Age Critics Choice 2010

TH 27 march 9.30PM The Swamp-Gin palace Melbourne comedy festival 20TH APRil tickets: www.comedyfestival.com.au

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COMEDY FESTIVAL GUIDE 2014 EASTEND CABARET

JASON BYRNE

DIRTY TALK

YOU NAME THE SHOW! (IRL)

Planes, trains and automobiles might be standard travel for the rest of us, but not for Bernadette Byrne. “I start the show riding in on the back of a ‘man beast’ – two strong, beautiful men that I select from the audience and turn into a sort of man chariot to carry me to the stage. It’s the only way to travel,” she says. Self-confessed “deviant diva”, Byrne is one half of the salacious and audacious musical comedy double act EastEnd Cabaret. Her partner in brine – they’re a salty pair – is the moustachioed half-man, half-woman musician Victor Victoria. Originally from Australia, the pair met as children in a “tiny” town (“that is a secret darling, one if those ‘if we told you we would have to kill you’ type scenarios,” says Byrne) but moved to East London about four years ago and since then have been performing mainly around Europe and the UK, racking up the five star reviews. When they chat with Beat, they are making their way back from the Adelaide Fringe Festival. “We had a wonderful time in Adelaide, darling! On the first day we sampled all the local delicacies: ‘Bundy and coke’, ‘Jaeger bombs’ and ‘goon bags’...and then, once we had recovered, we played lots of sold-out shows in a beautiful Spiegeltent at The Garden of Unearthly Delights,” says Byrne. Adelaide holds a special place in the hearts of these two ladies, as they won the Best Cabaret award at Adelaide Fringe in 2012. “It was our first time at the Adelaide Fringe – and our first month-long season in Australia – and winning the award meant that Australia has had a firm place in our hearts ever since,” says Victor Victoria, adding, “plus, skipping the winter in London by coming over here is always a bonus”. They’re performing for the first time as part of the 2014 Melbourne International Comedy Festival with their show Dirty Talk, in the Spiegeltent at Federation Square. “It’s musical comedy, but it is positively filthy. Luckily we have learnt that Australians love the filth!” says Byrne. “Indeed they do,” adds Victoria. “In fact, Aussies may be able to teach the Brits a thing or two about a good ‘dangerwank’,” she says. The show, which performed at Edinburgh Fringe last year,

Irish comic Jason Byrne is giving away a grand to whoever comes up with the best name for the show he’s performing in this year’s MICF. Is that ‘cause he can’t be arsed thinking of a name himself? “It’s to do with the Edinburgh Fringe,” he explains. “You’ve got to come up with a name in February for a show you’re doing in August. For Melbourne you’ve got to come up with a name in November for a show you’re doing in April. I don’t know what to call a show that early, I don’t even know what it’s going to be about.” It’s Byrne’s own money he’s putting up. “I’ve got to make it a bit generous,” he says. “It’s for a bit of fun. I make enough money out of this city. I’d rather give it to the punter than give it to the tax man. I’ll never get it anyway.” Byrne is shopping alone in Coles when Beat talks to him. He’s clearly pleased by simple things. “I’m so happy – I’ve got four apples and four tomatoes. If my wife was here she’d take them out and get different types of apples and different kinds of tomatoes.” He compares himself to the doddery old man Tweed in the film Nebraska. “The whole time I was watching that film I was thinking, ‘Geeez, he’s very like me’,” Byrnes says. “While my wife is just tormented by my bullshit.” Byrnes gets it from his dad. “My father announces stuff in our home,” says Byrne. “We’re at a family dinner, with my whole family, and he stands up and tells us that he won’t be able to eat in other people’s homes anymore. He says, ‘I feel forced to swallow in other people’s houses in a certain way. I like to swallow in my own way in my own home.’ He’s 74,” adds Byrnes. “I’m looking forward to being that old. To saying what I want, saying little weird bits of shit. My dad’s a professional at it.” Byrnes can hardly be accused of holding back now. Spare us. Does he think he’s mellowed since he was last here? “I don’t jump around as much on stage,” he says. “I’m 42 now. People look at me and think, ‘ah, it’s best he takes it easy’. Here’s a fun fact,” he continues. “When I’m here I like to stay in Elwood. We’ve just bought a house in Ireland and we’re going to call it Elwood House.” Byrne is huge in Ireland; he’s hosted his own talk show on TV and now writes and stars in his own sitcom.

features character comedy, an array of instruments from the accordion to the musical saw, and original comic songs including an ‘80s-inspired sex fantasy about David Bowie. “I have always had a thing for Bowie, and in my dream he appeared in all his forms: “Goblin King” Bowie, “Major Tom” Bowie and “Ziggy Stardust” Bowie. There was even a bit of Bowie on Bowie action,” says Byrne. There’s also an ode to the joy of Bavarian karma sutra. “That song is about a night I spent in Germany with a very bendy man,” explains Byrne. “It was so incredible until an unexpected flan incident resulted in a late night visit to the emergency room,” she says. “I swear it was not my fault! How was I supposed to know how volatile a newly-baked flan could be?” says Victoria. Dirty Talk, says Victoria, is for just about anybody who likes to have a giggle at something a little salacious. “We’ve had people from 18 to 84 come along to the show, and get involved! In fact, it’s the pensioners that are usually the dirtiest,” she says. For Byrne, she believes everyone has either done, or has a friend who has done, something on the risqué side. “We just like to bring it out in the open! Come and play, darlings. You won’t regret it”. BY JOANNE BROOKFIELD

VENUE: THE FAMOUS SPIEGELTENT, FEDERATION SQUARE, FLINDERS ST, CBD DATES: MARCH 27–APRIL 6 (THURSDAYS, FRIDAYS, SATURDAYS & SUNDAYS) TIMES: 10PM (9PM SUNDAYS) TICKETS: $22-$28

HANNAH GADSBY

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THE EXHIBITIONIST

Hannah Gadsby has a new show this year – The Exhibitionist. Hannah’s last show, Happiness is a Bedside Table, was nominated for a prestigious Barry Award at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival and sold out in Melbourne and Edinburgh on the back of glowing five star reviews. Hannah’s shows are remarkable for their intellect, clarity and her capacity to turn heartbreaking true stories into soaring and hilarious monologues. This success took Hannah around Australia and around the world, performing and delivering her legendary art lectures in London, New York and Queensland. The Exhibitionist will see Hannah bring her love of art into prime time.

MICHAEL WINSLOW THE MAN WITH 10,000 VOICES

Beat talks to comedy deity Michael Winslow while he’s in Bulgaria, of all places, and he says the first of many surprising things: “the food’s good.” Winslow’s skill in mimicking almost any sound he hears (and many sounds all at once) is legendary. Winslow is a one man symphony orchestra, brass band, beat box, rock band, zoo and everything and everyone else in between. From his madcap antics in all of the Police Academy films of the ‘80s, he’s come to a point in life where he gets invited to lampoon himself on programs like The Simpsons and Family Guy. With his uncanny ability to do accents and make almost any noise you can imagine, how on Earth does Winslow keep out of trouble? He has an enormous capacity to create mayhem in almost any situation. “I’m very close to being in trouble,” he says with a laugh. “I have to resist doing a Russian accent while I’m in Bulgaria. I want to be able to leave the country in one piece.” He then launches into a monologue where a Russian talks to a Ukrainian who talks to a Turk who talks to an Englishman and I’m lost. Our interview is punctuated by sound effects, mechanical, natural, and musical, and characters and voices and interruptions until I’m dizzy and can’t write for giggling. Winslow’s been banned from imitating the sound of flight attendant call buttons on planes. “They hear the call button but the seat number doesn’t show up on their panel, so they go up and down the aisles looking for who pressed it. It’s good for half an hour. “I’m going to open the window,” Winslow says. “Nice view,” and I hear the sound of a sash window being raised and then the crashing of surf waves on the beach. Didn’t know Sofia was on the coast? “It is in my imagination,” he says. Is Winslow preparing anything special for his Australian audiences? “I’m just working on that right now,” he answers. “I familiarise myself with what’s going on. Learn what those things are.” It’s not a big leap for him as he’s been here 20 times already during his decades-long career. He reckons he’s determined to meet with some lyre birds and teach

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VENUE: MELBOURNE TOWN HALL – SUPPER ROOM, CNR SWANSTON & COLLINS ST, CBD DATES: MARCH 27–APRIL 20 (EXCEPT MONDAYS) TIMES: 7PM (SUNDAYS 6PM) TICKETS: $28–$37.50

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them beat box. He’s also considering a visit to the casino to mess with the croupiers’ heads. With his stand-up show for MICF, The Man with 10,000 Voices, Winslow reckons for an hour he just wants to make people forget about paying their rent. It’s guaranteed. With the sort of success he enjoys, is there anything he still wants to do? “Some people have a bucket list; I have a barrel list,” he quips. “I want to make my own movies, video games, and children’s television. Technology has finally caught up to me. I can make things, get them out there, and compete with the big boys. The gratefulness is there,” he adds, about his life. “I’m still learning, still picking stuff up. My job is to listen.” What’s the naughtiest trick he’s done with sounds? “I can’t tell you!” One thing he enjoyed was pretending to be a French waiter at a restaurant. When a couple ordered chicken he went out the back and imitated a chain saw and a chicken squawking in its death throes. “They were horrified; they ran out of the restaurant! I had to go and catch them, explain it was a candid camera situation. They came back and watched me do it to the next customer. It’s funny as all get up when it’s happening to someone else.” BY LIZA DEZFOULI VENUE: YARRAVILLE CLUB, 135 STEPHEN ST, YARRAVILLE DATES: APRIL 4–APRIL 20 (FRIDAYS, SATURDAYS & SUNDAYS) TIMES: 8.30PM (SUNDAYS 2.30PM – KIDS FRIENDLY) TICKETS: $35-$90

Does he ever get tired of being famous? “It’s not like being a rock star,” he says. “Musos get grabbed, jumped on and hassled. People treat comedians differently; they think they know you, like you’re a cousin. They go by and say ‘you alright, Jason?’” What do his kids think of him? “I’ve got a seven-year-old, he knows I do shows but I never let him see me do stand-up.” Ah, no. “My 14-year-old says ‘you’re not funny, dad’”. What advice would Byrne give an aspiring comic? “It’s people you want to make laugh, not other comedians. It’s a job. You’re there to make the audience laugh. It’s not for you.” Added to that he reckons Dave Hughes is the go-to guy for good advice. “He’s an old hack. You’ll get great advice from him.” What does Byrne think makes him funny? “I have no idea how my brain kicks in, it just does. I mainly write on stage, I have big ideas and expand them on stage, I speed through things, see it unfolding in front of me. If I knew how I write on stage, I’d be a very, very rich man.” BY LIZA DEZFOULI

VENUE: ATHENAEUM THEATRE, 188 COLLINS ST, CBD DATES: MARCH 25–APRIL 20 (EXCEPT MONDAYS) TIMES: 8.45PM (SUNDAYS 7.45PM) TICKETS: $30-$38

TOMMY LITTLE

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MIDDLECLASS GANGSTER

2013 was a big year for Tommy Little. He hosted Weekend Breakfast on Nova 100 and co-hosted Channel 10’s new chat entertainment show, This Week Live, with fellow comedians Meshel Laurie, Tom Gleeson and Dave Thornton. His weekend efforts landed him the most coveted spot in Melbourne radio – the breakfast shift vacated after Hughesy and Kate’s 12 year reign – alongside Meshel Laurie. Tommy’s live shows took off last year as well. He sold every ticket to his 2013 season, adding shows just to keep up with demand–and that was before he scored the Nova gig! Little commands the stage with energetic storytelling of 20-something adventures– sometimes immature, sometimes risqué, but always hilarious. His honesty combined with his sense of fun make his shows a great night out. Tommy Little’s star has been on the rise for a while, but he is truly shining now. Riding high and itching to get back on stage – this will be 2014’s hottest ticket.

VENUE: VICTORIA HOTEL – BANQUET ROOM 215 LT COLLINS ST, CBD DATES: MARCH 27–APRIL 20 (EXCEPT MONDAYS) TIME: 7PM (SUNDAYS 6PM) TICKETS: $22–$30

URZILA CARLSON THE LONG FLIGHT TO FREEDOM

The Long Flight to Freedom answers the question South African-now-New Zealand comic Urzila Carson gets asked most often: what made her move to NZ? There’s a short answer and a long one. The short one is that she was working for a newspaper in Johannesburg that wasn’t allowed to print a story about a child rape. She decided then she had to leave. The long answer is in the show itself. “The Long Flight to Freedom is my story, from the beginning,” says the world’s most accidental comic. “When I wrote the show, Nelson Mandela was still alive. There are so many differences to point out.” Carlson stresses that she’s standing on a stage, not on a soapbox. “I don’t want to send messages,” she says, but at the same time she doesn’t shy away from naming political realities as she sees them. “This show’s not about race, it’s not about apartheid but people are so ultra-politically correct.” She is often asked if she’s still going to talk about apartheid and Nelson Mandela now that he’s passed on. “I grew up in that era, during apartheid. People only know about the bad and the ugly,” she notes. “Now that Mandela is dead, it doesn’t change the show. 90 per cent of people don’t know what he was in prison for,” she adds. Carlson comes across as grounded and happy. What you see is what you get. Partly this is to do with the fact that she never had any ambitions to be a comic and was conned into getting on stage by workmates who booked her into an open mic comedy night. It also happened to be a Raw Talent contest and she won her segment. “I wasn’t into comedy. I didn’t even think it was a thing. I didn’t do anything. It happened to me,” she says. Does Carlson script her shows? “No. I don’t write it down. I write key words and then add stuff in. I have an idea and bulk it up, beef it up on stage. I know what I want to say. I talk from the heart. Sometimes I voice record stuff. See if I sound like a crazy person.” Is Carlson expected to wave the rainbow flag for the gay community? “I’ve never had that,” she answers. “I don’t know

what it’s like for other girls, like Hannah Gadsby, but I don’t think anyone’s expected anything of me.” Carlson does have something to say about gay marriage; in fact she’s marrying her partner this November. “I didn’t want a civil union,” she says. “Why pay the same amount of money for a civil union which isn’t the same legally?” Carlson is a proud NZ citizen and is openly in love with New Zealand. “I love everything about it. It’s the acceptance; if you want to try anything out here, you give it a go. People are so open.” She’s well-loved in return. She did a show in a small town in the very white, homogenous South Island. Half the room was made up of elderly people who’d been bussed in and the rest was primary school kids. “I thought, ‘I’d better not do the gay stuff’,” Carlson remembers. “Then I thought, ‘No, I’m just going to do what I do’. It was a great night and afterwards an old lady of 84 said to me, ‘Give me a hug. We don’t care if you’re a foreigner, we don’t care if you’re gay, you love NZ and we love you’. I’ve never doubted myself since.” BY LIZA DEZFOULI VENUES: VICTORIA HOTEL – VIC’S BAR, 215 LT COLLINS ST, CBD (MELBOURNE TOWN HALL – LUNCH ROOM, CNR SWANSTON & COLLINS ST, CBD ON APRIL 7) DATES: MARCH 27–APRIL 20 (EXCEPT MONDAYS BAR APRIL 7) TIMES: 8.30PM (SUNDAYS 7.30PM, APRIL 7 9.45PM) TICKETS: $20-$28

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COMEDY FESTIVAL GUIDE 2014 MEL BUTTLE

RONNY CHIENG

BRING A PLATE

CHIENG REACTION

Mel Buttle remembers as a child her mum’s fridge being full of invitations with the words “bring a plate” on them. “So I’m kind of going back to that era, you know, when there were pikelets with jam and cream,” she says of her new show Bring A Plate. When Buttle, born and bred Queenslander, speaks with Beat she’s just finished the first night of her show at the Brisbane Comedy Festival. Alas, no one took the show title literally, but she hasn’t given up hope just yet. “So I called the show that because I actually hope someone brings a plate. Like deep down I’ve gone, ‘Wouldn’t it be cool, one night someone will turn up with something’, because I’m always doing shows at dinner time,” she says. In Melbourne or Sydney, this is never an issue, but when she’s performing in Brisbane, she says it’s impossible to find anywhere still open to eat when she comes off stage, so she secretly harboured a desire for an audience member to appear one night with a plate of sausage rolls. Scoring a free feed from her audience wasn’t the only reason she called the show that. It also refers to the content. “It’s a nice title that summarises what I’ll be doing, you know when people bring a plate it’s like all different things on the table, for me, that’s what the stories are…but also this feeing of, when you bring a plate, and you’ve had two glasses of chardonnay, the kind of stories that come out, they’re the ones I’ll be telling,” says Buttle, who has appeared on TV shows such as This Week Live, The Project and Tractor Monkeys. There’ll be stories from childhood, such as recollections of driving to Sydney every Christmas with her family. “My dad wouldn’t stop so you could wee, he would only stop at a petrol station for petrol to try and get there really quickly and if the petrol station didn’t have a toilet, well too bad, you just had to wee in this ice cream container,” she says. She’ll also be talking about the time her dad lost a budgie (to this day, she says, the owner of that budgie still doesn’t know the truth) and the TV show Embarrassing Bodies “which is one of the greatest TV shows of our time”. Then she’ll also be bringing her audience up to speed with the continuing adventures of her father, Barry Buttle. “It’s

Ronny Chieng follows in the time honoured tradition of lawyers becoming comedians. However, it almost didn’t happen. Chieng, whose show at last year’s Melbourne International Comedy Festival sold so well he had to finish the last week in The Forum and performed his final night in the Main Room of the Town Hall, was going to quit stand up two years ago. He was doing his articles at a law firm, working on becoming qualified, and although he was already performing stand-up part-time, he was planning to give it away. “That was the year I won the Best Newcomer Award, so that’s what stopped it from happening. I was going to quit after that, that was going to be my first and last comedy festival season,” he says of the 2012 Melbourne International Comedy Festival. “I was going to do it and stop but the show hit off and I started getting more gigs…so I didn’t go in with any expectations and I didn’t feel like anyone owes me anything so it’s been a really cool ride so far,” he says. Malaysian-born Chieng, who was raised in both the US and Singapore before moving to Australia to study, then followed that win up with a Best Show nomination at the 2013 Sydney Comedy Festival. He has performed twice at the prestigious invitation-only Just For Laughs Festival in Montreal, played the Edinburgh Festival Fringe last year, as well as the Sydney Opera House and also sold out a two-week season at London’s SOHO Theatre. Chieng believes it was law school, and being around highly competitive individuals there, that has given him the foundation to build his comedy career on. “I was kind of trained in that work ethic and figuring out the best way to approach things so I think that has definitely helped in comedy and knowing how to conduct yourself in a professional manner,” he says. “I think a lot of lawyers don’t make a big a deal of it as I do, where I talk about it onstage a lot. Everyone is pretty low key with it, in fact, most people try to hide it, but I’m the opposite, I keep flaunting it,” he laughs. All this stand-up success has translated into a television career as well, his credits including Problems, It’s A Date, Dirty Laundry Live and Tractor Monkeys, all on ABC1, plus

just like a catch-up, I’ve sort of picked up from where I left off at the end of last year’s show: ‘this is what my dad has done this year, this is what I’ve done’”. Buttle’s show for last year’s Melbourne International Comedy Festival won her the Director’s Choice award. “It was a shock,” recalls Buttle, who was actually in the toilet at the time of the announcement. Not actually on the toilet, just having a “breather” in there to escape the crowded The Hi-Fi for a moment. “Then all of sudden my friend runs in the toilet, ‘You’ve won! Get out, you’ve won!’ and I thought it was a trick. ‘Oh this is very cruel to pretend I’ve won an award in the middle of my panic attack’ but no, I had. I had won an award. And it was amazing,” she says. Amaze her again by bringing a plate to Bring A Plate. BY JOANNE BROOKFIELD VENUE: VICTORIA HOTEL – ACACIA ROOM, 215 LITTLE COLLINS ST, CBD DATES: MARCH 27–APRIL 20 (EXCEPT MONDAYS) TIMES: 8.30PM (SUNDAYS 7.30PM) PRICES: $20-$25

SBS1’s Legally Brown. “I’ve been pretty lucky to get acting opportunities or personal appearance opportunities. I really like doing both,” he says. For this year’s comedy festival, he’s presenting his third solo show, Chieng Reaction. “I usually don’t do theme shows, I just do stand up because I do a lot of touring comedy in clubs and stuff,” he says. “So there’s no real coherent theme but there’s definitely some topics I address in this one. This one I’m going after condescending Apple store employees; I talk a little bit about my parents and what they think about what I do, because that’s a very common question I get. I talk a bit about travelling. I’m kind of in a weird place, because my profile is getting bigger but I’m not famous so it’s that weird in-between where sometimes people recognise you but don’t know who you are, so I talk a little bit about that. And that’s basically the show”. BY JOANNE BROOKFIELD VENUE: THE HI-FI, 125 SWANSTON ST, CBD DATES: MARCH 27–APRIL 20 (EXCEPT MONDAYS) TIMES: 7PM (SUNDAYS 6PM, EXCEPT APRIL 13 8.45PM) TICKETS: $19-$2

EMPIRE

DES BISHOP

MADE IN CHINA (IRL) In February 2013, American-born, Irish-bred Des Bishop went to China to try and learn enough Chinese to do stand-up comedy in Mandarin, to a Chinese audience. If that wasn’t challenge enough, now he wants to make the world laugh about his experiences. From trying to find a girlfriend at a Beijing marriage market, to working as a waiter in a Heilongjiang restaurant, and a bit of stand-up in Mandarin along the way, Made in China is a fun journey through a country we all feel we need to know better. If China is poised to take over the world, we’d better learn to make them laugh!

XAVIER TOBY

Since Empire opened its Australian tour in Sydney in January of 2013, it has been seen by over 170,000 people around the country, with rave reviews, sold out performances and standing ovations. Presented in Spiegelworld’s 700-seat antique spiegeltent, Empire smashes the boundaries of circus, cabaret, vaudeville and burlesque, reinventing the genres for a 21st century audience. Featuring the sexiest, most daring artists from across the globe, the show had its world premiere season in New York during the summer of 2012, where it was the first tented show ever seen in Times Square. VENUE: VICTORIA HOTEL – VIC’S BAR, 215 LT COLLINS ST, CBD (MELBOURNE TOWN HALL – SUPPER ROOM, CNR SWANSTON & COLLINS ST, CBD ON APRIL 7) DATE: MARCH 27-APRIL 20 (EXCEPT MARCH 31 & APRIL 14) TIME: 7.15PM (SUNDAYS 6.15PM AND APRIL 7 9.30PM) TICKETS: $25-$32

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‘MINING’ MY OWN BUSINESS

What’s life really like as a FIFO (Fly In Fly Out) worker? Writer and comedian Xavier Toby presents a stand-up comedy show adapted from his debut non-fiction book, Mining My Own Business, available now through UWA Publishing. It’s a place where everything’s either highly explosive, huge machinery, or high vis: right down to the socks, jocks and skid marks. Where expletives are punctuation, a $50 note is loose change, and the safety regulations are tighter than NASA, but there are still plenty of people who break the rules. Dinner is steak, steak, or BBQ steak with salad, there are more utes than trees, and enough dust to keep your nostrils filled from noon til night. It’s Australia’s Wild West.

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VENUE: PORTLAND HOTEL – PORTLAND ROOM, CNR RUSSELL & LT COLLINS ST, CBD DATES: MARCH 27–APRIL 20 (EXCEPT MONDAYS) TIMES: 6PM (SUNDAYS 5PM) TICKETS: $15-$20

SHAPPI KHORSANDI “I manage to create enough mayhem in my own life that I didn’t have to rely on my parents backstory,” says Shappi Khorsandi of her new stand-up show. The daughter of an exiled writer and comic from Iran, Khorsandi didn’t have the most conventional upbringing. She talked about her past in her 2012 Melbourne International Comedy Festival show Me And My Brother In Our Pants, Holding Hands and in 2006’s Asylum Speaker. But this year, in her self-titled show, she’s talking about her present day situation. “My shows aren’t very thematic,” she tells Beat on the phone from her bedroom in West London, where her cat is trying very hard to eat her fish in front of her. “All my stand up is very personal and things have changed a lot,” she says. “Like all the stuff about my family, that was very well received...

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What are you doing?!” she exclaims suddenly. “Honestly, if you could see the effort my cat is making to get to the fish. It’s a very unprofessional cat,” she jokes. “I’m having a professional interview,” she mock-scolds her determined feline from across the room. Her personal life has changed recently. After a marriage breakdown and affair with an unnamed rock star, a period of

VENUE: UNDER THE SPIEGELTENT, ROOFTOP AT CROWN, WHITEMAN ST, SOUTHBANK DATES: MARCH 26–APRIL 20 (EXCEPT MONDAYS) TIMES: 7.30PM (SECOND SHOW ON FRIDAYS & SATURDAYS AT 9.30PM; SUNDAYS 7PM [6PM FROM APRIL 6]) TICKETS: $49-$149

GOOD AZ FRIDAY The Comedy Festival’s most sacrilegious broadcast is back in 2014 with more chocolate than ever before. Sit down to a serving of Good Friday funnies with triple j’s Matt & Alex, the Festival’s best comedians and live music. Free! Just rock up or tune in!

VENUE: MELBOURNE TOWN HALL – MAIN HALL, CNR SWANSTON & COLLINS ST, CBD DATE: APRIL 18 TIME: 12PM TICKETS: FREE

time she now refers to as “the last bit of craziness before the calm of my daughter arriving”, she gave birth to a daughter nine months ago, and moved into a new neighbourhood. (“The street where I live we call it Ramsay Street because it’s so friendly and we all know each other”.) But she’s flying solo and creating a new family for herself, which she addresses in the show. “I’m a single mum to both my children, they both have different fathers and I’m not with either father. In fact, my daughter’s father has never met her, so I don’t go too deep about it,” she says of the way she handles the topic onstage. “I don’t make a judgement but I do talk about what it’s like being the single mother of a baby and what it’s like being single and pregnant. It’s quite an eye opening experience in lots of ways,” she says, just back from taking her six-year-old son to school. “I guess its different, for me personally being older, I wasn’t like a 16-year-old, I think that would be a different experience, but being established in my life and able to care of the baby by myself helped, but it taught me that whatever you expect about your own life, wholeheartedly and non-judgementally, other people do too. People only bat an eyelid when you

bat an eyelid,” says Khorsandi, who has 17 years of stand-up experience behind her, numerous UK TV credits and is the author of the book A Beginners Guide to Acting English which is out now in paperback. Moving into ‘Ramsay Street’ when she was pregnant was a blessing, discovering a new community there. “I couldn’t believe the monumental avalanche of support from complete strangers down the street, all the mums basically clucked around me,” she recalls. “I realised it’s fine and families are what you make them. What I’m trying to say is that in my show there’s nothing negative about my situation because it isn’t negative at all”. BY JOANNE BROOKFIELD VENUE: MELBOURNE TOWN HALL – MINI MAIN & LOWER TOWN HALL, CNR SWANSTON & COLLINS ST, CBD DATES: MARCH 27–APRIL 13 (EXCEPT MONDAYS) TIMES: 7PM (APRIL 8-12 9.30PM [SUNDAYS 6PM, EXCEPT APRIL 13 4.30PM]) TICKETS: $26-$35

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O M H E L

Presents

S S I M S ’ K U BEHAVE

World W or o Class Comedians, Circus Supertars... Simply Spiegelicious

IAN BAGG CAN/USA

BEV KILLICK

   glamorous rous and sexy... Time out London

As part of the

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COMEDY FESTIVAL GUIDE 2014 BRENDON WALSH

DAMIEN POWER

BEARDED, JUVENILE

KEIT

Brendon Walsh is many things: a “rascal” (Esquire), a “devilish japester” (Chortle), but most of all, he’s Bearded, Juvenile. After a popular Melbourne debut in last year’s Headliners, Brendon returns with a new solo show where he’s going to say some bad words and tell some stories into a microphone because it’s fun to do that. Bearded, Juvenile sees Brendon exploring the responsibility of growing up and becoming an adult, mainly because it’s kind of a rip-off – dumb job, paying bills, and boring small talk about the dumb job and paying bills. Adults are all about making up rules, enforcing those rules, and bossing everyone around. And that’s just not what ol’ BW is into. He started his comedy career in Austin, Texas where he won the prestigious Funniest Person In Austin contest. He featured in season four of Last Comic Standing, and was a breakout performer at the prestigious Montreal Just For Laughs Festival in the 2008 New Faces Showcase.

VENUE: VICTORIA HOTEL – BANQUET ROOM, 215 LT COLLINS ST, CBD DATES: APRIL 8–20 (EXCEPT MONDAY) TIMES: 9.45PM (SUNDAYS 8.45PM) TICKETS: $26–$33

MICHAEL HING

JOHNNY LOVES MARY FOREVER 1994

VENUE: MELBOURNE TOWN HALL – LOWER TOWN HALL, CNR SWANSTON & COLLINS ST, CBD DATES: MARCH 27–APRIL 20 (EXCEPT MONDAYS) TIMES: 9.45PM, (SUNDAYS 8.45PM) TICKETS: $26.50–$35.50

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BILDUNGSROMAN AT 28

Widely regarded as one of the top rising stars of Australian comedy, Damien Power has sold out shows around the country. Power’s material is as dynamic as it is accessible, covering everything from personal stories about his brother Will Power (a famous IndyCar driver) to formidable political and social commentary. Having perfected his work around the country for years in pubs and festivals and all the way to the Sydney Opera House, Damien Power knows how to command an audience. Hot off the back of his 2013 sell out Melbourne International Comedy Festival season and subsequent Best Newcomer Award nomination, Damien was chosen by Jack Black to support Tenacious D on their Australian tour. Now a full time stand-up comedian, Damien Power is carving his credentials through comedy clubs and festivals across the country and will bring his new solo show, Keit, to Melbourne for the entire Comedy Festival.

JUSTIN HAMILTON

HEADLINERS

Headliners is a star-spangled showcase of hot, contemporary comedy from North America. They’ve trawled the dark corners of venues across the US and Canada to find a lineup of comedians that will challenge, surprise and, most importantly, guarantee big laughs. Aparna Nancherla’s stand up is sprinkled with absurdist wit and a quasi-whimsical take on the world. NYC comic Brooke Van Poppelen was named one of 2012’s Best New Comedians by Esquire and one of Huffington Post’s ‘Favourite Funny Females’. Dave Hill is a writer, performer, musician, actor, comedy-type person, artist, and thinking man from New York. Jen Kirkman is an LA-based stand-up comedian and author of the New York Times bestseller I Can Barely Take Care of Myself. Coauthor of the inescapable bestseller He’s Just Not That Into You, Greg Behrendt should be known for many things, yet he is singularly recognised worldwide as ‘That Guy From That Thing!’ Award-winning Dave Merheje is making waves as one of the edgiest comics in Canada. Will Sylvince’s performances on Showtime’s The Big Black Comedy Show #5, HBO’s Def Comedy Jam, and NBC’s Showtime at the Apollo all garnered standing ovations. Seaton Smith leaves his audience in a state of comedic euphoria.

A declaration etched in concrete, a suicide bomber in Afghanistan and a dinner party from hell. Three disparate true stories with one thing in common: Justin Hamilton. Justin Hamilton has carved out an incredibly successful career as a stand-up comedian, writer and director while maintaining his own voice within the Australian comedy scene. His stand-up shows have won everything from the Melbourne International Comedy Festival Directors’ Award to the Adelaide Advertiser’s Best Show Award at the Fringe. Justin himself is a beautiful storyteller, his 2009 show Goodbye Ruby Tuesday was admired by Aussie Theatre Review for its ‘intelligent and surprising storytelling’ while the UK-based comedy authority Chortle described it as a ‘touching story as warm as it is witty, building delicately to a satisfyingly uplifting conclusion’. Justin Hamilton’s live shows are more than your average hour of stand-up. The laughs are a given, but his way with a narrative creates a multi-layered experience that stays with you long after the jokes have been forgotten. In 2014 Justin returns with a brand new show, and the smartest choice you will make during MICF – Johnny Loves Mary Forever 1994.

Best Newcomer of the 2013 Sydney Comedy Festivall and nominee for Best Newcomer at the 2013 Melbourne International Comedy Festival, Steen Raskopoulos builds on the success of his award-winning solo sketch show – bruce springSTEEN LIVE IN CONCERT! – by creating a brand new one. I’m Wearing Two Suits Because I Mean Business promises to be a showcase of elaborate characters, physical comedy and unbiased awesomeness. You may recognise him from his work on SlideShow or starring in ABC2’s This is Littleton. Two Suits is an unforgettable comedy extravaganza written and performed by a man frequently called ‘Steve’.

VENUE: PORTLAND HOTEL – GOLD ROOM, CNR RUSSELL & LT COLLINS ST, CBD DATES: MARCH 27–APRIL 20 (EXCEPT MONDAYS) TIMES: 8.30PM (SUNDAYS 7.30PM) TICKETS: $15–$22

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VENUE: VICTORIA HOTEL – ACACIA ROOM, 215 LT COLLINS ST, CBD DATES: MARCH 27–APRIL 19 (EXCEPT MONDAYS) TIMES: 9.45PM (SUNDAYS 8.45PM) TICKETS: $22–$28

SET LIST

STAND-UP WITHOUT A NET

VENUE: VICTORIA HOTEL – VIC’S BAR, 215 LT COLLINS ST, CBD (MELBOURNE TOWN HALL – LOWER TOWN HALL, CNR SWANSTON & COLLINS ST, CBD ON MONDAYS) DATES: APRIL 4–19 (EXCEPT WEDNESDAYS) TIMES: 9.45PM (SUNDAYS 8.45PM & MONDAYS 8.15PM) TICKETS: $20–$22

VENUE: FORUM THEATRE – PIZZA ROOM, CNR FLINDERS & RUSSELL ST, CBD DATES: MARCH 27–APRIL 20 (EXCEPT MONDAYS) TIMES: 8.30PM (SUNDAYS 7.30PM) TICKETS: $15–$25

I’M WEARING TWO SUITS BECAUSE I MEAN BUSINESS

VENUE: MELBOURNE TOWN HALL – LUNCH ROOM, CNR SWANSTON & COLLINS ST, CBD DATES: MARCH 27–APRIL 20 (EXCEPT MONDAYS) TIMES: 9.45PM (SUNDAYS 8.45PM) TICKETS: $20-$25

The late-night favourite show from the 2012 and 2013 Melbourne International Comedy Festivals, the visceral improv show Set List returns to our shores to serve up more comic genius. After sold out shows in Edinburgh, Ireland, Montreal, London, and Austria, and proving a ratings hit with Australian audiences on ABC2 in 2013, Set List is the ultimate event for comedy purists. From the minds of Paul Provenza (The Aristocrats) and Troy Conrad (Comedy Jesus Show), the show takes top Australian and international comedians out of their scripted comfort zone and asks them to create comedy gold on the spot, based on absurd topics that flash up on the screen behind for all to see. Robin Williams calls it “terrifying”, comedians say they leave the stage buzzing, audiences have an insight to the comedian’s creative process, and dusty old material is out the window.

When he was 16, Michael Hing wrote a 5,000 word list of everything he ever wanted in a girlfriend. At the time of writing this blurb, he remains single. Following on from a year of sell-out shows and critical acclaim, Michael returns to Melbourne with an hour-long show about love, adventure, growing up and realising some stuff at 28 that most other people worked out in high school.

STEEN RASKOPOULOS

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THE COMEDY CONFESSIONAL

The idea of performing stand-up comedy is terrifying to most people. Actually if you were to take a straw poll of the people around you right now you’d almost certainly get a unanimous response that performing comedy is the most terrifying thing most of them can imagine doing. Baring one’s soul to make strangers laugh would strike fear into the hardest of hearts. The Comedy Confessional takes that fear and ups the ante. The brief: comedians confess something they’ve never publicly discussed before, to a roomful of strangers. A simple concept that is an endless pool of hilarity. After two years of comedians, musicians, journalists and the like confessing to standing-room-only houses The Comedy Confessional is gaining momentum across the country, attracting the likes of Greg Fleet, Eddie Ifft and Set List creator Troy Conrad to tell horrifically hilarious stories about the times they…well there’s the rub. We can’t tell you. The rules are strict: what happens in The Comedy Confessional, stays in The Comedy Confessional.

VENUE: TONY STARR’S KITTEN CLUB, 267 LITTLE COLLINS ST, CBD DATES: APRIL 4–19 (FRIDAYS AND SATURDAYS ONLY) TIME: 11PM TICKETS: $15

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WIN

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TYM JEFFERY

A DIABETES DISCURSION “What alerted me to the real hole in the Festival was another show: Tym Jeffery’s.” – Andrew Bolt

8:30 PM April 1st, 8th, 15th NORTHCOTE SOCIAL CLUB 301 HIGH ST NORTHCOTE TICKETS: NORTHCOTESOCIALCLUB.COM

MONSKI KI MOUSE MEDIA MEDIA PRESE PRES NTS

BELLY LAUGHS & ‘MIND-BLOWING’ ILLUSIONS

MONSKI MOUSE MEDIA PRESENTS

“DJ MONSKI MOUSE IS ONTO A WINNER... YOU’LL BE PUSHED TO WORK OUT WHO’S HAVING MORE FUN – THE KIDS OR THE ADULTS!”

N L A M OR ONDDEL EL FO O AI S BO L N DE O UR K & W FR LDNE N ON IN OU COORWDER GE T M IC GR 20 ED H O 12 Y FE UN , 2 FE S D 01 ST TIV 2 3 PR AL 013 EM 20 IE 13 RE !

DAREBIN ARTS’ SPEAKEASY AND MONSKI MOUSE MEDIA PRESENTS

THE BAREFOOT REVIEW

GENUINELY AWE-INSPIRING... HIS TALES THROUGHOUT ARE NOT ONLY FUNNY, BUT WITTY AND INSIGHTFUL. The AdveRtiseR

“MONSKI MOUSE

IS THE BEST DJ

GET GLAM AND GET DANCING AT…

IN THE WORLD”

COMEDY FOR KIDS, UK

THE LATEST

SOLD OUT SHOWS EDINBURGH INTERNATIONAL MAGIC FESTIVAL

TO N Y R O B E R TS 7.45PM 27 MARCH - 6 APRIL The Downstairs Lounge @ The Swanston Hotel 195 Swanston St, Melbourne. tix from $12 Bookings at ticketmaster.com.au or at the door

WWW.TONYROBERTS.COM.AU

A RETRO-FABULOUS VINTAGE DISCO FOR THE UNDER 5’s

29-30 MARCH, 5-6, 8-13, 15-20 APRIL AT 11.30AM

THE FAMOUS SPIEGELTENT AT FEDERATION SQUARE FLINDERS ST, MELBOURNE

TIX FROM $15, FAMILY TIX $55 BOOKINGS AT TICKETMASTER.COM.AU OR AT THE DOOR

7.45PM 26 -13 APRIL Northcote Town Hall 189 High St, Northcote

www.monskimouse.com @ monskimouse BOOKINGS AT WWW.DAREBINARTS.COM.AU OR AT THE DOOR

BEAT’S COMEDY FESTIVAL GUIDE 2014 BROUGHT TO YOU BY GRAVITY ESPRESSO

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COMEDY FESTIVAL GUIDE 2014 CAL WILSON

DAVID O’DOHERTY

WIN

IT COULD HAVE BEEN ME

You only live once. But what if you got three or four lives? What life would Cal Wilson be living right now if she had made different life choices? Cal Wilson, the surgeon? Cal Wilson, the poet? Or Cal Wilson, the bloke? It Could Have Been Me is a new hour of stand-up and characters from Cal and her alter egos, all live on stage. Fans of Cal’s regular comedy club gigs are familiar with her hilarious, uncanny ability to bring characters to life. Cal has shown these character acting skills to the rest of the country on shows like Thank God You’re Here, SkitHouse and The Wedge, alongside Rebel Wilson. In 2013 Cal was team captain on the TV comedy hit of 2013, SlideShow, a shamelessly fun hour of improvised slapstick. But it is onstage where Cal truly shines. With her alter egos joining her on stage for It Could Have Been Me, audiences are in for a laughing treat.

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WILL TRY TO FIX EVERYTHING David O’Doherty, former Miss Ireland, the Kevin McCloud of the tiny keyboard, half shark/half kitten (shitten), he increasingly resembles the Jaws era Steven Spielberg, is going to try and fix everything. Seriously, think of anything that is wrong with the world, with your life, David O’Doherty is going to try and fix it, because that is the name of this show. Actually to be honest he’s starting to wish he hadn’t submitted this title several months ago. He wishes he’d just called it David O’Doherty: An Hour of Talking and Songs or David O’Doherty: NO SCRUBS. Still, could be worse. As least he didn’t call it David O’Doherty Goes Elephant Poaching With Andre Rieu. Past winner of the Edinburgh Fringe Best Show award and Irish Comedian Of The Year award, O’Doherty’s brand new hour-long show is crammed with his infamous musical wit.

VENUE: MELBOURNE TOWN HALL – POWDER ROOM, CNR SWANSTON & COLLINS ST, CBD DATES: MARCH 27–APRIL 20 (EXCEPT MONDAYS) TIMES: 7.15PM (SUNDAYS 6.15PM) TICKETS: $26-$32

DENISE SCOTT

From delivery room to empty nest, Scotty is ready to lay ay it all bare. There is no more venerated and vexed role than the role of mother. Variously deified and vilified, mothers are adored and blamed in as many different ways as there are children (or former children) on the planet. Having a mum and being a mum leaves an indelible mark on all of us and is a bottomless well of stories from the trivial and everyday to the truly life altering. Scotty’s most ambitious show yet will bring together all of her stories on motherhood – both as a mother and as a daughter. Hilarious, intimate and rivetingly honest, this will be a night with one of Australia’s funniest storytellers laying it all bare on the most universal of themes. Mother Bare will be a night with an oddly joyful curmudgeon, taking the highs and lows of her own experience of motherhood to create a hilarious and occasionally startling celebration of all things ‘mum’. Having both been a mother and had a mother Scotty is at least as qualified as several billion other humans on this topic.

MICHAEL WORKMAN WAR

War is the latest show from genre-defying comedian Michael Workman. A correspondent battling addiction is assigned to cover the conflict in the North and unwittingly discovers a terrible new weapon: a bomb that turns the waking world into a dream. Wherever Michael Workman performs, award buzz ensues. His gentle yet powerfully poignant work stands apart from the rapid-fire gags of conventional comedy shows. In his first six months in comedy he had already won the national RAW Comedy competition and been flown to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival to perform. His first solo show Humans Are Beautiful took out the coveted Best Newcomer Award at 2011’s Melbourne International Comedy Festival. In 2012 he presented Mercy, a simple, magical story of a man set adrift – magic and fantasy pulled back to human scale when measured against the cruelty of a totalitarian regime’s inhumanity. In 2013 Michael returned to the Melbourne International Comedy Festival with Ave Loretta, a show about music, art and the war against banality which earned him a prestigious Barry Award nomination. War is Workman’s most daring work yet.

PAUL FOOT

VENUE: THE ARTS CENTRE, FAIRFAX STUDIO, 100 ST KILDA RD, CBD DATES: MARCH 27–APRIL 20 (EXCEPT MONDAYS) TIMES: 7PM (SUNDAYS 6PM) TICKETS: $30-$44.50

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VENUE: MELBOURNE TOWN HALL – REGENT ROOM, CNR SWANSTON & COLLINS ST, CBD DATES: MARCH 27–APRIL 20 (EXCEPT MONDAYS) TIMES: 9.45PM (SUNDAYS 8.45PM) TICKETS: $20-$25

VENUES: THE HI-FI, 125 SWANSTON ST, CBD (MELBOURNE TOWN HALL – LOWER TOWN HALL, CNR SWANSTON & COLLINS ST, CBD ON MONDAY) DATES: MARCH 27–APRIL 6 TIMES: 9.45PM (SUNDAYS 8.45PM AND MONDAY 8.15PM) TICKETS: $26-$33

MILTON JONES Milton Jones – celebrated UK television and radio punchline king – is making his Australian debut at the 2014 Melbourne International Comedy Festival. Prepare for knock out oneliners and blazingly bright Hawaiian shirts. Clever and surreal, Jones’s skillful manipulation of words leaves audiences gasping for air. He is a previous Perrier Best Newcomer Nominee, and British Comedy Award nominee, and his radio show was nominated for a Writers Guild Award in 2012. He has just been commissioned for his tenth series on BBC Radio 4. Jones has been delighting UK audiences of all ages for some time with his quick wit and sharp delivery. Now it is Australia’s turn to devour his hysterical word play.

VENUE: MELBOURNE TOWN HALL – SUPPER ROOM, CNR SWANSTON & COLLINS ST, CBD DATES: MARCH 27–APRIL 20 (EXCEPT MONDAYS) TIMES: 8.15PM (SUNDAYS 7.15PM) TICKETS: $26-$35

TOTES GROUSEBALLS

Melbourne, rejoice! It just wouldn’t be a festival without a British man in a metallic suit carrying a brief case, ranting about toast for precisely three and a half minutes. Following the success of last year’s Kenny Larch Is Dead, surrealist comic Paul Foot returns to Melbourne with his critically acclaimed new show, Words. Barry Award nominated Mr Foot describes his own show like this: “No board games on this lawn, baybayyy! Face the frozen ships and dance while legless bar stools finally take their revenge. And there will be words.” Either way, audiences should expect comedy like they’ve never seen before: subversive and surreal with cult classic ingenuity.

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With his love of punk-rock, smart but self-deprecating humour and enthusiasm for drinking, Kyle Kinane has been up and at it for almost half his life, mostly searching for what it might be. Ten years ago, he realised there might be something more to it all than pulling nights at a suburban gas station. So he moved from Chicago to Los Angeles, and immediately was mugged at gunpoint by a gang of kids, then returned to his car to find it towed. That’s the kind of guy he is. After entertaining Melbourne audiences with a debut appearance in Headliners at the 2012 Comedy Festival, Kinane returns to weave wry observations about the small details of his everyday life – bleak, uplifting or simply the reality of outlaying $100 for some fast food.

PETER HELLIAR

WORDS

VENUE: THE HI-FI, 125 SWANSTON ST, CBD DATES: MARCH 27–APRIL 20 (EXCEPT MONDAYS) TIMES: 8.15PM (SUNDAYS 7.15PM) TICKETS: $26.50-$35.50

KYLE KINANE

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MOTHER BARE

VENUE: FORUM THEATRE – UPSTAIRS, CNR FLINDERS & RUSSELL ST, CBD DATES: MARCH 27–APRIL 20 (EXCEPT MONDAYS) TIMES: 9PM (SUNDAYS 8PM) TICKETS: $28.50-$39 EXTRA: DAVID O’DOHERTY WILL PERFORM AN EXTRA SHOW FOR 12-18 YEAR OLDS AT 4PM ON SATURDAY APRIL 12 AT THE MELBOURNE TOWN HALL

Peter Helliar is one of the biggest names in Australian comedy and his brand new stand-up show is totes amazeballs with added grouse and will be at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival for two nights only! Peter Helliar is a natural born comedian, taking an affectionate swipe at Australian suburbia, sport, family and fatherhood. His characterisations, terrible accents and relentless and infectious energy have kept Pete at the top of the comedy world ever since he made himself known on Rove in 1999. In 2013, Helliar’s coin toss to write, direct, produce and act in his very own TV comedy series paid off. It’s A Date was an audience and critical favourite, the scripted series earning praise for its funny yet poignant take on real life dating dilemmas. One of the country’s most versatile performers, a comedy club and festival stalwart, TV regular (The Project), movie maker (feature film I Love You Too) and king of character comedy with his alterego Strauchanie – a night out with Peter Helliar live on stage is a no-brainer, certain to be Totes Grouseballs. VENUE: THE COMEDY THEATRE, CNR EXHIBITION & LONSDALE ST, CBD DATES: APRIL 12 & 19 TIME: 6PM TICKETS: $37.50

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N NOMI NO NOMINATED OMI M NA NAT ATE TED

Best Best s Comedy Comed dy A Adel Ad del elai aide ai de e FFri ring ri ng ge Adelaide Fringe

        

 

#CALLAN CORNER OF RUSSELL & LYGON STREETS

MAR 27- APR 20, 7PM (6PM SUN, NO MON)

The only authentic 1950s radio show you’ll see this year Action! Adventure! Romance! Cabbage!

Performed by Lauren Bok, Sam Marzden and Bert Goldsmith with Rosie Vernel

Melbourne International Comedy Festival 27th March - 6th April at Comedy on Collins, 156 Collins St, 8pm Full $20/ Conc/Group of 4/Tues $15

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COMEDY FESTIVAL GUIDE 2014 ADRIENNE TRUSCOTT

DAMIEN LAWLOR

ASKING FOR IT:

LOW STATUS UPDATE

A ONE-LADY RAPE ABOUT COMEDY STARRING HER PUSSY AND LITTLE ELSE!

Damien Lawlor was the twisted mind responsible for 3RRR’s twisted sketch show Lime Champions. Low Status Update is an all new comedy show performed live from the postapocalyptic wastelands of 2071. A mix of sketch, stand-up and storytelling, Damien takes a nostalgic look back at the quaint old days of 2014 – just before civilisation came to an abrupt and somewhat inconvenient end for all mankind. It was a time of chivalry, when a man would hold the camera for a lady during anonymous love-making. It was a time when you could still get a coffee for less than $27,000, and when people believed gold was valuable, but the little fish-shaped soy sauce containers were worthless (really)! Join a strange collection of strange characters in a strange future as they search through the ancient ruins of the present. Contains zero audience participation.

Adrienne Truscott, one-half of the infamous Wau Wau Sisters, dressed only from the waist up and ankles down, undoes the rules and rhetoric about rape and comedy and the space in between. The Edinburgh season of Asking For It left critics and audiences alike reeling. With commentary from George Carlin, Louis CK and Robert De Niro, she takes on polka-dots, pussypuppets, mini-skirts, rape whistles, Daniel Tosh, Rick Ross and enough gin and tonics and bad behavior to get a girl in trouble. Heavy at its core, this piece is light on its feet and easy on the eye and Adrienne plans to make jokes about rape, all night long, even if you tell her to stop. VENUE: PORTLAND HOTEL – PORTLAND ROOM, CNR RUSSELL & LT COLLINS ST, CBD DATES: MARCH 27–APRIL 20 (EXCEPT MONDAYS) TIMES: 9.45PM (SUNDAYS 8.45PM) TICKETS: $26-$35

VENUE: TUXEDO CAT, 17-23 WILLS ST, CBD DATES: APRIL 10-20 (EXCEPT WEDNESDAY) TIMES: 6PM (SUNDAY 5PM) TICKETS: $15-$20

MAX & IVAN

JAMES ACASTER

THE REUNION

LAWNMOWER

Fresh from their Barry Award nominated, sellout season at last year’s Melbourne International Comedy Festival, and sell-out seasons at the Edinburgh Fringe and London’s Soho Theatre, UK sketch comedy duo Max & Ivan are back to spin a bewitching tale of love, loss and shatterproof rulers in 2014 with The Reunion. There’s Brian Bollingsworth, the unfortunate nerd who is out to prove he can win the heart of his high-school crush Jessica (who now has a good-looking idiot of a boyfriend). There’s Mr. Long the horny geography teacher who – for one night only – revives his torrid affair with a former student, there’s the pair of feuding ex-bandmates who argue only in musical puns about the break up of their (clearly terrible) band Webcam Massacre, there’s a tense love triangle in which Max has to be in a relationship with himself, and then there’s Alan Jones, the boy that no one remembers, but soon will.

Off the back of two consecutive nominations for Best Comedy Show at the Edinburgh Fringe (2012 and 2013), the young, clever and kooky James Acaster debuts in Melbourne with his show Lawnmower, showing off his dry British wit in an artfully crafted study in mild lunacy, at which he excels. The king of well-executed callbacks, clever visual gags and ridiculous stories, James Acaster walks his audiences through an enjoyably cuckoo hour of tales until a comically dreamlike world is created, a world any audience will end up loving, despite never knowing they wanted to be a part of it in the first place.

VENUE: MELBOURNE TOWN HALL – CLOAK ROOM, CNR SWANSTON & COLLINS ST, CBD DATES: MARCH 27–APRIL 20 (EXCEPT MONDAYS) TIMES: 8.30PM (SUNDAYS 7.30PM) TICKETS: $25.50-$33

NISH KUMAR

VENUE: MELBOURNE TOWN HALL – POWDER ROOM, CNR SWANSTON & COLLINS ST, CBD DATES: MARCH 27–APRIL 20 (EXCEPT MONDAYS) TIMES: 8.30PM (SUNDAYS 7.30PM) TICKETS: $26-$33

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IS A COMEDIAN

In early 2013, Nish Kumar had his identity stolen. Not by credit card fraudsters but by an anonymous group who used the promotional photo from his debut Edinburgh Festival show for an internet meme called ‘The Confused Muslim’. Suddenly, Kumar was a poster boy for Islam and the jokes (and abuse) came thick and fast. Nish Kumar Is A Comedian is his response – an hour of comedy in his slick and charming style about identity, offence, and what happens when someone on the internet hijacks your face. In reality, Kumar is not a ‘Confused Muslim’. Confused perhaps about his face being stolen, but not Muslim. He tells smart and sassy anecdotes of his London life: British binge-drinking, his parents’ disappointment in him, and good grades getting in the way of getting the girls. He riffs on his own experiences of what identity means to him – stories about racists both proper and accidental, about having an ‘ethnically ambiguous face’, clumsy Bollywood impressions – all accompanied by visuals of the actual memes that became a viral phenomenon.

SARA PASCOE

VENUE: MELBOURNE TOWN HALL – POWDER ROOM, CNR SWANSTON & COLLINS ST, CBD DATES: MARCH 27–APRIL 20 (EXCEPT MONDAYS) TIMES: 9.45PM (SUNDAYS 8.45PM) TICKETS: $25.50-$33

NELLY THOMAS

WIN

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IS PLEASANTLY FURIOUS

They say political comedy is on the decline in Australia. They’re wrong. Political comedian Nelly Thomas took a brief hiatus from the Melbourne International Comedy Festival to grow a couple of humans, but she’s back in 2014 with a brand new show, replete with blistering political and social commentary about the things she enjoys being annoyed by. Described as one of Australia’s most natural and intelligent comedians, Thomas tells it like it is. This self-professed tragic news junkie with a degree in politics is not only an awardwinning performer, but also an author, health educator and star of Political Asylum. The Age named her one of Australia’s “most innovative thinkers”, and she has featured on ABC1’s Big Ideas: The Smartest Stuff on TV, Radio and Online. Thomas released her first DVD The Talk in 2013, a sexual health and ethics DVD for teens and their carers. In 2012 she released a popular and critically acclaimed book, What Women Want, which canvassed the big issues of the modern era: politics, education, sex, relationships, health, family and Beyoncé’s bottom. In the 11 years since winning the triple j national RAW Comedy competition in 2003, Thomas has directed the MICF’s Barry Award-winning Maria Bamford, performed nationally

and overseas, established her own Melbourne comedy room, and created and toured several shows including the highly acclaimed and unique The No Means No Show. Don’t miss the return of Nelly Thomas’ sharp political wit at this year’s MICF.

VENUE: NORTHCOTE TOWN HALL – 189 HIGH ST, NORTHCOTE DATES: MARCH 27–APRIL 19 (TUESDAYS, THURSDAYS & SATURDAYS) TIME: 7PM TICKETS: $20-$26.50

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VS THE TRUTH

Nothing in life is certain. Everything we believe is subjective. Evidence can be manipulated by predispositions and prejudices. Maybe you’re just a brain in a lab being stimulated by electrical impulses. Or, if every cell in your body is replaced every year, maybe you’re not even you anymore, and people should stop telling you off about stuff you did ages ago. British comedian Sara Pascoe tackles these existential matters with whimsy and a healthy dose of self-deprecation in her debut at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival. Sara Pascoe Vs The Truth is an hour of very amusing thoughts that manage to be highly astute yet ridiculous at the same time. Pascoe riffs on the post post-modern celebrity of Big Brother stars, shares political thoughts on how we treat our elderly, waxes lyrical on female body image and women’s magazines and as an encompassing theme of the show, and talks Nietzschean philosophy – “there are no facts, only interpretations”.

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WOLF CREEK THE MUSICAL VENUE: MELBOURNE TOWN HALL – OLD MET SHOP, CNR SWANSTON & COLLINS ST, CBD DATES: MARCH 27–APRIL 20 (EXCEPT MONDAYS) TIMES: 8.30PM (SUNDAYS 7.30PM) TICKETS: $25.50-$33

This show was the cult hit of Adelaide Fringe in 2013 and has since stormed through Melbourne Fringe 2013 selling out and moving to the main Fringe venue to accommodate the crowds. Written by Demi Lardner and James McCann and based on Wolf Creek the movie, this blood curdling comedy is a proven sensation!

VENUE: TRADES HALL – THE OLD COUNCIL CHAMBERS, CNR LYGON & VICTORIA STREET, CARLTON DATES: MARCH 27 – APRIL 20 (EXCEPT MONDAYS) TIMES: 9.30PM (SUNDAYS 8.30PM) TICKETS: $15-$22

BEAT’S COMEDY FESTIVAL GUIDE 2014 BROUGHT TO YOU BY GRAVITY ESPRESSO


     

Jack Tandy’s

GAMESHOW GAMESHOW NOW WITH EXTRA CO-HOST, COCO!

IT’S A GAME SHOW!

11pm @ Trades Hall Tickets: $18/$15 Every Thurs/Fri/Sat from 27/03 to 19/04 ticketmaster.com.au W r i tt e n a n d p e r fo r m e d b y J a c k T a n d y a n d F r a n M i d d l e t o n

AS A CHILD ...I dreamt of being He-Man. AS A TEENAGER ...I dreamt of being a rock star. AS A YOUNG ADULT ...I dreamt of becoming a working actor.

It turns out destiny lay beyond my imagination...

SIMON

CHUGG IS:

“ LIVING THE DREAM � VENUE: Caz Reitops Dirty Secrets

80 Smith St, Collingwood, VIC 3066 DATE: 26 March – 19 April (select dates only),

Previews 26 - 27 March. Times: 18.45pm (60 mins) TIX:

$22 Full, $19 Conc, Group (4 or more), Laugh Pack & Previews Bookings: Ticketmaster 1300 660 013, ticketmaster.com.au or at the door

www.comedyfestival.com.au

BEAT’S COMEDY FESTIVAL GUIDE 2014 BROUGHT TO YOU BY GRAVITY ESPRESSO

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COMEDY FESTIVAL GUIDE 2014 ANTHONY MORGAN MUSIC FOR GOATS

“The trouble is, the only people who know for certain where the edge is, are the ones who’ve gone over it.” A dead guy said that. Anthony Morgan isn’t dead. He’s just been living in Tasmania. Music for Goats will be his first Melbourne International Comedy Festival show in five years. Comedy’s not dangerous unless you’re bleeding. Morgan’s legendary shows in some of Melbourne’s biggest venues bridged effortless genius and rudderless insanity. Then he retired, pissed off to Tassie and kept to himself. Now he’s back and will be taking audiences on an all-stops tour of one of this country’s most impressive comic imaginations. Morgan remains the benchmark and inspiration for many of Australia’s finest comedians and his shows are revered for their unpredictable, improvised flights of fancy that follow the peculiar lines of logic that make up Anthony Morgan’s mind. If you’re old enough that you have forgotten who he is or too young to know better – this is the show for you.

WIN

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VENUE: TRADES HALL – THE MEETING ROOM, CNR LYGON & VICTORIA ST, CARLTON DATES: MARCH 27–APRIL 20 (EXCEPT MONDAYS) TIMES: 8.15PM (SUNDAYS 7.15PM) TICKETS: $22-$28

RAIDERS OF THE TEMPLE OF DOOM’S LAST CRUSADE

Three classic adventure movies. One man. 60 minutes. Stephen Hall performs the first three Indiana Jones movies in an hour! All the characters! All the thrills, escapes and hugely expensive special effects, with little more than an obsessive knowledge of the films, a knack for accents and an office chair on wheels. In 1981, George Lucas, Steven Spielberg and Harrison Ford defined adventure movies for a generation, with Raiders of the Lost Ark. Its two sequels Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984) and Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade (1989) continued the globetrotting, swashbuckling adventures of everyone’s favourite whipcracking archaeologist. Returning after a smash hit season in last year’s Melbourne Fringe Festival, it’s the original Raiders trilogy as you’ve never seen it before. Stephen Hall (Shaun Micallef’s Mad as Hell, The Hollowmen, Monty Python’s Spamalot) brings all three films to life, live onstage. All by himself. If you’ve got a Raiders DVD box set, but no time to watch them all, this show is just the ticket!

VENUE: THE ATHENAEUM, 188 COLLINS ST, CBD DATES: APRIL 15-20 TIMES: 10PM (SUNDAY 9PM) TICKETS: $30-$42

WIN

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Frank Woodley is back at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival, doing what he does best – wonderfully silly, professionally ridiculous comedy – complete with rubber limbed physicality and a few ridiculous songs. After 20 years in the much loved, Perrier Award-winning duo Lano and Woodley, Frank said Good Bye to being one half of a double act in 2006 with a national tour that took in 34 markets and sold more than 125,000 tickets. He has since gone on to create three hugely successful solo shows, Possessed, Bewilderbeest and Bemusement Park. Last year he premiered the daring stage show, Inside, alongside Simon Yates from acclaimed physical troupe, acrobat. The Kafka-esque piece was applauded for being dark, funny and at times challenging, but uniquely brilliant. The kind of daring creative departure that has made Frank one of our most exciting performers. Australia’s most visually compelling comedian’s natural habitat is the stage; it’s in his live shows that Woodley’s in-hisbones funny, physicality and whimsical slapstick come to life. Fool’s Gold is sure to give you that tingly feeling you’re left with after you’ve laughed like a crazy person.

Living the Dream is a one-man show about what happens when a fascinating reality collides with preconceived ideals about destiny and who we are. A modern ‘fable’ where truth is both stranger and funnier than fiction, filled with wondrous tales from the lowest echelons of the Australian entertainment industry to the highest dimensions of the astral plane. Marking his debut full-length solo show and return to the MICF stage after a number of years in the UK, 2013 RAW Comedy finalist Simon Chugg has written, collaborated and performed with some of Australia’s best comedians and musicians including Michael Chamberlin and Tim Minchin, most recently co-writing and directing Lisa-Skye’s 2012 critically acclaimed Ladyboner. Blending stand-up, storytelling, music and multimedia, Living the Dream leads the audience on ‘a merry jig’ along Simon’s very own yellowbrick road, over a rainbow, under a mushroom (patch), down a rabbit hole, on to the set of Neighbours and far beyond.

VENUE: CAZ REITOPS DIRTY SECRETS, 80 SMITH ST, COLLINGWOOD DATES: MARCH 26 – APRIL 19 (SELECT DATES ONLY) TIMES: 6.45PM TICKETS: $15-$18

STEVE HUGHES

WIN

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WHILE IT’S STILL LEGAL

VENUE: COMEDY ON COLLINS, 156 COLLINS ST, CBD DATES: MARCH 27–APRIL 17 (EXCEPT TUESDAYS AND WEDNESDAYS) TIME: 7.45PM TICKETS: $18-$23

VENUE: MELBOURNE TOWN HALL – MAIN HALL, CNR SWANSTON & COLLINS ST, CBD DATES: APRIL 18 & 19 TIMES: 7.30PM TICKETS: $29.90-$34.90

JULIETTE BURTON WHEN I GROW UP

HAROLD NIGHT

The first time you meet Harold you’ll find him to be weird, wonderful and hilarious. No, Harold is not a person. Harold is a 30-minute improvised comedy format developed in Chicago and made famous by comedy legends like Tina Fey and Chris Farley. The Improv Conspiracy are the only group in Australia doing Chicago-style improv at a professional level, and their six Harold teams have been trained to have very different approaches to comedy. Each session of Harold Night features four of those teams presenting their own unique take on the format. Confused? Come meet Harold in person! Harold Night runs every week of the year but is free during comedy festival! It’s a full evening of entertainment, but it’s fine to leave early or arrive late – fresh Harolds are served up every 30 minutes.

VENUE: MELBOURNE TOWN HALL – LOWER TOWN HALL, CNR SWANSTON & COLLINS ST, CBD DATES: MARCH 27–APRIL 20 (EXCEPT MONDAYS) TIMES: 8.20PM (SUNDAYS 7.20PM) TICKETS: $28-$39.50

Steve Hughes returns to Australia and New Zealand in 2014 with a brand new show following sell-out shows in Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne in 2013. He recently stormed the UK last year with his sell-out tour, with extra dates added due to phenomenal demand. This brand new show features more thoughtful, outspoken social commentary courtesy of a masterful, erudite and provocative performer. Laid-back, effortless charm and caustic anti-establishment humour from a truly unique, world class performer.

THE IMPROV CONSPIRACY

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FOOL’S GOLD

IS LIVING THE DREAM

DIFFICULT FIRST ALBUM TOUR

STEPHEN HALL

WIN

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SIMON CHUGG

SAMMY J & RANDY

To celebrate the launch of their Difficult First Album, Sammy J & Randy are hitting the road armed with nothing but a keyboard and a suitcase of songs. Plus undies. Plus toothpaste. Plus an assortment of international power adaptors. But mostly, songs. Sammy J & Randy are two of the most sought after comics in Australia today. Combining catchy songs with chaotic tomfoolery and outbursts of filth, these adorable characters have an uncanny knack of charming the pants off everyone they meet. Together they’ve been nominated for an ARIA and won the award for Best Show at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival. In 2010, Sammy J and Randy won Australia’s most coveted comedy award, the Barry, for their one-man/ one-puppet show, Sammy J & Randy in Ricketts Lane. In 2011, they wowed audiences around the globe with Sammy J & Randy in Bin Night, then again in 2012, with the third show in their trilogy, The Inheritance. They have played to soldout houses at the Sydney Opera House, closed the Montreal Just For Laughs Comedy Gala and sold out seasons at Edinburgh Fringe. In 2012 the pair hosted the Melbourne International Comedy Festival’s Opening Night TV Gala.

FRANK WOODLEY

WIN

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What did you want to be when you grew up? As a child, Juliette wanted to be many things: ballerina, princess, Muppet. So much of our identity is tied up with our job, with what we DO. But while young Juliette seemed to know the kind of roles she might call a vocation, she grew up and life got in the way. After nearly dying due to anorexia and bulimia, she needed to think again. In this true-life comedy story, Juliette Burton realises her childhood ambitions. With the aid of video interviews, original music, animation and guest appearances, Juliette tries her hand at the callings she once thought were hers: artist, farmer, baker, pop star – she’s living the dream – every dream she ever had!

VENUE: THE DAN O’CONNELL HOTEL, 225 CANNING ST, CARLTON DATES: MARCH 26 – APRIL 16 (WEDNESDAYS ONLY) TIME: 7.30PM TICKETS: FREE

VENUE: TRADES HALL – MEETING ROOM, 54 VICTORIA ST, CARLTON DATES: MARCH 27–APRIL 20 (EXCEPT MONDAYS) TIMES: 7PM (SUNDAYS 6PM) TICKET: $15-$25

BEAT’S COMEDY FESTIVAL GUIDE 2014 BROUGHT TO YOU BY GRAVITY ESPRESSO


triple j’s

Melbourne International Comedy Festival’s most sacrilegious radio broadcast returns in 2014! FRIDAY 18 APRIL @ NOON MELBOURNE TOWN HALL

NSE PRESENT TE TS’ R A & DAREBIN SY A E K A E P S PRESENT

THE FEAR OF MISSING OUT

TRIPLE J’S MATT & ALEX + LIVE MUSIC + THE FESTIVAL’S BEST COMEDIANS + CHOCOLATE

triplej.net.au

BEAT’S COMEDY FESTIVAL GUIDE 2014 BROUGHT TO YOU BY GRAVITY ESPRESSO

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COMEDY FESTIVAL GUIDE 2014 XAVIER TOBY

CATH STYLES

2014 – WHEN WE WERE IDIOTS

Follow a penguin with a megaphone around the streets of Melbourne. Suit up in a high visibility safety vest and join tour guide Xavier the Penguin to explore several fascinating parts of Melbourne’s past, while marvelling at the stupidity of the people, products, and practices of 2014. Set in 2114, this comedy walking tour features historical gems, special guests including Micah D Higbed, and plenty of yelling at strangers. Recently unearthed, Melbourne remains unaltered from 2014, when it disappeared under a mammoth mound of rubbish that was mostly takeaway coffee cups, stale cupcakes and hipsters.

DAY OF THE DEAD

VENUE: STARTS AT THE BURKE & WILLS STATUE, CITY SQUARE, CNR COLLINS & SWANSTON ST, CBD DATES: MARCH 28–APRIL 20 (EXCEPT TUESDAYS, WEDNESDAY, THURSDAYS & APRIL 14) TIMES: FRIDAYS 4PM, SATURDAYS & SUNDAYS 3PM & 8PM, MONDAYS 8PM TICKETS: $10-$20

VENUE: THE SWANSTON HOTEL – THE DOWNSTAIRS LOUNGE, 195 SWANSTON ST, CBD DATES: APRIL 8 – 20 (EXCEPT MONDAYS) TIME: 6.30PM TICKETS: $15-$21

JORDANA BORENSZTAJN

DAVE THORNTON TALL & POINTY

LIKE ME, LOVE ME, RETWEET ME

The new host of Fox FM breakfast will be staying up late on Monday nights to sneak in some stage time, reprising his sold out hit of 2013, Tall and Pointy, for three nights only this Comedy Festival. Having appeared at the biggest comedy festivals around the world – Melbourne, Edinburgh Fringe and the invitation-only Just For Laughs in Montréal – Dave is bringing his lanky pencil legs and all his other body parts back for an hour of honest, engaging, whip-smart and damn funny comedy. VENUE: MELBOURNE TOWN HALL – LOWER TOWN HALL, CNR SWANSTON & COLLINS ST, CBD DATES: MARCH 31, APRIL 7 & 14 TIMES: 7PM TICKETS: $30

KATE MCLENNAN Award-winning comedian Kate McLennan returns with a hilarious new show about how we measure ourselves by the stuff we’ve done: from getting hitched and up the duff to feeling like a failure for not having a comprehensive funeral plan or owning sheets with a thread count the density of Warwick Capper’s brain. Kate doesn’t have any of these boxes ticked and apparently that’s a problem when you are a 34-year-old with ovaries – particularly when you’re a 34-yearold with ovaries who still borrows money off her mum and went to work last week with peanut butter on her face.

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The Late Night Board Game Slumber Party with Neil Sinclair and friends mixes the joy of a great board game night with the unscripted mayhem epic comedians offer. Each edition features a rotating cast of the Melbourne International Comedy Festival’s finest acts playing board games new and old, whether it’s an extra-large take on tower stacking, a guessing game to find a mystery face in the audience, or the world’s rudest match card game. Award-winning, critically acclaimed stand-up comedian Neil Sinclair (Charmingly Useless) dons the pyjamas and will act as host, referee, scorekeeper, and audience champion – handing out prizes just for showing up!

DAVID COLLINS

Appearing weekly in Fitzroy, Hawthorn and Port Melbourne, get ready for two hours of top shelf LOLs with comedians from Australia and abroad, hosted by Xavier Toby. Featuring some of the best from the Melbourne International Comedy Festival, with at least five class acts per night, all performers will be presenting a snack-sized sample of their premium LOLs – making LOL Comedy both a night packed with sensational comedy, and a superb way to try before you buy and choose which full length shows to see in the Melbourne International Comedy Festival.

The classic Russian fable The Luck Child will be brought to life by David Collins (The Umbilical Brothers) in this hilarious, fast-paced kids show. Featuring a cast of whacky characters from kings to wizards to a menagerie of circus animals (all played by Collins), The Luck Child is a great introduction to the theatre for young audiences.

VENUE: THE FAMOUS SPIEGELTENT, FEDERATION SQUARE, FLINDERS ST, CBD DATES: MARCH 29-30, APRIL 5-6, APRIL 8-20 (EXCEPT MONDAYS) TIME: 10AM TICKETS: $15-$20 ($59 FAMILY OF 4)

VENUE: COMEDY ON COLLINS, 156 COLLINS ST, CBD DATES: MARCH 28, 29, APRIL 4-6, 8, 11-13, 15 TIME: 7PM TICKETS: $15-$18

VENUES: THE LOCAL, 22 BAY STREET, PORT MELBOURNE (TUESDAYS), THE PROVINCIAL HOTEL, 299 BRUNSWICK STREET, FITZROY (THURSDAYS), THE HAWTHORN HOTEL, 481 BURWOOD ROAD, HAWTHORN (FRIDAYS) DATES: MARCH 27–APRIL 17 (TUESDAYS, THURSDAYS & FRIDAYS) TIME: 7.30PM TICKETS: $10

SARAH KENDALL TOUCHDOWN

Sarah Kendall started her stand up career in Australia before pulling up stumps and moving to the other side of the world – to London to be exact. Sarah returns to the Australia with her brand new show, Touchdown. Set in 1992, it’s the true story of when Sarah joined her high school touch football team and became one-tenth of the greatest under-14s team ever assembled.

VENUE: GAMES LABORATORY, 328 LITTLE LONSDALE ST, CBD DATES: MARCH 28 – APRIL 12 (FRIDAYS & SATURDAYS) TIMES: 10.45PM TICKETS: $15-$20

VENUE: MELBOURNE TOWN HALL – THE OLD MET SHOP, CNR SWANSTON & COLLINS ST, CBD DATES: MARCH 27–APRIL 20 (EXCEPT MONDAYS) TIMES: 7.15PM (SUNDAYS 6.15PM) TICKETS: $22-$28

ZOE MCDONALD

THE LUCK CHILD

WIN

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BRINGING BIG TIME LOLS TO THE ‘BURBS

VENUE: MELBOURNE TOWN HALL – LUNCH ROOM, CNR COLLINS & SWANSTON ST, CBD DATES: MARCH 27–APRIL 20 (EXCEPT MONDAYS) TIMES: 8.30PM (SUNDAYS 7.30PM) TICKETS: $18-$25

THE LATE NIGHT BOARD GAME SLUMBER PARTY

Jordana Borensztajn desperately wants to be liked. Facebook liked. So she makes a New Year’s resolution to become a better person – online – and invests her offline time into dramatically enhancing her online self. When getting likes isn’t enough, Jordana takes a bold risk and reveals her true personality. Will her life improve, or will she come crashing down, along with her Facebook wall?

LOL COMEDY SHOWCASE

THE DUCK’S NUTS

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Death’s a bitch. Then you die! Ever lost someone? Ever wanted to go a really, really long way away to deal with that? On a winning streak of not losing people, death suckerpunched Cath three times in a row. It took her a while to get up. Both touching and funny, this is a story that begins in the valley of death, has a stopover at a Mexican festival, and ends in a new beginning. It’s about life, loss, love and tacos – with some really great tips on crying (without breaking your face) for the beginner. If you’re not a big fan of death, but you kind of like Mexico, you will love this show!

FOMO – THE FEAR OF MISSING OUT

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Ten different characters spring straight from Zoe McDonald’s persona, it’s the FOMO (aka the Fear of Missing Out) that ultimately unites her alter egos together. With just her body and an empty space, McDonald creates her own absurd radio program. The talk back topic: the 21st century malaise and latest psychological fad FOMO. Fresh from critically-acclaimed sell-out seasons at the Melbourne Fringe and Adelaide Fringe, FOMO: The Fear of Missing Out is presented by Present Tense, the innovative theatre ensemble behind Margaret Fulton: Queen of the Dessert at Theatre Works and Chants Des Catacombes. Both love letter and critique of our modern age, FOMO is peppered with the type of stuff that clogs up your Facebook adverts: body and soul improvements, Zumba classless and Brazilian waxing.

VENUE: NORTHCOTE TOWN HALL, 189 HIGH STREET, NORTHCOTE DATES: MARCH 26–APRIL 13 (EXCEPT MONDAYS) TIME: 9.30PM TICKETS: $17.50-$27.50

BEAT’S COMEDY FESTIVAL GUIDE 2014 BROUGHT TO YOU BY GRAVITY ESPRESSO


BEAT’S COMEDY FESTIVAL GUIDE 2014 BROUGHT TO YOU BY GRAVITY ESPRESSO

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COMEDY FESTIVAL GUIDE 2014 CJ DELLING

DARKNESS AND LIGHT

WIN

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REALITY BANDIT Looking for a show to take your mum, first date or dentist to?? Are you wondering what ‘real life’ could be like if it was more like our Facebook status updates? Then look no further. Reality Bandit is a cheerful and quirky expedition into our relationship with reality, truth, biases and other problems you didn’t know you had. Following her successful run at the Adelaide Fringe, German-born and Sydney-dwelling CJ is taking her third solo stand-up comedy show to Melbourne.

Fall down seven times, stand up eight – and tell a joke about it! Comedy gets real as the cream of the festival’s funny people share some very personal postcards from the edge, in a show that will make you laugh and cry – but mostly laugh! A combination of hilarious stand-up and stunning storytelling, each night is a different collection of stories about being human, and includes some of the funniest tales about lost love, growing up, coming out, depression, anxiety, psychosis, grief, isolation, and just really, really bad days that you’ll ever hear. Featuring Cath Styles, Richard McKenzie, Jon Bennett, Lori Bell, Joel Creasey, Simon Quirk, Candy Bower, Diana Nguyen, Jenny Wynter, Laura Davis, David Quirk, Alexis Dubus, Nath Valvo, Mayumi Nobetsu, Danny McGinlay, Ben Lomas, Bart Freebairn, Geraldine Hickey, Jen Brister, Rebecca De Unamuno and many more!

VENUE: THE BULL & BEAR TAVERN, 347 FLINDERS LANE, CBD DATES: MARCH 26–APRIL 12 (WEDNESDAYS, THURSDAYS, FRIDAYS & SATURDAYS) TIME: 6.30PM TICKETS: $15–$18

KELLY ROSE RYAN PERMANENT PART-TIME IRREGULAR HOURS

WIN

UK storytelling comedian Sameena Zehra brings her show, Tea With Terrorists, to the Northcote Town Hall speakeasy. A blues singer and accomplished actor who has worked with the Royal Shakespeare Company and National Theatre, Sameena Zehra’s stand-up show Tea With Terrorists will have you captivated as she shares stories from a life that straddles two very different cultures; arguing with mullahs; being an atheist in a religious, liberal family; planning the perfect murder; wandering outside the green zone in war torn Kabul; being stalked by a sheep in Coniston; and having tea with some terrorists in Kashmir.

SHOWKO

When a domineering sushi shop owner loses all her customers and staff only one thing can save the shop. A surreal pop ventriloquist comedy show told in Rakugo style (Japanese sitdown comedy) with live Shamisen (Japanese banjo), bamboo magic, paper cutting art and a reluctant geisha.

WIN

Tony Roberts is a stand-up, street performer and magician born in Australia, raised in NZ and based in the UK. Tony’s iconic storytelling style belies his deft slight of hand, producing baffling illusions, while charming his audience with laughter. Understated and ingenious, captivating and hilarious, he is a member of London’s Magic Circle. Tony Roberts solo card magic stages shows have wowed audiences in Adelaide and Edinburgh, receiving critical acclaim.  Card Magic comes to Melbourne for the first time following a smashing Adelaide Fringe season. VENUE: THE SWANSTON HOTEL – THE DOWNSTAIRS LOUNGE, 195 SWANSTON ST, CBD DATES: MARCH 27–APRIL 6 (EXCEPT MONDAY) TIME: 7.45PM TICKETS: $12–$18

SHANE TALENT TIME

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VENUE: ACMI GAMES ROOM, FEDERATION SQUARE, FLINDERS ST, CBD DATES: APRIL 11–20 (EXCEPT MONDAY) TIMES: 9.30PM (SUNDAYS 8.30PM) TICKETS: $15–$20

THE CONSUMPTION THE VOYAGE OF ALAN RICKMAN

Space. A vast unending cosmos of wonder and mystery. An infinity void full of marvels and horrors. It’s really, really big. Like, if you saw it, you’d be like, “Phwoar, look at that big thing.” Somewhere within its bigness drifts the Starship Alan Rickman. It carries a deadly cargo: the most deranged and dangerous space criminals, space murderers and space cattle rustlers in the universe. Chief among them, the most powerful and thoroughly evil sentient breakfast snack ever created – the Infinity Bar. Part space opera, part sketch comedy, don’t miss The Voyage of the Alan Rickman.

VENUE: COMEDY ON COLLINS, 156 COLLINS ST, CBD DATES: MARCH 26–APRIL 17 (WEDNESDAYS, THURSDAYS, FRIDAYS & SATURDAYS) TIME: 7.10PM TICKETS: $16–$20

CARD MAGIC

SHANE MATHESON

VENUE: NORTHCOTE TOWN HALL, 189 HIGH ST, NORTHCOTE DATES: MARCH 26–APRIL 13 (EXCEPT MONDAYS) TIME: 7.45PM TICKETS: $16.50–$20

WIN

TONY ROBERTS

VENUE: THE FAMOUS SPIEGELTENT, FEDERATION SQUARE, FLINDERS ST, CBD DATES: MARCH 29 & 30, APRIL 5-20 (EXCEPT MONDAYS) TIME: 11.30AM TICKETS: $15, $55 FAMILY TICKET (2 ADULTS & 2 CHILDREN) – CHILDREN UNDER 6 MONTHS ENTER FREE

Shane Matheson’s star is on the rise this April at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival, in Shane Talent Time! Evoking the golden era of Australian entertainment (i.e. 1983), Shane Talent Time is an extravaganza of original songs, dancing, jokes, special guests and at least one song about a dog that can drive a bus. Also featuring will be the Shane Talent Team, which may or may not consist of members bearing a striking resemblance to Shane. Shane Talent Time will keep you laughing for an hour and you won’t even know why.

TICKE TS T SHO O THIS BEAT.CW AT OM.AU

SUSHI DICTATOR

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Why toddle when you can dance, dance, dance! Parents and under-fives are let loose on the dance floor in this friendliest of discos as DJ Monski Mouse and her team bring highenergy smiling to The Famous Spiegeltent. Spinning retro hits and funky nursery rhymes, London-based Aussie DJ Monski Mouse will have heads and shoulders, knees and toes bopping till they drop. This show sold out at Adelaide Fringe, London Wonderground and Norfolk and Norwich Festival. Dress to impress disco style! Get your disco-dancing-booties on!

TICKE TS T SHO O THIS BEAT.CW AT OM.AU

TEA WITH TERRORISTS

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TICKE TS T SHO O THIS BEAT.CW AT OM.AU

BABY DISCO DANCE HALL

VENUE: LOOP, 23 MEYERS PLACE, CBD (THE TUXEDO CAT, 17-23 WILLS ST, CBD APRIL 10–20) DATES: MARCH 30, APRIL 1 & 2, 10–20 (EXCEPT WEDNESDAY) TIMES: 6PM (APRIL 13, 20 5PM) TICKET: $15–$20

SAMEENA ZEHRA

VENUE: HAIRY LITTLE SISTA – THE UPSTAIRS LOUNGE, 240 LT COLLINS ST, CBD DATES: MARCH 27–APRIL 6 (EXCEPT MONDAY) TIMES: 6.30PM TICKETS: $15–$24

MONSKI MOUSE’S

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Kelly is a triple threat: an actor/personal trainer/librarian. rarian Join her as she brings you into this hectic world through song and anecdote. Learn about the humiliating things actors are asked to do at auditions, meet some of the library’s more ‘difficult’ borrowers and get a tighter butt whilst doing 100 jumping squats! (Squats encouraged but not compulsory.) After the success of her 2013 MICF show Twinkle Twinkle: the Confessions of a Child-hating Children’s Librarian, Kelly now broadens her horizons beyond the library and takes you into the worlds of her (too many) other jobs.

WIN

TICKE TS T SHO O THIS BEAT.CW AT OM.AU

TICKE TS T SHO O THIS BEAT.CW AT OM.AU

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TICKE TS T SHO O THIS BEAT.CW AT OM.AU

VENUE: THE PROVINCIAL HOTEL, 299 BRUNSWICK ST, FITZROY DATES: MARCH 26–APRIL 7 (EXCEPT THURSDAYS AND SATURDAYS) TIME: 8.15PM TICKETS: $12–$15

THE STEVENSON EXPERIENCE WOMB MATES

The Stevenson Experience are back! After a sell-out season in 2013, the acclaimed musical comedy duo are back with all new hilarious songs. Come and see what all the fuss is about. The most fun you can have locked in a room with two identical twins for an hour. VENUE: MELBOURNE TOWN HALL – LUNCH ROOM, CNR SWANSTON & COLLINS ST, CBD DATES: MARCH 27–APRIL 20 (EXCEPT MONDAYS) TIMES: 6PM (SUNDAYS 5PM) TICKETS: $15–$22.50

BEAT’S COMEDY FESTIVAL GUIDE 2014 BROUGHT TO YOU BY GRAVITY ESPRESSO

WIN

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MELBOURNE INTERNATIONAL COMEDY FESTIVAL PROUDLY PRESENTS

AARON DEMI GEOFFREY CHEN LARDNER WINDLE NSW SA QLD BECKY SUREN LUCAS JAYEMANNE QLD VIC DIRECTED BY HEATH MCIVOR

WILD. UNTAMED. NEW TALENT. TRADES HALL 27 MAR – 20 APR TUE-SAT 8.15PM, SUN 7.15PM TIX FROM $19.50

www.lamama.com.au/comfest PUBLIC TOILETS PRIVATE WORDS | APRIL 2 - APRIL 13 THE TRAVELLING MEDICINE SHOW | APRIL 2 - APRIL 13 DEATH IN BOWENGABBIE | APRIL 3 - APRIL 13 THE LEGEND OF KING O’MALLEY | APRIL 9 - APRIL 20 THE RETURN OF THE ERIC | APRIL 16 - APRIL 20 LA MAMA FOR KIDS | APRIL 5 - APRIL 20

BEAT’S COMEDY FESTIVAL GUIDE 2014 BROUGHT TO YOU BY GRAVITY ESPRESSO

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COMEDY FESTIVAL GUIDE 2014 BITE-SIZE COMEDIES

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TICKE TS T SHO O THIS BEAT.CW AT OM.AU

À LA CARTE

The UK’s critically acclaimed Bite-Size Plays has arrived in Australia with a new show that’s already winning critical and audience acclaim. From a show menu of eight, the audience votes to select five Bite-Size Comedies, each no longer than 15 minutes. Starting out as a uniquely-styled wedding reception, hidden talents are unveiled as the plays are performed around you.

CHEEK TO CHEEK AN ASRC BENEFIT

An afternoon big band baguette, with a touch of ballroom, G&T and cucumber sandwiches. Fred Astaire has lived in the hearts of generations; for one afternoon only Cheek to Cheek will celebrate the music that has had us tapping our toes through the decades in a very special Comedy Festival event. Join some of Melbourne’s favourite performers and musically swayed comedians as they re-imagine the classic and legendary songs of Fred Astaire. It will be a fine romance as we dance cheek to cheek for this one-off afternoon fundraiser delight, in the charming setting of the Northcote Town Hall.  VENUE: NORTHCOTE TOWN HALL, 189 HIGH ST, NORTHCOTE DATES: APRIL 12 TIME: 2PM TICKETS: $30

VENUE: THE AEGEAN, 17–19 BRUNSWICK STREET, FITZROY DATES: MARCH 28–APRIL 20 (FRIDAYS, SATURSDAYS & SUNDAYS) TIMES: 9.30PM TICKETS: $35–$39

DEATH IN BOWENGABBIE

DAVE CALLAN A LITTLE LESS CONVERSATION

This is the first in an epic trilogy of dance shows. It’s a bit like The Fellowship of the Ring but instead of a dwarf and an elf and shit Dave meets ‘back up dancers’ and instead of faffing about in the mountains of New Zealand getting rides on trees and shit they ‘dance their little hearts out’. This show happened in Adelaide and put Dave in hospital twice. But then it got nominated for an award. Not trying to put pressure on you there but it’s good and he might die. Unless you’re a public liability person in which case it’s all good nothing happened you can move along *does mystical hands*. Beat already saw a preview and this is what they said: “Look deep into his beard. If you’d like to see this man shaking his stuff to some of the most popular dance tracks of all time, buy tickets. It’s worth it.”

FAULTY TOWERS

VENUE: TRADES HALL – NEW BALLROOM, CNR LYGON & VICTORIA ST, CARLTON DATES: MARCH 27–APRIL 20 (EXCEPT MONDAYS) TIMES: 7PM (SUNDAYS 6PM) TICKETS: $15–$23.50

WIN

THE DINING EXPERIENCE

TICKE TS T SHO O THIS BEAT.CW AT OM.AU

VENUE: LA MAMA THEATRE, 205 FARADAY ST, CARLTON DATES: APRIL 3–13 (EXCEPT MONDAY & TUESDAY) TIMES: 6PM (WEDNESDAYS & FRIDAYS 9PM) TICKETS: $15–$25

JASON GEARY & JIMMY JAMES EATON

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Jason Geary and Jimmy James return to the Comedy Festival after their first collaboration together, Sketch-ual Healing, received rave reviews last year with no less than four stars across the board. This year they return to premiere their new show Sketch-Ageddon. Come discover what two Orphan Brothers, an Alien Overload, Spanish Scientists, a sick boy and John Travolta have in common as the world comes to an end in a mash up of bizarre comedy and pop culture that you’ll love. It’s the end of the world as we know it and you’ll laugh heaps.

VENUE: THE AEGEAN, 19 BRUNSWICK ST, FITZROY DATES: MARCH 27–APRIL 20 (EXCEPT MONDAYS) TIMES: 7PM (SECOND LUNCHTIME SHOW AT 1PM ON SATURDAY & SUNDAYS) TICKETS: $79–$99 (INCLUDES THREE-COURSE MEAL)

VENUE: THE IMPERIAL HOTEL, CNR BOURKE & SPRING ST, CBD DATES: MARCH 26–APRIL 20 (EXCEPT MONDAYS) TIME: 8PM TICKETS: $15–$25

THE LISTIES

THE LEGEND OF KING O’MALLEY

6D (TWICE AS GOOD AS 3D) Back by popular demand! Winner of Best Production for Children at the 2014 Sydney Theatre Awards. After a total sell-out season in 2013, Australia’s funniest kids comics are back with their show all about the movies. The Listies 6D is six dimensions of fun: raucous, disgusting, interactive, hilarious, totes funz and the end of nice, sanitised kids entertainment as we know it. This show is rated S for Stupid.

King sold his soul to the devil, lost his beloved, ended up shipwrecked and stranded…in Australia. Then he made history! (Kind of) based on a (mostly) true story, The Legend Of King O’Malley is a wild romp of epic storytelling.

VENUE: LA MAMA COURTHOUSE, 349 DRUMMOND ST, CARLTON DATES: APRIL 9–20 (EXCEPT MONDAY & TUESDAY) TIMES: 7.30PM (WEDNESDAYS & SUNDAYS 6.30PM) TICKETS: $15–$25

VENUE: NORTHCOTE TOWN HALL, 189 HIGH ST, NORTHCOTE DATES: APRIL 8–19 (EXCEPT SUNDAY & MONDAY) TIMES: 10.30AM & 1PM TICKETS: $18–$23

PORCELAIN PUNCH

THOMAS JASPERS

THE TRAVELLING MEDICINE SHOW

Rejoice as you partake in the phenomenon of Porcelain Punch Miracle Cure, the extraordinary elixir of immortality. Curer of incurable conditions, bestower of beauty and extender of the under endowed. Experience amazing acts, fantastic feats, exquisite oddities and old fashioned integrity. Within this unique vaudevillian show, individual and group acts – testimonies and living proof of Porcelain Punch and its ‘healing properties’ – are interspersed with comedic pitches and audience participation by frontman, Professor Leonard Grad accompanied by illuminating songstress Miss Ellie May Rose.

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A big, black, tender-hearted comedy written by one off Australia’s hottest writing talents, award winner Caleb Lewis. Oscar has made a great life in the city after escaping the burden of his small town family history. He has a fiancé, a new job on the horizon and seems to have moved on from his tragic past. But a series of mysterious deaths in the family bring him back to his home town of Bowengabbie, time and again, for the understandably sad yet strangely festive funerals. Is it love that is bringing him back? A tragic twist of fate? Or is something more sinister at play?

SKETCH-AGEDDON

With Basil, Sybil and Manuel on hand and only a third of the h show scripted, anything can happen as audiences take a seat in the ‘Fawlty Towers’ restaurant. On the menu: all the best gags, shambolic service, and a ‘70s style three-course meal. This is fully immersive, site-specific comedy theatre at its best – just don’t mention the war!

WIN

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GOD, SAVE THE QUEEN

Thomas Jaspers grew up in an elderly nursing home and most st of his friends were little old ladies. Now he is obsessed with one little old lady in particular – the one on the back of our five dollar note. Did you know that according to government standards, Her Majesty is a binge drinker? Or that Freddie Mercury once dressed Princess Diana up in drag so that she could go clubbing incognito? Or that Prince Philip once asked Cate Blanchett to fix his DVD player because he heard she worked in the film industry? Join Jaspers on this camp romp from retirement to royalty; a beginner’s guide to becoming Queen. VENUE: LA MAMA THEATRE, 205 FARADAY ST, CARLTON DATES: APRIL 2–APRIL 13 (EXCEPT MONDAY & TUESDAY) TIME: 7.30PM TICKETS: $15–$25

WIN

TICKE TS T SHO O THIS BEAT.CW AT OM.AU

VENUE: THE PORTLAND HOTEL – GOLD ROOM, CNR RUSSELL & LT COLLINS ST, CBD DATES: MARCH 27–APRIL 19 (THURSDAYS, FRIDAYS & SATURDAYS) TIME: 11PM TICKETS: $18–$20

BEAT’S COMEDY FESTIVAL GUIDE 2014 BROUGHT TO YOU BY GRAVITY ESPRESSO


at’? to do th ‘I want g n i k n i how th comedy s out of a d e k l a w Ever

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$5.00 Tickets at Trybooking.com facebook.com/thefirstfiveminutes

2-6 Bourke March 27-30 @ April 3-6 @ April 10-13 @ April 17-19 @

Hotel

Street 5.00pm 5.00pm 5.00pm 5.00pm

Come get the funny out of your bones and onto the stage!

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COMEDY FESTIVAL GUIDE 2014 A POCKET FULL OF JOY

CELEBRITY THEATRESPORTS

A high energy, laugh-out-loud, toe-tapping musical for children. Join Holly the ukulele-playing adventurer on her quest to find the Mayor of Joyville! With a host of outrageously quirky characters, physical theatre, puppetry, live music and dancing, the whole family will have a riot of fun!

The show that inspired Whose Line Is It Anyway? is mad fun any day. When your favourite celebrities jump into the mix, out of their comfort zone and up to the neck in risk, you get the delightful 26th annual Celebrity Theatresports. In this good-natured family show, the hotly competitive teams vie for the coveted Peter Cook Cup. Inspired by audience suggestions and random events, never-before-seen scenes erupt on the spot, live and unscripted. This year’s celebrities include George Kapiniaris, Kevin Harrington, Lawrence Mooney, Chan and Steve from The Block, cast members from Neighbours, the Impro Melbourne All-Stars, and will be hosted by Russell Fletcher.

VENUE: LA MAMA THEATRE, 205 FARADAY ST, CARLTON DATES: APRIL 5 & 6, 11-13, 16–20 TIME: 2PM TICKETS: $15–$25

JACK TANDY

EL JAGUAR

THE RISE OF EL JAGUAR

GAMESHOW GAMESHOW

WIN

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A high-energy, highly interactive, mostly addictive comedy experience. Join former WWF wrestling/comedy superstar El Jaguar as he climbs back into the entertainment arena to put the smack down on average. Watch as El Jaguar wrestles with mediocre set ups! Cringe as he indulges in awkward pauses! Rejoice as he triumphs against your better judgement! A night you won’t forget, as it probably can’t be repeated.The Rise of El Jaguar! After a decade away, Derek Flores (Second City alumni, comedy theatre that spawned the likes of Tina Fey, Mike Myers, Stephen Colbert, Colin Mochrie, and members of Melbourne Comedy Festival favourites The 3 Canadians) is back with his latest comedy creation, El Jaguar!

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T SHO O THIS BEAT.CW AT OM.AU

STAY PUFT

You might have seen Jason before on The Project, Live at Bella Union or The Today Show, heard him on Nova or smelt him live at Il Dago II, Jason Chong’s Mum, Where’s The Remote? or Sort of the Rings. But now he’s back with a brand new show that looks at the ‘80s cinematic masterpiece Ghostbusters and why it means he can’t lose weight, no matter how hard the little nugget tries. And he’s tried everything – from hypnotherapy and bikram yoga to Lite n’ Easy and marathons. And each of his attempts has ended in another hilarious chapter in the Ballad of Fatty Chong. This gut-busting show is for everyone who has been judged harshly by Wii Fit, and secretly (or not so secretly) wants to be a Ghostbuster.

PUBLIC TOILETS, PRIVATE WORDS

VENUE: HAIRY LITTLE SISTA – UPSTAIRS LOUNGE, 240 LT COLLINS ST, CBD DATES: APRIL 8–20 (EXCEPT MONDAY) TIME: 7.30PM TICKETS: $15–$21

WIN

VENUE: TRADES HALL – THE FRONT ROOM, CNR LYGON & VICTORIA ST, CARLTON DATES: MARCH 27–APRIL 19 (THURSDAYS, FRIDAYS & SATURDAYS) TIME: 11PM TICKETS: $15–$18

LLATE NIGHT IMPRO

TTHE BINGO BOARD OF DOOM!

VENUE: MELBOURNE TOWN HALL – REGENT ROOM, CNR SWANSTON & COLLINS ST, CBD DATES: MARCH 28–APRIL 12 (FRIDAYS & SATURDAYS) TIME: 11PM TICKETS: $15–$20

RADIO VARIETY HOUR

VENUE: LA MAMA THEATRE, 205 FARADAY ST, CARLTON DATES: APRIL 2–13 (EXCEPT MONDAY & TUESDAY) TIMES: 6PM (THURSDAYS & SATURDAYS 9PM, SUNDAYS 4PM) TICKETS: $15–$25

One of the brightest new comedians on the Melbourne scene, Rose Callaghan performs stand-up and hosts a roster of some of the best comedians of the festival. Featuring acts such as Josh Earl (Spicks and Specks), Geraldine Hickey (SBS2), Harley Breen (Adam Hills Tonight) and many more over 11 nights – every show will be different! A relatively new face on the Melbourne stand-up scene, Callaghan has already established herself as one of the local comedians to watch. In Rose Callaghan and Mates, Rose will talk about her stupid life, tell funny stories and generally ridicule herself and others in between introducing you to her mates, some of the funniest comedians around.

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Following up the success of Insert Sponsor Here: Radio Variety Hour, nominated for Best Comedy (Emerging) at Adelaide Fringe 2012, the gang are back. Using classic Foley items blended with atmospheric sound effects, Una Broben (Lauren Bok), Bert Maverick (Bert Goldsmith) and Herb Dunstone (Sam Marzden) give voice to dozens of characters as they recreate three new original ‘50s radio series, woven together with genuine authentic advertisements.

ic, An absurd comedic cabaret that makes privacy public, performing only the words found from toilet walls. This show publicises the private and gives faces to faceless words. Cabaret, puppetry and drama intertwine in this righteously dark comedy. Set in a nightclub toilet, three performers change characters, burst into song, break up, make up and more. Joyous, brazen and just a little bit naughty, Public Toilets, Private Words is an unforgettable experience for more reasons than one!

AND MATES

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It time to unleash the fan-favourite, improvisor-crushing, It’s side-splitting hilarity that is The Bingo Board of Doom! For over 750 years, Impro Melbourne has entertained late-night audiences with the crowd favourite, Late Night Impro. By popular demand, this year sees the return of a show so hilariously deadly, it was banned in every state of Australia: The Bingo Board of Doom!

TICKE TS T SHO O THIS BEAT.CW AT OM.AU

ROSE CALLAGHAN

VENUE: THE NATIONAL THEATRE, BARKLY ST, ST KILDA DATE: APRIL 19 TIME: 7.30PM TICKETS: $20–$35

It’s a game show! Points given, points taken, points caressed and sung to for good karma. Join hosts Jack Tandy and Coco McCocoa Kokomo-Calhoun for an epic ride into the epicentre of all things cheesy, wrong and musically raucous. BYO helmets.

VENUE: TRADES HALL – THE ANNEXE, CNR LYGON & VICTORIA ST, CARLTON DATES: MARCH 27–APRIL 20 (EXCEPT MONDAYS) TIMES: 8.15PM (SUNDAYS 7.15PM) TICKETS: $15–$25

JASON CHONG

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VENUE: THE DUKE OF WELLINGTON HOTEL, 146 FLINDERS ST, CBD DATES: MARCH 26–APRIL 7 (EXCEPT SUNDAYS) TIME: 6PM TICKETS: $10–$15

WIN

TICKE TS T SHO O THIS BEAT.CW AT OM.AU VENUE: COMEDY ON COLLINS, 156 COLLINS ST, CBD DATES: MARCH 27–APRIL 6 TIME: 8PM TICKETS: $15–$20

THE FIRST FIVE Have you ever walked out of a comedy show thinking ‘I could do that’? The Imperial Hotel is hosting workshops on how to start stand-up: the building blocks of jokes, stage presence, and tips on how to find gigs in Melbourne. Hosted by Lauren Bok, Best Emerging Comedy Nominee (2012 Adelaide Fringe) and writer for Channel 31’s Live on Bowen, The First Five aims ato inspire would-be comedians with useful, practical information in a fun, informal and supportive environment.

VENUE: IMPERIAL HOTEL, CNR BOURKE AND SPRING ST, CBD DATES: MARCH 27–APRIL 12 (THURSDAYS, FRIDAYS & SUNDAYS) TIME: 5PM TICKETS: $5

WIN

TICKE TS T SHO O THIS BEAT.CW AT OM.AU

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.COM.AU LBOURNE EVERY THING ME E ONLINE & MOBIL

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COMEDY FESTIVAL GUIDE 2014 CRAIG HILL

WIN

TARTAN ABOUT

Craig Hill has become a Comedy Festival favourite and returns in 2014 on the back of smash hits in 2012 and 2013. Don’t miss the chance to see Scotland’s favourite ‘kilty pleasure’ Craig Hill in his brand new show – Tartan About! Debuting at the 2013 Edinburgh Fringe, Tartan About proved a massive hit, selling out every ticket and receiving great reviews and phenomenal word-of-mouth. It’s a wickedly delicious evening of pure, unadulterated fun.

TICKE TS T SHO O THIS BEAT.CW AT OM.AU

Fabian Lapham and The Actual Musicians offer a turducken of entertainment; sketch that’s stuffed into music that’s stuffed into storytelling, that’s then stuffed into your fat fucking mind-mouth. A showcase of fantastical characters, dynamic rock-opera, and original storytelling. “What sort of storytelling?” I hear you ask. “Perhaps something deep and introspective about the human condition or a recent personal development?” NO. NO. FUCK NO. This storytelling is about robots killing people and stuff like that. Read the goddamned title.

VENUE: PRINCESS THEATRE, 163 SPRING ST, CBD DATES: MARCH 27-30, APRIL 8-20 (EXCEPT MONDAY) TIME: 7.30PM (EXCEPT APRIL 12 8.30PM) TICKETS: $45-$69.90

aliens, hot-dogs, and crabs – treat the audience to a puppet comedy variety show. This production delivers “two shows in one” as the hilarious puppet action is projected live on large screens flanking the stage, while the puppeteers race around below – displaying their skills in full view of the audience. It’s Whose Line Is It Anyway meets Saturday Night Live meets The Muppets.

After four decades as a political satirist, Rod is match fit and still delivering knock-out blows. His sell-out return to the Athenaeum Theatre in November last year saw him give a lesson in subversive, intelligent and engaged comedy and reminded audiences why he is the patriarch of Melbourne’s comedy scene. Although he’s probably best known for his subversive use of humour to champion social causes Rod also managed to pioneer stand-up comedy in Melbourne, sat on the board of the very first Melbourne International Comedy Festival, turn public transport into a venue and co-conceived and starred in Australia, You’re Standing In It, ABC TV’s first Melbourne comedy production and the door-opener for all that followed. Rod‘s contribution to Australian cultural life was recognised when he received the Individual Award at the 2004 Sydney Myer Performing Arts Awards. Australian politics is backed into a corner of its own devising – with

masterpiece. Who knew self-destruction could be this much fun? Warning: may contain traces of Nutbush. VENUE: THE BUTTERFLY CLUB, 5 CARSON PLACE, CBD DATES: MARCH 27–APRIL 6 (THURSDAYS, FRIDAYS, SATURDAYS & SUNDAYS) TIMES: 7PM (SUNDAYS 6PM) TICKETS: $18-$23

Stella Young will make her much anticipated Melbourne International Comedy Festival solo show debut in 2014 when she digs deep into life on four wheels in Tales From the Crip. Young is a cripple. Some people call her “special needs” but she learned from a young age that “special” is a code word for “crap”. And oh Lord, please don’t call her “handycapable” or she may accidentally run over your big toe. Tales From The Crip documents some of Young’s own experiences surrounding the misconceptions of disability, as well as other stories of her own epic fails involving a carrot bin in a supermarket.

THE RETURN OF THE ERIC

The media have crowned her “an outrageous combination of Shirley Bassey and Dawn French”, “immensely talented” with “amazing vocal strength”. But audiences say she’s an appalling, unpredictable, shameless, narcissistic, drunken nut-job. Find out for yourself when The Fabulous Dame Farrar makes her Melbourne debut accompanied by musician and composer John Rodgers and featuring circus wunderkind Simone Salle. Witness the train crash live onstage including the Dame’s amazing solo duet, her high maintenance cross-dressing musician ex-husband, an inappropriate lap dog, and her hopeless adopted daughter with inverted nipples...but enough about them, it’s all about The Dame!

After four years in the wilderness Scott Gooding returns with a renewed vigour and a bunch of new writers to bring this one man sketch comedy show. Once again enlisting the support and writing skills of some of Melbourne’s most prolific playwrights. Sketches by Emilie Collyer, Dave Hoskin, Karin Muiznieks, Morgan Rose, Neil Triffet and Nic Vellissaris. Returning to the directors seat is long-performing comedian of stage and television, Scott Brennan.

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VENUE: THE BUTTERFLY CLUB, 5 CARSON PLACE, CBD DATES: APRIL 10-20 (THURSDAYS, FRIDAYS, SUNDAYS & APRIL 12 ONLY) TIMES: 7PM (SUNDAYS 6PM) TICKETS: $18-$23

TIEN TRAN

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VENUE: NORTHCOTE TOWN HALL, 189 HIGH ST, NORTHCOTE DATES: MARCH 28–APRIL 19 (WEDNESDAYS, FRIDAYS & SUNDAYS) TIMES: 7PM (SUNDAYS 6PM) TICKETS: $20-$25

VENUE: LA MAMA THEATRE, 205 FARADAY STREET, CARLTON DATES: APRIL 16-20 TIMES: 6.30PM (SECOND SHOW AT 8.30PM ON THURSDAY– SUNDAY) TICKET: $15-$25

THE WRESTLING

IF YOU DON’T KNOW, NOW YOU KNOW

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politicians only concerned with the business of power and pundits cheering on the collective race to the bottom. Never has Rod Quantock’s unrivalled capacity to incite considered conversations and debate been more necessary.

TALES FROM THE CRIP

THE FABULOUS DAME FARRAR’S DAZZLING DISPLAY OF STUPENDOUS ACTS FOR THE STAGE!

Tien is someone who’s in cultural limbo. Being born here, Australians don’t consider him an Australian and the Vietnamese don’t really consider him as Vietnamese either. This allows Tien to bring a unique outsider’s perspective to his comedy, bringing laughs with social commentary and absurd observations. You may not agree with some of his outlandish viewpoints but at least it will be funny. Most recently, Tien was handpicked last year to be one of five comedians in the Melbourne International Comedy Festival’s prestigious The Comedy Zone – a showcase of up-and-comers from around the country. Come and see what all the fuss is about!

VENUE: MELBOURNE TOWN HALL – POWDER ROOM, CNR SWANSTON & COLLINS ST, CBD DATES: MARCH 27–APRIL 20 (EXCEPT MONDAYS) TIMES: 6PM (SUNDAYS 5PM) TICKETS: $26-$32

STELLA YOUNG

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Liz Skitch is best known as a comic accordionist dionist and hosts the monthly Moulin Beige vaudeville night but her new show, Spoilt, is something of a departure from that. Trained at the school of Philippe Gaulier, Skitch is also an expert character actor, mimic, clown and bouffon. Plus she wears the heck out of a wig. She created Spoilt last year and premiered it at La Mama as part of the Fringe Festival (it went down a treat for lovers of black comedy) and now it’s back for MICF with a new director, Fiona Scott Norman, more gags and extra squirm factor! In the show Liz plays a myriad of characters who all have one thing in common: they are Spoilt. These five spoilt women unravel as the worlds of a reality ‘star’, celebrity trainer, botoxed celebrant, small-dog loving PR, and bridezilla collide. Spoilt flips the dark side of narcissism and self-improvement sunnyside up in an electric comedy

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PEAK-A-BOO

UNCENSORED

SPOILT

VENUE: NORTHCOTE TOWN HALL, 189 HIGH ST, NORTHCOTE DATES: APRIL 1-18 (EXCEPT MONDAYS) TIMES: 8.30PM (SUNDAYS 7.30PM) TICKETS: $10-$20

ROD QUANTOCK

HENSON ALTERNATIVE’S PUPPET UP!

LIZ SKITCH

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THE ROBOT THAT KEPT KILLING ME & OTHER STORIES THAT WILL MAKE YOUR MIND SHIT ITS PANTS

VENUE: CHAPEL OFF CHAPEL, 12 LITTLE CHAPEL ST, PRAHAN DATES: APRIL 9-17 TIMES: 8PM (SUNDAY 7PM) TICKETS: $29-$35

Following highly successful 2013 seasons in both Edinburgh and Toronto, the grown-ups wing of The Jim Henson Company hit the Melbourne International Comedy Festival in 2014 with Uncensored, a live show that lets loose the perilous and provocative elements of comedy onstage with a bunch of fine-looking puppets. A night of major laughs, not for minors. A sell-out hit at the 2007 Melbourne Comedy Festival, Henson puppeteers are unleashed in this outrageous and very spontaneous show, featuring over 60 original Jim Henson puppets – a motley group of characters brought to life by a cast of six world-class puppeteers of The Jim Henson Company in a night of off the cuff comedy. Anything goes as Puppet Up!’s cupboard of technicolor puppets – animals, humans,

FABIAN LAPHAM & THE ACTUAL MUSICIANS

WIN

TICKE TS T SHO O THIS BEAT.CW AT OM.AU VENUE: FORUM THEATRE THEA – CARPET ROOM, CNR FLINDERS & RUSSELL ST, CBD DATES: MARCH 27–APRIL 20 (EXCEPT MONDAYS) TIMES: 8.30PM (SUNDAYS 7.30PM) TICKETS: $15-$20

The grandest, most outrageous spectacle in the comedy universe is coming to the 2014 Melbourne Comedy Festival. For one night only, Melbourne Town Hall will be taken over by Edinburgh Fringe Panel Prize-winning megashow The Wrestling, a death-defying extravaganza pitting professional wrestlers against world-class comedians in a chaotic whirlwind of punchlines, clotheslines and potentially broken bones. Created by UK comedy masterminds Max and Ivan (Barry nominees – Most Outstanding Show, 2013), The Wrestling sees some of the best (and bravest) local and international comedians take a break from their festival shows, step into a 20x20 foot wrestling ring, and do battle. This is actually going to happen. It’s a one-night tournament of good versus evil, in which our brave/foolhardy comedians will team up with monstrous wrestlers from the professional circuit. Max Olesker, one half of Max and Ivan, was once Britain’s youngest professional wrestler and – now that

VENUE: MELBOURNE TOWN HALL – MAIN HALL, CNR SWANSTON & COLLINS ST, CBD DATE: APRIL 14 TIME: 8PM TICKETS: $33-$45

his ankle has healed (he broke it midway through the 2011 show) – he will be competing once again as ‘Max Voltage– The Human Dynamo’. In the past, The Wrestling has pitted big-name comedians such as Russell Kane, Brendon Burns and Andrew Maxwell against the meanest and leanest of professional wrestlers.

BEAT’S COMEDY FESTIVAL GUIDE 2014 BROUGHT TO YOU BY GRAVITY ESPRESSO


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COMEDY FESTIVAL GUIDE 2014

SPECIAL EVENTS CAPITOL CLASSICS

The Big Lebowski

Melbourne International Comedy Festival and Gusto Films celebrate the intricate art of comedy on film screening a series of Hollywood classics alongside an Australian classic short film, all to be shown on the big screen of Australia’s first picture palace, the Capitol Theatre, each Saturday of festival. Catch a screening of National Lampoon’s Vacation, Best In Show, Tootsie and The Big Lebowski.

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Sean Choolburra

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NATIONAL FINAL AND SHOWCASE

Fantastic, fresh – and totally deadly – funnies are shared in our search for those who are ‘cheeky and loud, black and proud’ around the country. The Melbourne International Comedy Festival celebrates more than 60,000 years of jokes and hilarious story-telling by the longest living culture on the planet with Australia’s premier Aboriginal comedy program. Earlier this year, entrants participated in workshops run by Australia’s funniest fraternity offering tips and advice on how to expand and develop performance techniques before the potential stars of tomorrow competed in heats held in the nation’s capital cities to determine the national finalists. Australia’s best Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander comedians will be brought to the festival to perform all together under one roof at Melbourne Town Hall. Hosted by Kevin Kropinyeri with performances from special feature acts Sean Choolburra, Shiralee Hood and Andrew Saunders this is guaranteed to be one raucous night. The comic that wins the Deadly Funny title will win a $2,000 cash prize.

RAW COMEDY

VENUE: MELBOURNE TOWN HALL – SUPPER ROOM, CNR SWANSTON & COLLINS ST, CBD DATE: APRIL 5 TIME: 3PM TICKETS: $15-$23.50

NATIONAL GRAND FINAL

THE FESTIVAL CLUB

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VENUE: MELBOURNE TOWN HALL – MAIN HALL, CNR SWANSTON & COLLINS ST, CBD DATE: APRIL 3 TIME: 1PM TICKETS: $13.50-$15

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TICKE TS T SHO O THIS BEAT.CW AT OM.AU

Deadly Funny alumni Sean Choolburra and Kevin Kropinyeri are teaming up for the deadliest comedy bill ever. Guaranteed to offer a unique and hilarious insight into life as Indigenous Australians, Double Up is chock full of joyful stand-up, outrageous stories and ridiculously fun physical comedy. Four shows only, this deadly double bill is not to be missed.

VENUE: MELBOURNE TOWN HALL – MINI MAIN, CNR SWANSTON & COLLINS ST, CBD DATES: MARCH 28, 29 & APRIL 4, 5 TIMES: 9.30PM TICKETS: $22-$26.50

Suren Jayemanne

WIN

TICKE TS T SHO O THIS BEAT.CW AT OM.AU

Australians finest emerging comics step out of the jungle and into The Comedy Zone. The future of comedy has swung in, get amongst it and see them now before they snap their vine onto the world’s stage. Game fit and fiercely sharp The Comedy Zone is made up of five wild, untamed comics from four Australian states. Introducing Aaron Chen, Suren Jayemanne, Demi Lardner, Becky Lucas and Geoffrey Windle. Past Zoners include Lawrence Leung, Claire Hooper, Josh Thomas, Hannah Gadsby, Celia Pacquola, Sammy J, Ronny Chieng and more.

VENUE: TRADES HALL – OLD COUNCIL CHAMBERS, CNR LYGON & VICTORIA ST, CARLTON DATES: MARCH 27–APRIL 20 (EXCEPT MONDAYS) TIMES: 8.15PM (SUNDAYS 7.15PM) TICKETS: $19.50–$23.50

VENUE: MELBOURNE TOWN HALL – MAIN HALL, CNR SWANSTON & COLLINS ST, CBD DATE: APRIL 13 TIME: 5PM TICKETS: $28-$35

Fiona O’Loughlin

If the Melbourne Town Hall is the grand old dame of the Comedy Festival, then The Festival Club is our cheeky cousin, where anything can happen (and probably will)! Returning to the basement of inner-city Melbourne’s staple The Hi-Fi, the club’s thumping heart resonates all the way up to Swanston St. Crowds will cosy up against one another and punters will get amongst the grit, the insomnia, and the unscripted genius of some of the best comedians around.

VENUE: THE HI-FI, 125 SWANSTON ST, CBD DATES: MARCH 27-APRIL 20 (EXCEPT MONDAY) TIMES: 11.15PM (10.15PM SUNDAYS) TICKETS: $10-$20

WIN

TICKE TS T SHO O THIS BEAT.CW AT OM.AU

DOUBLE UP

THE COMEDY ZONE

2013 winner Demi Lardner

Hundreds of Australia’s up and coming comics came out of hiding this year to go boldly where brave comedy legends have hiked before – the ultimate comedy cliff face: RAW Comedy. A group of comedy aficionados weathered our sunburnt country earlier this year in a bid to bag some emerging comics itching to compete in Australia’s biggest and most prestigious annual open-mic comedy competition. After surviving the heats, it’s time for the top twelve finalists to conquer their comedy Everest with their best five minutes of funny battling it out at the RAW Comedy National Grand Final. Join host Ronny Chieng in this two-hour display of hilarity to check out that nation’s most promising funny new faces of comedy. The winner will be announced at the end of the show and will receive the prestigious headless chicken trophy and will also be flown to Edinburgh Festival Fringe to compete in So You Think You’re Funny? in August.

NATIONAL GRAND FINAL Fresh-faced funnies will take their wisecracks from the science room to the stage with a bag packed full of laugh-outloud learnings as only the most elite juvenile jokesters enrol in the school of comedy culminating in the ultimate exam, the Class Clowns National Grand Final. Earlier this year, the Festival sent professional comics out to explore our vast land from classroom to schoolyard, leaving no stone left unturned, to discover the next generation of Australia’s best and brightest. After a workshop with a seasoned comedian these hilarious teens performed their funniest five minutes either solo or as a part of a group, in front of a live audience judged by comedy experts such as Anne Edmonds and Joel Creasey. After conquering the state finals, the cream of the ‘young comedy crop’ have revised their skits and perfected their tricks, ready to battle it out in front of a panel of industry experts.

VENUE: RMIT CAPITOL THEATRE, 113 SWANSTON ST, CBD DATES: MARCH 29-APRIL 19 (SATURDAYS ONLY) TIME: 9PM TICKETS: $15

DEADLY FUNNY

CLASS CLOWNS

WIN

TICKE TS T SHO O THIS BEAT.CW AT OM.AU

UPFRONT

Anne Edmonds

WIN

TICKE TS T SHO O THIS BEAT.CW AT OM.AU

The giggle grabbing glamour girls of comedy are back for a night of wit, style and sass as they take to the stage in Upfront, the ultimate ‘girls night out’ of the Melbourne International Comedy Festival. Host Geraldine Quinn’s Spandex Ballet will be rockin’ the driver’s seat with a lineup boasting the best female comics from Australia and abroad. The festival’s fantastically funny femmes have been dazzling Melbourne audiences in Upfront for almost two decades, with their clever cracks and waggish accounts. Gracing the stage this year in a sensational all lady lineup of talent is Nelly Thomas, Celia Pacquola, Kate McLennan, Jennifer Wong, Felicity Ward, Em Rusciano, Mel Buttle, Hannah Gadsby, Cal Wilson, Rebecca De Unamuno, Anne Edmonds, Sarah Kendall, and Miss Itchy; and direct from over the international comedy waters comes Sarah Pascoe, Aparna Nancherla, Miss Behave and many, many more.

VENUE: MELBOURNE TOWN HALL – MAIN HALL, CNR SWANSTON & COLLINS ST, CBD DATE: APRIL 16 TIME: 7.30PM TICKETS: $30-$43.50

BEAT’S COMEDY FESTIVAL GUIDE 2014 BROUGHT TO YOU BY GRAVITY ESPRESSO


The Must See Show This Festival

THE STEVENSON EXPERIENCE

‘A flying hour of fun’ Adelaide Advertiser

‘Killer comedy songs they’ll be packing houses around the country’ Herald Sun

March 27— April 20 6.00 pm

(5.00 pm) Sunday

Melbourne Town Hall, Lunch Room

Ident ical T win M Com edy S u mash sical Hit

Book at comedyfestival.com.au or 1300 660 013

BEAT’S COMEDY FESTIVAL GUIDE 2014 BROUGHT TO YOU BY GRAVITY ESPRESSO

63


SYDNEY MORNING HERALD

jeFF GReeN

YOUTUBE SENSATION

NEEL KOLHATKAR

‘HANDS DOWN HILARIOUS’

LIVE ONSTAGE!

DON’T MISS THE HOTTEST STARS OF THE COMEDY FESTIVAL

“Brilliant”SMH

LIMITED SEASON ONLY!

All Guns Blazing 27 MAR – 6 APR TUE-SUN: FORUM THEATRE

‘★★★★★ ’ THE METRO, UK

8.15PM (7.15PM SUNDAYS)

MON 31 MAR, 7 & 14 APR: MELBOURNE TOWN HALL 7PM

TRADES HALL 27 MAR – 20 APR 7.15PM (6.15PM SUNS) (EXCL. MONDAYS) /neelk

TWITTER.COM/JEFFGREEN007

THE GAMES MASTER ★★★★★

THE SCOTSMAN

“HILARIOUS, “HILARIOUS RIOUS HARD-HITTING… HUG THIS MAN TODAY” THE LIST

MELBOURNE TOWN HALL 27 MAR – 20 APR TUES – SAT 9.45PM, SUN 8.45PM, MON 7.15PM

twitter.com/thegregfleet / g g instagram.com/gregfleetman

CLASS CLOWNS WINNER 2009

FACEBOOK.COM/NEEL.KOLHATKAR94

FACEBOOK.COM/COMEDIANJEFFGREEN

GREG FLEET

on i t a r e N GE edY com

DIRECTED BY JANELLE KOENIG

ESELY JRO EA

C

Rock

God

“He’’s a f**king star! I love him!” JO JOAN AN RIV I ER ERSS

““★ ★★★★★” THE HERALD SUN

“AA revelation!” THE AGE

SWIS S SS CL LUB Fl F in inde d rss La 2 27 MA ARC CH - 20 APRIL ((EXCL L. MON NDA DAYS YS))

9.45PM (8.45 45 5PM SUN UNDA D YS DA YS))

facebook.com/joelcreasey

tw witi ter.com/ m/jo joel elcreasey

AMOS

Titty Bar Ha Ha GILL A musical comedy of high end filth d

WRITTEN BY DEMI LARDNER AND JAMES MCCANN

“HITS THE RIGHT NOTE… INVENTIVE AND ENGAGING… IMPECCABLE COMIC TIMING” The Age “BELIEVE THE HYPE AND GO SEE THIS AWESOME SHOW!” squirrelcomedy.com.au

You've Change

WINNER

“IMPRESSIVE, CLEVER”

Critics Pick

BEST COMEDY – EMERGING ADELAIDE FRINGE 2013

TRADES HALL 27 MARCH - 20 APRIL (EXCL. MONS) 9.30PM (8.30PM SUNDAYS)

Based on Wolf Creek the movie, written by Greg McLean

BY BACKULAR P O P AND! DEM

SYDNEY MORNING HERALD

27 MAR – 20 APR (excl. Mondays) 8.30pm (7.30pm Sundays)

PORTLAND HOTEL

Adelaide Fringe

TWITTER.COM/AMOSGILL22

I’M

KHALED

/JOSHWADE

JOSH WADE

KHALAFALLA ALLA LLA A

Fresh F h IN N

“A BR BRIGHT RI YOUNGG STAR!”” THE AGE

15+ MILLION VIEWS WINNER - BEST ONLINE COMEDY SERIES 2013

TRADES HALL 27 MAR-208.30PMAPRR 9.30PM ( SUNS )

27 MAR - 20 APR

(EXCL. MONDAYS)

FACEBOOK.COM/KHALEDREPUBLIC

9:45pm (EXcl. Mon)

TONY STARR’S T

267 LT COLLINS ST

TONY STARR’S 267 LITTLE COLLINS ST

27 MAR-20 APR 7.15PM (EXCL MONDAYS)

Full info and tickets available at comedyfestival.com.au

2014 Melbourne International Comedy Festival Guide  

Beat's guide to the 2014 Melbourne International Comedy Festival.

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