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THE INTRO

WELCOME TO THE MELBOURNE INTERNATIONAL COMEDY FESTIVAL GUIDE

The portal is opening once again. A glorious, relentless four-week blast of joy and chaos is about to descend on Melbourne. It’s an incredible world-class festival of unique minds alchemically turning the pain of life into the joy of laughter right in front of your face. Tickets, posters, beers, lights, hecklers, conversations, revelations, accents, music, stupidity, experimentation and dance are all going to spring up intensively for four weeks then disappear like they never happened, leaving Melbourne as suddenly as it came with no trace but a bunch of shattered comedians and a lot of happy punters. Words by Dave Callan. Pics by Sarah Walker. e Victorians are incredibly lucky to have this festival on our doorstep. Why did comedy choose Melbourne? Why the hell is it so big? Why is it so exciting? Why does it work so well? Why is it so intoxicating and dynamic and life-affirming? It’s just a bunch of people talking into microphones in front of curtains for 60 minutes in dark rooms. Nobody knows why it is so brilliant, it’s just a kind of magic – go with it and get out there and love it while it’s here as much as you can. Seriously, there is a lot of funny coming. Shit is going to be dialled up to 11 in the lol department so get out there before that stark Monday morning comes where the flyers are swept away by the street cleaners and the town hall returns to its usual grey palette.

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Experience is a harsh school but it is the only one we can learn in. Skip a few lessons with this handy advice:

If you’re a comedian: - Don’t get really drunk. Trust me. I gave that plenty of effort and the returns were very minimal. That person you accidentally knocked down the stairs of the Hi-Fi Bar could be a potential employer.

- Watch as many shows as you can. - If your season is bad or a show is bad, guess whose fault it is? Yours. It’s not the temperature in the room, it’s not the crowd – it’s you. Don’t beat yourself up, just work hard to get it right. - Don’t drink energy drinks before your show. First you’ll need one, then two and by the end of the run you’ll be a frazzled caffeine-dependent mess.

If you’re a punter:

- Just make people laugh, the politics and gossip are an illusion and you don’t have to buy into it. Respect everyone.

PRINTED BY Rural Press The utmost care has been taken in the production of this guide; however no responsibility will be assumed for any inaccuracies or inconsistencies.

- Don’t perform a sex act on a comedian’s genitals.*

Dave Callan

WRITERS Baz McAlister Guy Davis Matt Ziccone Sarah Braybrooke Annie Brown Kate Kingsmill Oliver Coelman Liza Dezfouli James Daniel Anthony Collebrusco Izzy Roberts Orr Paul Ransom Dave Drayton Paul Ransom Liz Giuffre Benjamin Meyer Samuel Hilton Brendan Hitchens Rebecca Cook Simon Eales Tony McMahon Aleksia Barron

PUBLISHER Street Press Australia Pty Ltd 584 Nicholson St, Fitzroy North, 3068 Locked Bar 2001, Clifton Hill, VIC, 3068 Ph: (03) 9421 4499 Fax: (03) 9421 1001

- If you lost the ‘what comedian should we see tonight’ argument with your friends or partner, try to not sit there radiating pure hatred. It’s not the comedian’s fault you lost so don’t blame them. We can see you and your death stare is very off putting. Get on board and try to enjoy yourself. You get to pick the next show you go to, I am sure.

- Don’t go over time. People have to get to other shows and you’re sharing your space with other comedians.

EDITOR Cassandra Fumi

COVER DESIGN/LAYOUT Matt Davis

- Go to everything you can. You won’t regret it. Okay you’ll regret some of it but you’ll find some amazing stuff you wouldn’t normally have and you’ll get to say I saw (stadium act of 2017) when they were in a 40-seater at the Northcote Town Hall.

*if you’re a weird stalker

MANAGING EDITOR Andrew Mast

ADVERTISING Anna Moull Andrew Phillips James Seeney Brett Dayman

- Don’t let weird stalkers perform sex acts on your genitals.

- Do something different in your show every night. I read once that every time you cook you should experiment with adding a new ingredient. You should do that in your show, even if it’s just a new way to deliver a line.

CREDITS

The opinions expressed in this publication are not necessarily those of the publishers. No part may be reproduced without prior written consent of the copyright holder.

Alright, let’s do this (bangs spear against shield like a Spartan) – the only way out of hell is through it. Let’s go. Have a great time and enjoy the Inpress Comedy Festival Guide 2013.

©2013 Street Press Australia

See the Daves Page (38) for all the details on Dave Callan’s (and a few other Daves’s) shows.

PAUL FOOT’S PICKS FOR 2013 MICF nter a comedian’s home and you will frequently find their shelves packed with comedy DVDs and their mind a treasure trove of information about other stand-ups. I’m the opposite type of comedian: I almost never attend comedy shows and, upon getting in from a night’s work, I unwind by immersing myself in murder mysteries. I know, love and respect all comedians, but I am less familiar with the comedy they create than an average audience member. Of course, sometimes I cannot avoid seeing it! Such an occasion occurred last year, when recording a television stand-up gala here in Melbourne. The performance of Simon Munnery was a breath of fresh air. His thoughts are preposterous, mind-expanding and utterly hilarious. I could watch him for hours. I shan’t watch his show at this year’s festival, however, as I wish not

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to be influenced by it – his originality and brilliance all the more reason why I choose to stay away. You don’t have that problem. Attend immediately. Eddie Pepitone’s wondrous humour was foisted upon me last year at a TV recording in San Francisco. This wholly ridiculous American man was already familiar to me, as we once shared a hotel room (again, for televisual purposes). It was a terrible time: I hardly slept as I was forever laughing at Eddie and his comments. Eddie is as funny on stage as off. Comedy is in his bones. His performances are possessed of a spectacular energy. He is simply one of the best and most naturally gifted entertainers working today. The show Set List is unlike any other you are likely to see. It features various comedians (including me, occasionally) each performing for about ten minutes – their improvised act based on bizarre

topics that are given to them only when they arrive on stage. Some comics describe it as the most frightening thing they do – it feels like being a beginner all over again. The results, though, are exciting, funny, touching, insightful and highly entertaining. There’s a different bill each night and, to a greater extent than any other show, you will see marvellous comedy that will never be recreated. It is a real treat. It’s also fascinating to watch the varied approaches of the comedians (whilst, in my case, attempting not to be influenced, of course!) and to observe how all their minds work quite differently. I hope you go. Paul Foot WHAT: Paul Foot: Kenny Larch Is Dead WHEN & WHERE: Thursday 28 March to Sunday 21 April, Hi-Fi


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THE COVER STARS

TINY ACTS OF REBELLION

HAPPINESS IS A BEDSIDE TABLE Gadsby’s on the phone from her new-found and long-term digs, a flat above her brother’s fruit and vegetable shop. She’s settled in nicely already; as we speak she’s playing Wii Tennis on the pride and joy of her “stuff”, a giant television. “I found out that if you’re on television, a television is tax-deductible, so I thought I’d make use of that. I’ve never owned a television before, I’ve not even hooked it up to the aerial, I just watch DVDs... Oh, great rally, just one down the line there if you don’t mind,” she says, momentarily distracted by her onscreen efforts.

format a ‘comic presentation’. “Imagine, if you will, a presentation in the Flinders Room at the local Marriott with a boxful of empty donuts at the back,” he says. Fulcher says he reckons there is a rebellious streak in every single one of us, it’s just a matter of degrees. “Everyone can do the ‘tiny acts’,” he says. “It keeps us from turning into that Michael Douglas character in that movie Falling Down. In the show, we try and get the audience to learn how to be a ‘tiny acter’ by going through a series of tests. I also pick an audience member to do an actual ‘tiny act’ during the show outside of the venue. Don’t worry, there have been minimal deaths since the show’s inception.”

One tiny act at a time, Rich Fulcher is undermining the status quo. He tells Baz McAlister how to make your mother go apeshit. ust a few years ago, Rich Fulcher – he who delighted fans of The Mighty Boosh with his Cheese Is A Kind Of Meat song, and by licking his finger and rubbing his nipple as Bob Fossil – wrote a book. It was quite a successful book. It documented 97 infinitesimal yet satisfying ways to stick it to The Man on a daily basis, often without The Man even noticing. This year, he’s penned a stand-up adaptation of Tiny Acts Of Rebellion. But even with the aid of slides, how many of the 97 acts is he going to cram into 60 minutes?

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“I wanted the least funny ones to go in the show,” Fulcher says. “That way, if no one laughs, then I can always blame my bad judgment. But it’s true that you don’t have nearly enough time to everything justice so you really do have to pick the ones you like. It’s amazing how fast an hour’s show goes by – I think it’s, like, 30 minutes.” Fulcher has recruited fellow comedian Xavier Michelides to be his assistant in the show and help him demonstrate some of the tiny acts. He calls the

“But, you know, beggars can’t be choosers. This flat is a shithole, but it’s mine because it’s something I can afford. I was only at home three months of last year so it seems silly to maintain a place while travelling, but I can do that with this place. There’s no heating, no cooling, so there’s only about two months of the year where that’s okay in Melbourne, and it’s got ugly carpet but I love it. I’ve found the secret of happiness is to have really low expectations.”

He painfully recalls what he considers his first tiny act of rebellion: “I guess when I was little,” he says, “my mum would wait for my dad to come home and I would often say, ‘maybe he’s dead’. That’s a bit mental but it’s sort of a rebellion against my mum because I knew she’d go apeshit.”

“IT’S AMAZING HOW W FAST AN HOUR’S SHITO’S, GOES BY – I THINK S.” LIKE, 30 MINUTE Since the book came out, Fulcher has been building a Tiny Act Army all over the globe, united through his website, where people report their tiny acts of rebellion to him. “The troops are strong,” he says. “I am a little light in North Korea and parts of Brisbane, but other than that I’d say we are slowly taking over the earth.” WHAT: Rich Fulcher: Tiny Acts Of Rebellion WHEN & WHERE: Monday 15 to Sunday 21 April, Town Hall

Comedian Hannah Gadsby talks to Baz McAlister about the joys of owning furniture, the subject of her new festival show. asmanian comic Hannah Gadsby isn’t chasing fame, money or a lavish lifestyle. She’s just after somewhere safe she can pop her glasses while she sleeps. That’s the heart and soul of her new hourlong stand-up show, Happiness Is A Bedside Table.

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“It’s just all about settling down,” she says. “I’ve always been a bit of a drifter. That’s the comedian’s lifestyle, touring all the time, of course, but to be honest I was nomadic before I did comedy. I’ve never lived anywhere longer than six months. I’ve always been in other people’s spaces, really, and I’ve never owned stuff. So for the first time in my life, I own stuff! Useful stuff, like furniture.” Gadsby pauses, taking stock of how her enthusiasm has leapt skywards during her last two sentences. “It feels very adult, but it sounds very juvenile to say. I’m a 35-year-old woman, I really should have chalked this up before now.”

PARTY POOPER

Don’t like facing up the baseness and vulgarity in all of us? Then don’t go see Genevieve Fricker. She tells Matt Ziccone about the socially unthinkable. enevieve Fricker is the first to admit that “Pooing yourself can change the way you look at love” – and with that comment, her new show’s title, Party Pooper, starts to take on meaning. Genevieve’s life seems to be going the way any young comedian would dream of it going. “I go to work, make filthy jokes, go home, make filthy jokes, and go to the club and make filthy jokes,” she says. “It’s great.” Genevieve just started working for The Roast on ABC2. The show, being so fresh and on an ABC dollar, allows her to perform, to write and even build sets occasionally. She also gets to work with Charles Firth of Chaser fame. In 2008, she was not making humour, but playing double bass. “Being a classical musician is even harder than comedy. You are either working or not working,” she says. “With

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WHAT: Genevieve Fricker: Party Pooper WHEN & WHERE: Thursday 28 March to Sunday 21 April, Forum

“I love doing that show because it’s a chance to talk about anything but myself. I studied art history and curatorship at uni, back when I thought I might be normal,” she says. “I had no ambition to be an artist, no; because I had no talent. I just loved art. Maybe it was all the naked women. I’m doing a show all about nudes this year – I got sick of doing the virgin,” she laughs. WHAT: Hannah Gadsby: Happiness Is A Bedside Table and Naked Nudes WHEN & WHERE: Thursday 28 March to Sunday 21 April, NGV and Town Hall Supper Room

THE HEDGEHOG DILEMMA Vegemite on her toast), hails from a small town on the NSW coast, but has spent the last few months in LA. She proceeds to tell a series of very funny stories about life in Hollywood, including a visit to a medieval themed restaurant, her stay in a converted crack den, and having to watch Armenian-language telly. It’s obvious she’s a natural-born storyteller, but it has been a long road to stand-up for Ward.

comedy, you work”. At university she spent time performing in university reviews, creating sketches and “getting drunk on the university dime”. Her true bump into comedy, however, came at the time of a super tough, long-distance break up. Convinced by her friends to turn to the darkness and make some comedy, she entered RAW Comedy and became a wildcard finalist. Her first gigs were to crowds over a thousand – not empty rooms. Since then she has been writing for the Sydney Morning Herald, she’s performed at Sydney Fringe and Comedy Festivals and made Ciao magazine look like sexist fools. Her first show in Melbourne and the Comedy Festival, Party Pooper, looks at Fricker’s obsession with tragic love and the lesson she learned from its repercussions. The show looks at her break up and finding out that love isn’t the ideal you search for but the person who loves the utterly disgusting you. She says her inspiration for this came from her current relationship. “On tour with comedians you lose your understanding of limits,” she says. “It’s just a mess, lots of partying, and never good hangovers.” She had a moment to see her current boyfriend for a coffee and in one unprepared moment she crapped herself. “He literally saw me shit myself and still loves me,” she says. It made her re-evaluate her lust for tragic romance and crave the filthy. She describes it as a “mid-level Neighbours episode but with more faeces and more jizz.” One of the elements of life that Fricker finds hilarious is when someone she respects acts completely undignified. “This baseness and ugliness and vulgarity is in everyone,” she says. “I don’t want to be liked by the audience but for them to be disgusted and relate, then be disgusted in themselves.” She wants to fight the paradigm of classical love with the gritty tale of reality. Be prepared to cringe and laugh at this funny lady. The best way to prepare for the show is to know that she banned her parents from coming.

As well as touring her show around the country’s comedy festivals this year, during her run in Melbourne Gadsby will again be doing her extremely popular art-themed show at the National Gallery of Victoria. Becoming an annual tradition, it ties into one of Gadsby’s dearest hobbies and is always funny as well as informative. Last year’s show looked at the role of the Virgin Mary as a muse for artists.

Felicity Ward’s career perpetuates from the fear of writing her last joke. She tells Sarah Braybrooke about the lives of hedgehogs and injecting dick jokes into sad stories. ack for one night only during this year’s comedy festival, Felicity Ward’s show, The Hedgehog Dilemma, now comes with a string of awards and rave reviews – but not with any actual hedgehogs in it, it turns out. “The show is not about hedgehogs” Ward laughs. “The hedgehog dilemma is a premise that was used by Schopenhauer and Freud, that hedgehogs can either cuddle up and be warm, but hurt each other with their spikes, or be cold and alone. That’s the hedgehog dilemma.” In the show it’s not just an abstract question, but a personal one “The beginning of the show is when I stopped drinking alcohol, left my fiancée of eight years, and moved back in with my mother. That’s the starting point, which makes it sound really sad, but it’s not... There are a lot of dick jokes.”

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The thoroughly Aussie comic (a scraping noise on the line turns out to be Ward audibly spreading

She began performing stand-up at the age of 28 via straight acting and sketch comedy, and long stints working as a tour and production manager. It wasn’t an obvious decision, she says. “It’s weird, I used to think I was never ever going to do stand-up when I was younger, because you had to be so honest, you have to be yourself, you can’t hide behind anything.” So why do it? “I don’t know. I’m trying to decide whether I am enough of an attention seeker that I’ll tell you anything to get you to laugh or not!” Ward smiles. “But I do believe that there’s something quite powerful about being incredibly honest, and I feel like you create a connection. A lot of people laugh out of relief at me: they laugh out of relief that it’s not them. Or they laugh out of relief that it’s happened to someone else as well as them. When I tell them something quite personal, and they laugh a lot, I like to think that there’s a bunch of people thinking: we are sharing a secret and no-one else in the room knows it.” Ward is convinced she can tell from their laughs which audience members can relate the most – especially with the really lewd jokes. Ward continues to be interested in straight acting as well as comedy, although she is circumspect about the route her career will take. “I don’t know if this is too philosophical, but I abandoned the idea of charting my own path a long time ago,” She confesses. “I am still afraid that every joke I write is going to be the last joke I write. I just think, ‘Well that’s the last one. Time to get out the waitressing CV again. It was good doing stand up.’” So what keeps the jokes coming? Ward reflects for a moment before laughing, “Self-awareness and self-deprecation.” WHAT: Felicity Ward: The Hedgehog Dilemma WHEN & WHERE: Monday 15 April, Athenaeum


THE COVER STARS

MOTHER

MINDBLENDER

knows. “Every relationship I’ve had has been unconventional, every aspect of my career and my work life has been kind of different to anyone else’s I’ve experienced,” she says. “So how do I know where to go and what to do? This sense of not knowing, and not having had anyone go before me, is really kind of getting to me. It’s great to make your own way and do your own thing but it would be great to have someone to show me.”

Margaret Cho is dedicating here new show, Mother, “...to all the kids who don’t know how to grow up.” Guy Davis learns the burden of mothering the world. argaret Cho is at an interesting stage of her life. The acclaimed stand-up comedian admits that at 44 years of age she’s “Old enough to be everyone’s mother” but cops to “still acting like a child”. And without a bunch of traditional “social signifiers” – she cites heterosexuality, college education, marriage and parenthood among them – to provide guidance as she makes her way along, she says she can sometimes feel a little lost. “I’m supposed to be wise by now but really I’m not,” she laughs. “So this is a show dedicated to all the kids who don’t know how to grow up.”

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The show is Mother, which Cho is bringing to Melbourne for this year’s Comedy Festival. Described as “an untraditional look at motherhood and how we look at maternal figures and strong women in queer culture”, she admits it covers a lot of ground, ranging from bisexuality to her own mother – a recurring topic in Cho’s comedy. But a topic that recurs in our conversation is “how to mother the world”. Cho says that her unconventional lifestyle, both in a personal and professional sense, has set her apart from a lot of people she

Where she finds some degree of direction, however, is in blazing her own trail – “I never really found where I was supposed to be in this business but I’ve managed to keep going,” she says – and by acting as a mentor, of sorts, to other comedians who can sometimes feel adrift in work or in life. “It makes me go ‘Oh, I do have seniority!’” she says, of offering words of wisdom to younger performers. “Or that this is an area where I do have authority – one thing I do understand is comedy. And I can help people who are unconventional or different or struggling or trying to figure it out. That’s where I’m a little less lost.” Cho’s comedy is often touted as edgy, transgressive or just plain outré, but she simply views her approach as a case of being authentic and true to herself. I dont really see it as being transgressive or anything like that, she says. To me, its just about approaching things honestly. I maybe don’t have the same need for privacy that other people do. I always want to talk about things, share them, in order to figure them out and share the burden. Many people don’t want to reveal too much about themselves but I’m always willing to disclose anything. Maybe that’s what is edgy or out there. I think it’s been positive for me. It’s certainly natural. And I think when people feel there’s honesty in comedy, they really respond to it. That’s more important to me than my own privacy or any sense of ‘Oh, I’m getting away with something here’.” WHAT: Margaret Cho: Mother WHEN & WHERE: Tuesday 16 to Sunday 21 April, RMIT Capitol Theatre

RICH HALL the US where he owns a ranch in Montana. “I’ve always loved spaces, emptiness, the humiliation of nature,” he says. “Perhaps that’s what attracts me to Australia. A vista tends to put your priorities in place.”

Barely recognisable thanks to greasepaint makeup, a grimy clown suit and a dour demeanour, Noble’s Richard Grindle meets a nasty end at a kid’s birthday bash after a prank goes horribly wrong. Six years later, he returns from the dead to get his revenge on the young ‘uns, now teenagers, in various inventive and gruesome ways.

He now may be the big-shot star of movie Sticthes, but Ross Noble isn’t kissing the stage goodbye just yet. He tells Guy Davis about picking up a knife and cutting shit up. any of them are basically themselves, only with a hat on,” says Ross Noble, of stand-up comedians taking to the screen. The acclaimed UK comedian, who has made Australia a sort of second home personally and professionally in recent years, had no intentions of following suit. In fact, he had no ambitions of screen stardom at all – he was quite content to continue with his surreal, stream-of-consciousness stage style, maybe throw in the occasional appearance on a TV chat show or panel program.

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But when he played a “socialist tramp who got thrown off a moving train by Tony Blair” in a telemovie by legendary UK comedy troupe The Comic Strip a couple of years ago, he found he really enjoyed the process. Still, he was careful about choosing his next project, unwilling to dilute his stand-up, and wary of the traps facing comedians who take a crack at acting. “They either want to play straight roles and then no one takes them seriously because they think the performance is going to be a joke,” says Noble, “or they do out-and-out comedy roles where people just show up to see that particular character they play.” Noble’s road-less-travelled-by alternative? Play a homicidal children’s-party clown in the bloody horror-comedy Stitches.

Hang onto your hats, Rich Hall is back. He tells Baz McAlister about the darker side of Paul Kelly. ejoice, Melbourne – for one of the Comedy Festival’s mainstays is back in town this year. Veteran American comic Rich Hall don’t need no introduction, and he sure as hell don’t need no show title. Just turn up, prepare to laugh, and don’t expect to even catch a glimpse of the bandana of Hall’s ‘uncle’, boozesoaked country crooner Otis Lee Crenshaw.

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“Otis is toast,” Hall says. “I don’t need a character to hide behind anymore. I can perform dubious music on my own.” Besides stand-up it’s been a busy few years for Hall. He splits much of his year between the UK and

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Hall says if the series continues he’s likely to make a documentary about novels that successfully transferred to screen because “there’s not too many”. But in the meantime, we’re lucky to have him performing stand-up. And the topics that have been moving him to write recently? “The inexorable failure of mankind to live up to its potential,” he says. “That’s the only topic there is. Sounds like a hoot, huh?” One Melbourne resident certainly thinks so. Hall has something of a celebrity fan in music legend Paul Kelly, and if you turn up to one of the stand-up’s shows you never know, you might find yourself rubbing shoulders with the songwriter in the neighbouring seat. “Paul comes to my shows often,” Hall says. “I once took in a footy match with him. The Paul Kelly who sings To Her Door is not the same Paul Kelly spitting viper blood at the MCG. I had to restrain him several times from storming the field.” WHO: Rich Hall WHEN &WHERE: Thursday 28 March to Sunday 7 April, RMIT Capitol Theatre

Shifting into character wasn’t especially difficult for Noble – “as soon as you slap on the makeup, put on the big shoes and get a knife in your hand, you really feel like you’re in there” – but he was pleasantly surprised at how easily he took to making movies, especially since at first glance it seemed to run counter to his own somewhat improvisational, organic style of working. “With stand-up, if you make a decision, that decision affects the rest of the show,” he says. “From the minute you walk on stage to the minute you walk off stage, it’s all one go. That’s great but what I liked about the filmmaking process was the ability to try things different ways, mix it up, do the same scene a lot of different times and it’s then up to the director and the editor to shape your performance. I was aware that was part of the deal. And I really liked it, so I’m gonna do some more. The next one I might write myself, actually.” Don’t go thinking Noble intends to desert the stand-up stage, however – Melbourne International Comedy Festival patrons can catch him performing his Mindblender show for one night only on Thursday 18 April. And Stitches is now available on DVD and Blu-ray from Anchor Bay Entertainment. WHAT: Ross Noble: Mindblender WHEN & WHERE: Thursday 18 April, Hisense Arena

SWEET SIXTEEN OR THE BIRTHDAY PARTY MASSACRE hosting it, I play her step dad, I play her boyfriend and I play her eventually arriving at the party as well.” The ideas for a show can spring from the most unlikely of places. “I saw this dress in a shop window in Melbourne,” recounts Bradson. “It was an old floral ‘60s dress and in my head I saw this young girl wearing it so I had to buy that fucking

Recently, Hall has been working with the BBC on a very successful series of feature-length documentaries about his native land, having recently wrapped filming on his fifth, You Can Go To Hell, I’m Going To Texas. The previous four all dissect beloved film genres such as the western or the road movie. His most recent, Inventing The Indian, examined the portrayal of Native Americans on film. “I felt it might be informative and woefully funny to show how Native Americans have been homogenised by Hollywood,” he says, “but I needed a credible countervoice to avoid being patronising. I found a Lakota improv comic named Dallas Goldtooth to bounce things off of. About three-quarters of the way into the doc he takes over. Watch it. It’s pretty good.”

“When I read the script for Stitches, I said ‘You had me at knifed in the face!’,” laughs Noble, adding that he was taken with the Sam Raimi-style vibe Stitches gave off and relished the opportunity to try his hand at a character far removed from the Ross Noble audiences are used to. “Because what I do is very optimistic, I liked the idea of playing someone who was just the opposite,” he says. “And I absolutely loved it.”

Sick of missing out on shitty parts in below-par productions, Tommy Bradson rewrote the book. He tells Oliver Coleman about having his cake and eating it too. ommy Bradson’s unique brand of performance defies narrow labels of genre. He shifts between cabaret, theatre and comedy in the one show. His work is often hilarious yet heartbreaking; gratuitous yet poetic; and possesses the most outrageous characters played with aching truth. Since 2009, Bradson has been perfecting his aesthetic, writing and performing his solo shows across Australia in a range of festivals. He specialises in bringing the stories of the broken hearted and down and out to the stage: a hermaphrodite boxer, a mermaid, a sailor and at last year’s Melbourne Fringe Festival a fictionalised account of his groupie mother in Sydney’s rock’n’roll scene in the 1980s. Bradson gives us the lowdown on his newest show, Sweet Sixteen Or The Birthday Party Massacre, which was recently awarded Best Cabaret at the Adelaide Fringe Festival, “It’s basically a homage to my suburban childhood,” he says. “It’s a show that’s about family and the beautiful absurdities of domestic lifestyle. It’s about all those weird uncles and aunties and cousins, and clingers on to your family that you only ever see twice or three times a year. The whole thing is set at a girl’s 16th birthday party and is an odyssey towards this girl’s arrival. It happens in real time in front of the audience and they become guests at this party. I play the mum

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“I WAS AUDITIONING FOR FILMS AND TV COMMERCIALS AND AUSTRALIAN TV SHOWS THAT I FUCKING HATED” dress so I could write this show. I would wear it and play with it and the show evolved from that.” Bradson experienced the disenchantment with the sterility of the mainstream industry that many artists go through. “I was auditioning for films and TV commercials and awful Australian TV shows that I fucking hated and not getting cast in anything that I would ever want to play so I wrote a play where I could play a hermaphrodite boxer and a stripper [When The Sex Is Gone, 2009]. It was just out of boredom.” He continues to wage a battle on his boredom. He is currently co-writing an opera and working on a novel. Audiences in Melbourne have grown to love his urgent musical storytelling. He won best cabaret at both the 2009 and 2011 Melbourne Fringe Festivals. “Melbourne is the greatest place that I have ever performed and I think it will always be,” Bradson remarks. WHAT: Tommy Bradson: Sweet Sixteen Or The Birthday Party Massacre WHEN & WHERE: Thursday 4 to Sunday 21 April, Northcote Town Hall


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THE SHOWS

BAD DANDY

are gay, straight, trans or bi, it’s not an issue – everyone is accepted.”

JACK DEE: LIVE

FABIAN LAPHAM & THE ACTUAL MUSICIANS Simba’s birth, there’s a film noir one, there’s a man’s eulogy for his father, there’s a Meatloafian love ballad, there’s a more grounded love song for my girlfriend Kelly, there’s a Twilight Zone-y one, a time-travel one, and a story from the perspective of a five-year-old kid who’s had too much sugar.”

Treleaven began his career as a very different kind of performer; after getting the sack from working in a flan factory he trained in circus arts and was a juggler for years before picking up the mic. “The way it influenced my stand-up stuff was that everyone in the circus was very edgy, the fringe of the fringe of the fringe; doing shows in their underpants and yelling into a lightbulb, that kind of thing.”

omedian Asher Treleaven is no stranger to the clash of civilisations. Growing up in outback Australia until the age of ten, before moving to Byron Bay with his hippie parents, the self-described dandy loves nothing more than poking fun at Australian mainstream culture.“I had a confused upbringing. I spent the first half of my childhood hanging out with dudes whose pastimes were things like ‘meat’. But when we moved to Byron Bay it was all about patchouli and feminism,” he says.

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“Australia is an extremely macho culture. I guess my comedy keeps on coming back to that even though I live in Melbourne, an arty city where everyone is having a latte. Australia is still a really dudeheavy culture. Like, too dude-heavy. Dudes are arseholes, and it’s funny to make fun of them. I’m an arsehole. White middle-class guys, I mean, come on – we deserve everything we get.” So what’s the opposite of the Aussie dude? The dandy, of course. “For me, a modern dandy is someone who is well-dressed, who loves the arts, and who exists in a fluidly sexual world, where it doesn’t really matter if you

A huge fan of Barry Humphries and Robin Williams, Treleaven describes his comedy as powered by “socially responsible dick-jokes”. He is keen to maintain the distinction between his comedy and the kind of left-wing political commentary that is just, well, a bit ranty. “I’m left leaning but I’m not anti-immunisation crazy left-wing. I’m not like, [into putting] alfoil on my head,” he laughs. “The best socio-political comedians are the ones who can fold the research into the material, and it’s funny, it’s a joke, and you don’t really know that you’re getting a political message. It’s wrapped up in a bundle rather than jabbed in your face by a guy wearing a black t-shirt, screaming about how Monsanto is ruining the world… You’re not a nuclear physicist, you’re just a comedian. Relax buddy.” Treleaven describes his name as “Jewish at the front, Cornish at the back”though he’s neither of those things. “I wish, I wish! That’d be awesome! Two subcultures that have been discriminated against for ages... I feel like I would love that, just to be part of the team,” he laughs. “But I’m just another middle-class white dude with a Jewish-Cornish name.” Sarah Braybrooke WHEN & WHERE: Thursday 28 March to Sunday 21 April, Vic’s Bar

50 SHADES OF GRAVËY art to another level. “Instead of being a musical play like The Ghosts That Rocked Me, 50 Shades Of Gravëy breaks down the fourth wall and brings the audience a spectacular rock’n’roll concert that will have you in stitches.” Part comedy festival, part music festival, Varley sums up the concept simply: “the show will be primarily original songs with hilarious character-building banter in between.”

ith an umlaut in their name and a font that’s industrial flicker outshines Anvil, you’d be forgiven for thinking Gravëy were a power-metal band. For the recently resurrected rock troupe, whose past setlists have included Britney Spears and Lisa ‘Left Eye’ Lopes covers, their influences are as elaborate as their carcrash-surviving back story. “Fundamentally we all just love music,” says Steve Varley, aka guitarist Richie Page. “My personal influences stem from ‘90s grunge rock and ‘70s and ‘80s power rock like Pearl Jam and Queen. Jake [The Captain] has barely heard any Pearl Jam and doesn’t think too much of Queen, preferring less mainstream bands and some old-school classics like David Bowie. Kate [Penny] is Billy Joel’s biggest fan and Figgers [Lucky John] has basically moulded his life to be the next Dave Grohl,” he says.

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Returning to the Melbourne International Comedy Festival after the success of last year’s The Ghosts That Rocked Me, Varley, a member of the Aardvark Anonymous creative team, says the band’s latest incarnation takes performance

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Leading up to their performances at Word Warehouse, the four-piece have been busy rehearsing, recording and even releasing a film clip. “We have spent some time in the studio and we have recorded two of our upcoming songs which we plan to release in the lead up to the show,” says Varley. “The title song, 50 Shades Of Gravëy, can already be found on YouTube accompanied with a very literal Google images interpretation of the lyrics.”

fter a six-year absence from stand-up, British comic Jack Dee has the microphone back in his hand, and you’d be forgiven for thinking he almost sounds happy. The Englishman made a name for himself as a kind of comedy curmudgeon in the 1990s, when he got his break and his own TV show. Television has kept him off the stage for the best part of the last six years, too, as he wrote and starred in four series of his popular sitcom Lead Balloon. But Dee says he’s lately been feeling the need to get in front of live audiences.

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“I’ve been doing a lot of writing and acting over the last six years and as much as I’ve enjoyed that, I’ve been getting twitchy to get on stage again,” he says. “I started doing a little tour of small market towns in Wales, Cornwall, Devon, across to Ireland, and godknows-where. I just started getting a feel for being on stage again and enjoying it for its own sake, really. ” He last toured Australia doing standup in 1995, but Dee says his comic

“…WE TRY TO BE AS WHILE SEXY AS POSSIBLEST E PERFORMING ON AG AND READING THE BOOK MAY HAVE HELPED WITH THAT.” voice hasn’t changed. “As before, I think the main thrust of my material is a rolling review of my life,” he says. “But as well as that, I’m trying to bring in philosophically where I’m at and how I’ve changed. It can include thoughts about religion and politics and conspiracy theories and how that’s affected me. I’ve never sat down and thought, ‘I’m going to write a show now and the entire theme of it’s going to be electricity’. It’s just always been, ‘okay, I’m going to be with the audience for a couple of hours and we’re going to hopefully have fun talking’. It’s good to walk away from stand-up for a while until you’re brimming over with material and hungry for it again.”

Possessing a title that plays on EL James’s erotic romance novel, Varley, who describes the show as pornography for the ears, admits that reading the raunchy book became a requirement before attending band rehearsals. “The title started as a bit of a joke and then we really liked the ring of it so we kept it without any real intention of using the book in the show. When we brought in Claire Frost, our director, her first command was that if that was going to be the title then we all had to read the book. We ended up getting some really great material from the book and have written a song dedicated to it, which shares its name with the title of the show. Other than that we try to be as sexy as possible while performing on stage and reading the book may have helped with that,” he laughs.

Besides Lead Balloon, the other side-project that’s sucked up a lot of Dee’s time was writing his 2009 autobiography, Thanks For Nothing. It covers the first 25 years of his life, until he first started stand-up – some difficult years in which he battled depression and alcoholism. Dee says he is mostly pleased with the result – even if he feels he may have shied away from some hard truths. “I did evade the darker stuff in favour of writing about the more entertaining stuff,” he says. “As much as people enjoyed it, I’m not sure it’s a great document of what I did in my life. It’s more of a flight of fantasy, a lot of it, and what I learnt from that is that I’m much more honest about myself on stage than I could ever be in a book.”

Brendan Hitchens

Baz McAlister

WHEN & WHERE: Thursday 28 March to Sunday 14 April, Word Warehouse

WHEN & WHERE: Thursday 18 to Saturday 20 April, Town Hall

ccording to Fabian Lapham’s Comedy Festival webpage, his up-coming festival show is best described as “an exciting fusion of stand-up, sketch and storytelling, told with eclectic characters, crafty wordplay and infectious rock and roll”. When free from the confines of a press pack, however, he likes to spruik his show in the following way: “Hey arseholes. My show’s the tits. Come watch it an’ shit.”

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Lapham’s show, Fabian Lapham & The Actual Musicians – God Fights The Dinosaurs & 9 Other Stories That Will Awesome You In The Face, is his first solo appearance at the Comedy Festival (he does stress he has a backing band). Assuming we can take him for his word regarding the God Vs Dinosaur showdown, we ask Lapham for a synopsis of his nine other stories. Before adding a quick disclaimer that they will most likely change before the MICF Guide goes to print, he tells us: “There’s a Faustian tale about Elvis, one about an antelope from The Lion King who’s wondering why he’s at

Acting on the childhood dream of being a comedian, Lapham first started writing comedy at age 17. He went to film school, started making comedy films and doing that kicked off his sketch career. And to be honest, if his show is as eclectic as our interview he might be on to a good thing. So, will there be live betting on the God Vs Dinosaurs match? He craftily dodges the question by referring to an “after-show” consisting a Rabbi and cassowary fight. He is tight lipped on sharing too much information about it though; apparently the second rule of a Rabbi and cassowary fight is that “If this is your first Rabbi/ Cassowary Fight Club, you must bring a dip, a salad, or a light casserole”. And they’re not going to risk having to eat crap food by letting just anyone in. As to whom does he honestly prefer, God or the Dinosaurs? “To answer that might give away that story’s ending,” he says. However, he does give the impression that he may have a slightly unnatural obsession with the Dinosaurs. “I’m hosting a party for Jurassic Park’s 20th birthday,” he says. “I’m more excited about that than my own.” And being awesomed in the face? “It’s like getting bitch-slapped by Batman: hurts like hell, but you still get to touch Batman.” Benjamin Meyer WHEN & WHERE: Saturday 13 to Sunday 21 April, Northcote Town Hall

SOCIAL NEEDIA: THE EPIDEMIC Borensztajn isn’t taking a hard line with social media addicts in her show; it’s quite the opposite, in fact. Her show notes bear the caveat: “Please note: The use of Facebook, Twitter and Instagram throughout the show is not only permitted, it is encouraged. Doctor’s orders.”

elbourne’s Jordana Borensztajn has something many other comedians lack: a day job. This obviously puts her at a disadvantage when it comes to writing jokes about the Centrelink queue and subsisting on two-minute mi goreng noodles, but it has its benefits, too. Borensztajn has worked as a journalist for almost a decade – combining this with a comedy career by dint of little sleep, loads of adrenaline and a mild obsessiveness – and says her love of wordplay and observations of social media use combined to lead her to put on her Comedy Festival show, Social Needia.

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“I am totally addicted to social media and I’m well aware of how ‘unhealthy’ this obsession is,” she says. “I can’t tell you exactly how much time I spend on social networks because then it would be a permanent confession – IN PRINT – but let’s just say comedy is very therapeutic for me. I figure if I can make jokes about this addiction, which make me laugh, and make other people laugh, then that’s the best treatment available.”

“So many cinemas and live performances ‘ban’ the use of mobile phones, and nobody listens,” Borensztajn says. “People just go ahead and use them anyway. So I wanted to do the opposite; I opted for a non-conventional, tongue-in-cheek approach that embraces social media from the start. Nobody needs to hide their iPhone or BlackBerry through my performance; put it on your lap, wave it around, take pics, send tweets – whatever you want. If you use an Android though, ummm, you might want to hide that.” Aside from making a name for herself on the Australian comedy circuit, Borensztajn recently spent some time living in the US and took the opportunity to do stand-up at some of the country’s best-known comedy clubs. “It was so much fun,” she says. “I’ve performed in showcases at Carolines On Broadway, and at the New York Comedy Club – and I absolutely love New York. A lot of the processes and questions I ask myself are the same as they are here; who’s on before me? Who’s MCing? Will I remember all of my jokes? Honestly, the performances all feel similar because whether I’m at an Aussie club or an American club, the MC never knows how to properly pronounce my surname.” Baz McAlister WHEN & WHERE: Wednesday 27 March to Thursday 18 April, Loop


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THE SHOWS

JOCK’S TRAP

EURODAD

Rozenbachs’ dad was born in Germany, came to Australia when he was two, and had never been outside of the country since. “He had always said ‘I’d love to go to Europe’ but I think what he meant was he’d love to go to Europe for the day. He’d never done three weeks of travel, so it was just something that he wasn’t used to. “And he’s not really into museums and he’s not into art galleries and shit, so it cuts down your options. If you’ve ever been to Europe you know there’s not a lot else to do. So you go to the Eiffel Tower and there’s .8 of a second done. He’s seen it and that’s it. But now we have to go and do other shit. And I was just at my wits’ end trying to think of other shit to do with him because he just didn’t want to do anything.”

dam Rozenbachs took his dad on holiday last year. His dad had never been overseas. It didn’t go well. “I never thought it was going to be a good idea,” Rozenbachs chuckles. “I had a fair bit of an idea going in that it would be material, which really helped me to stay sane while we were travelling, because I thought well, if I kill him then it cuts the show short so it’s better to ride it out.

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“My dad is not impressed by stuff, he’s just one of those old dudes where shit just happens and he’s like, whatever, we’ll just move on with life,” he says. “We were in a pretty cool cathedral in Munich, it had all these really ornate carvings and I was thinking, ‘Okay, he might be impressed by this.’ And then he just turns to me and he goes, ‘I wonder who cleans all this?’ “Just the odd questions that he would ask that were really surprising. We were in Berlin and we were just walking along and he just stopped and said, ‘What night’s bin night?’ Who would think that?”

Rozenbachs coped by going out at night alone. “I needed some time and some serious alcohol abuse just to be able to cope with this shit.” He would sit in the pub and write down the day’s events, and that’s when the Eurodad show emerged. At least there was one thing Papa Rozenbachs enjoyed about the trip. “The thing that he enjoyed, he really loved the handles on the windows that they had over there in Europe. They were attached to these hinges that if you turned them up they would open like a window and if you turned them down they would open like a door. And I was like, who gives a fuck. But everywhere we went, he was like, ‘Oh, this is amazing!’ That was one of his favourite things.” Kate Kingsmill WHEN & WHERE: Thursday 28 March to Sunday 21 April, Town Hall, Regent Room

DEAR EPSON Bhoy says he’s taken a different approach to his stand-up for this show. Actually taking time to craft the letters has meant his linguistic flourishes are more “grown-up”, he says. “A lot of people have said, ‘Have you been back to university or something?’ When you’re doing stand-up your brain is constantly grabbing for the right word, but when you have that fall-back of a letter you’ve carefully honed – highly sarcastic, without sounding overtly violent or nasty – it makes for a very good show.”

couple of years have passed since comedian Danny Bhoy has been out our way, so how’s he been? “Oh, you know. Still lonely, single, depressed, angry, frustrated... Brackets – Scottish,” he says.

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Bhoy’s new stand-up show, Dear Epson, began innocently enough, when he penned a letter of complaint to printer company Epson about the price of their ink. He forwarded it to a couple of friends, who said it was so funny he should write more. He sat down to pen a few letters to companies. Thinking he might not hold the attention for a full 80 minutes with just those, he started writing letters to people from his past and his childhood. “I wrote to people who’ve affected my life, for good or for bad – usually for bad,” he says. “So it’s taken a really interesting turn, the show – it starts with the usual stuff of attacking companies and it turns into a really personal journey. I’ve also tried to make the letters as original as possible. There’s no point writing to Starbucks or Shell, everybody knows they’re pricks. It’s more about little products or systems that annoy me, personally.”

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Bhoy’s writing talent recently manifested itself in a blog entry before the US election for The Huffington Post. While he doesn’t tend to do political material, he admits to being obsessed by American politics and went to New York for the US election in November. “I booked the trip a couple of years ago – I get really excited about the American election and I can’t really think about anything else.” Though he says while he enjoys a certain level of recognition in the UK and Australia, he’s not close to cracking America any time soon. “It’s very much uncracked,” he says. “If anything, it’s been boiled so it’s even harder to crack. I’m not giving up on America, I love it – but I’m not chasing it anymore… I don’t want to break myself trying to break America. I spoke to too many people who just had dead eyes – actors, who had lived in LA for 25 years of their lives just above the poverty line and had got just one or two adverts. It’s not that they were bad, it’s just you need that break there, and it’s hard to get. Every comedy club in LA is jam-packed with comics doing five minutes for free, trying to get spotted, and it’s not my cup of tea.” Baz McAlister WHEN & WHERE: Tuesday 2 to Sunday 14 April, Arts Centre, Playhouse

LIFE, LOVE AND MISGUIDED ASPIRATIONS just as boring as the next guy’s, but turning a mundane little observation into a five-minute rant about how confused Jesus must’ve felt in sex-ed class, to me, just feels so real.”

ilted Scottish whirlwind of mischief Craig Hill is due back in Melbourne this year, and to his delight, he’s playing one of his favourite venues – The Famous Spiegeltent. “I’ve played, and been in, the Spiegeltent in a lot of different places and I’ve seen it set up a lot of different ways,” the exuberant Scotsman says. “I did this show, Comic Strip, which is a really different type of show, a mix of strippers and comedians – I think I walk the thin line! – and they made the Spiegeltent look really like a dimly-lit theatre. So I’m quite excited to see what they’ll do with the space and how they’ll seat the audience for my show.”

The comic has been writing and performing stand-up since 2010, when he “decided that university was for stupids and comedy is where the money is”. He says he has always thrived on laughter but held off from getting into stand-up because of his status as a “moderately attractive white dude”.

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Hill is known for his wonderfully risqué show titles – this year it’s Jock’s Trap, but previous ones include Why Don’t You Come Down The Front and Kilty Pleasures – and his collection of unusual kilts, of which he’s always acquiring more. “I did a photo shoot recently where they gave me a silver kilt to try on, and – I don’t know if people know this – but there is such a category as ‘far too gay’,” Hill laughs. “I tried it on and I was like, ‘Nah. Even Mr Poofy of Poofy Avenue in Pooftown would not wear this kilt’.”

“THERE’S NO POINT WRITING TO L, EL STARBUCKS OR SHW EVERYBODY KNO S THEY’RE PRICKS.”

t’s a much-lamented fact of doing comedy festivals that comics often have to submit a title for their show months in advance. For his debut festival show, Cohen Johnston plumped for the title Life, Love And Misguided Aspirations; in retrospect he says he might have gone a different direction.

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“The content I ended up with would probably better fit under the title Cohen Talks About Dating Sites And Other Sexy Stuff,” he says. “The issue with writing a 50-minute show on such a potentially huge theme is that there’s so much that I can’t include. I probably could’ve written three separate shows, but I guess it’s handy to know that I’ve still so much material inside my brain-machine. The show is basically a taster of me as a comedian, an invitation into my headspace where you might learn a thing or two, or you might leave a depressed alcoholic with a vendetta against dolphins. Who knows what’ll happen once you wade into the mossy, unforgiving depths of Cohen’s mind?” Johnston says that honesty is the centre of his comedic style. He’s not the kind of anecdotal comedian who’ll make up stories to get a few laughs. “My life’s

Baz McAlister WHEN & WHERE: Tuesday 16 to Sunday 21 April, The Famous Spiegeltent

Johnston is on tenterhooks to see how his debut Comedy Festival show will be received; it could mark the beginning of a long and beautiful career in comedy, or he may have to rely on his fallback career plan – opening a store specialising in merchandise from cancelled TV shows. “There’s just so much potential, especially with how well the retail industry is going at the moment,” he says. “I would definitely stock Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles keychains; mugs from the highly successful American adaptation of Kath & Kim; and Jersey Shore-branded bleach. I’m [gonna] leave that last one up to interpretation.” Baz McAlister WHEN & WHERE: Tuesday 2 to Saturday 20 April, Paloma Bar

DARREN FREAKS OUT bloke and his views on anal, and, talking about anal; there’s also Alan Jones.

Hill has just finished a season of Jock’s Trap in Adelaide at the Fringe, and has been recording little micro-blogs of each night’s show and giving shout-outs to audience members on his Facebook page. He says a few of his ‘virgins’ have been relatively underprepared for Craig Hill in full flow, because of his relatively well-behaved TV appearances. “I’ve had a lot of people this year who heard about my show last year or have seen me on Good News Week,” he says. “They all come and naively sit down the front, I can spot their little doe eyes as I storm on in my kilt and they’re going, ‘Oh! This isn’t what I expected’.” Aside from his kilt collection, on this trip to Australia Hill dipped a toe into what has the potential to become another obsessive clothing habit for him: AFL tops. “I’ve been going to the gym a lot with my friend in Edinburgh, and – call me a gay – but I like an outfit! In Scotland you can’t wear a [Scottish] football top because you’re showing allegiance to the one team and what if it’s the ‘wrong’ team? So out of pure vanity – I was like ‘Oh, that’s a nice cut’ – I bought this AFL top. In Scotland nobody will know what team it is anyway. I bought it based on colour. I since found out it’s a West Coast Eagles top but to me that’s irrelevant. It’s a beautiful yellow and blue top with a lovely white stripe and an eagle on the front!”

“Something that always held me back from stand-up was the fact that I’m not part of a minority,” he says. “I’m not an obese Kiwi lesbian with one hand, which I always saw as a disadvantage, because the easiest way to make Australians laugh is to joke about things that we’re not allowed to laugh at, right? But then I realised, ‘Hold up, I’m one of the most pathetic people I know!’ and that was the day I was no longer ashamed to be a part of the ‘hopeless douchebag’ minority.”

arren Freaks Out is the aptly titled new show from Adelaide’s Darren Freak. Returning to MICF for his third visit, Freak promises to explore all aspects of the modern condition’s, well, freakishness. Naturally, the place to start is the comedian’s own hometown. “Adelaide is more sad than funny,” he says. “I didn’t understand why the rest of the country was so down on Adelaide until I moved to Melbourne to live. On my first trip returning to Adelaide it all dawned on me about lunchtime on the first day when I had run out of things to do. I had already caught the one tram, and the O-Bahn bus and I had drunk some wine, which left…”

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Of course, no show about being freaked out could leave out Tony and Julia, but Freak isn’t confining his observations to only the two most visible figures. Australia’s racism – sorry – border security issues also get a guernsey. Then there’s the first

“Isn’t it great to be in an election year, even if it is going to last all year?” he says. “Just like the last election we will be asked to choose the leader we dislike the least. I do explore our border security crisis. Like politicians I ignore the fact that more than 75% of so-called illegal immigrants arrive on airplanes, and focus on boat people. I will offer an alternative immigration policy that is not based on wealth, skill or country of origin but rather a person’s behaviour and integrity, a policy that could ultimately lead to the deportation of many politicians. Politicians can give us the shits, and as Tim Mathieson suggested, we should be careful about the medical attention we receive to rectify our rectal issues. Alan Jones loves to pontificate on the activities of our political leaders. I will take the opportunity to deliver a tribute to the life and times of this Australian broadcaster.” Interestingly, Freak has chosen to perform his show away from the hustle and bustle of the main city venues and has opted instead for the seedy charm of St Kilda. One reason for this appears to be the seaside venue’s lack of spruikers. “The room is a purpose-built performance venue, great lighting, that is close to public transport and parking. There are ocean views, with plenty of shops, bars and restaurants in walking distance. I may have lifted most of this from a real estate advert. With less shows in St Kilda there are less people flyering, yelling at you and shoving small pieces of paper in your face. So it will be more relaxed atmosphere when you go for a drink or bite to eat after the show.” Tony McMahon WHEN & WHERE: Wednesday 27 March to Sunday 7 April, Felix Bar


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THE SHOWS

THE RUBBERBANDITS

audiences that we’re taking the piss out of. The more money you earn in a show, the less intelligent the audience is.”

A MODERN DECEPTION: LIVE TO AIR

RANDY IS SOBER

must have got up to 50 degrees in there, and some of our tricks literally couldn’t work because of the sweat pouring off our bodies. But the audience still loved the show and after the opening weekend the air con was fixed, and we just kept going uphill from there,” de la Rambelje says.

By that logic, Aussie audiences should be clued-in to the satire, even if they don’t quite know who Eamon de Valera was, and why it’s unlikely you’d find him taking ecstasy; or why it might be odd that Paul The Psychic Octopus might be a member of the IRA.

wo mad Irishmen with shoppingbag balaclavas doing catchy, funny, satirical hip hop songs? “We just started acting the bollocks and it’s a big joke that got out of hand,” says Blindboy Boatclub, approximately 60% of The Rubberbandits, along with his skinnier mate Mr Chrome. The pair met at school in Limerick and started out doing prank calls, but with the popularity and ease of using YouTube to reach a wide audience, their crazy clips for songs such as Horse Outside, I Wanna Fight Your Father and Black Man (look them up) have gone global. They even made a recent list of the world’s top ten most misunderstood satirists.

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“We were on that list at number one; ahead of Jonathan Swift, bizarrely,” Blindboy says. “There’s a big [mis] understanding of our satire in England, because we’re not very well known there. But in Ireland we became incredibly mainstream and ended up playing to the

“I don’t know what to expect from Australian audiences. I don’t have a hell of a lot of cultural barometers for fuckin’ Australia other than Neighbours and sharks,” Blindboy says. “But, oh, Christ, there’ll be lots of Irish people at our gigs. I know about 20 people from Limerick that are in Melbourne. All it takes is for one of them to come to the gig to ruin it for the whole audience. They’ll get so excited we’re coming that they’ll drink for two days and start roaring and shouting.” Blindboy says he and Mr Chrome are going to be experimenting with locally-sourcing Australian supermarket bags they can convert into their trademark masks, but there’s another worry on his mind: it gets hot under there. “Oh, it fucking does,” he says, “and the thing is, when we go to Australia, not only is it going to be so hot anyway and we’ll have the sweat pooling on our heads, but we’re going to be upside down as well, with no way of shaking it out! But I’ll be looking for two things when I get to Australia; I want to have a decent gangbang and I want to get bitten by a spider. If I could get bitten by a spider at a gangbang, then, result! If any Australian women want to hook me up with a spider gangbang then come to our gig.” Baz McAlister WHEN & WHERE: Thursday 28 March to Sunday 7 April, Hi-Fi

POTENTIALLY the opening few minutes or the final story, it won’t make any sense at all.” Potentially is “a fairly personal show” says Sammy J. His show 1999 saw him relive some excruciating school-day memories – is Potentially also inspired by the past? “When I was 11 I wrote a children’s book and sent it to publishers around Australia, expecting I’d get a book deal in a matter of days,” he answers. “Instead, I got 14 rejection letters. This show is my response to one of those letters in particular.”

ou don’t take a guy’s juice from him – not now, not ever. This year’s Melbourne International Comedy Festival brings us a paredback Sammy J in his new solo show, Potentially. “There’s no puppet, no piano, no props,” the much-loved comedy star says. “In fact I’ve pretty much thrown out all the gimmicks for this one. Except the juice box. They can’t take that away from me.”

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Is there a hidden meaning in the show’s name? “No hidden meanings here,” he answers. “I just quite like having a disclaimer in the title, so I don’t have to turn up if I don’t feel like it. And it’s potentially a funny show.” A show that might suffer if audiences arrive too late or leave too early, it seems. “The whole show hangs together rather delicately,” says the performer. “So if people miss

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Is there an overarching theme or subtext we should know about? “Absolutely,” he says, “but I’ll feel like a wanker if I try to list them here. Trust me though, there are total themes. I even structured the whole show into three acts. There’s a prologue, four songs, a three-part story with subtext, and a surprise finale, which I just ruined.” So has Sammy gotten darker over the years? “My dermatologist seems to think so but I’ve demanded a second opinion. The lady behind the desk told me that his marriage is in trouble and it makes me question whether the whole diagnosis is about him getting more cash from me rather than the health of my skin.” Not quite what we meant but moving on… This year’s Fringe will see Sammy J reprise his 50 Year Show, which will keep going until he’s 75. In the meantime, we get to share with him an element of schoolboy glee in one aspect of Potentially: his being rude in an establishment venue. “I wanted to write a song that has the word ‘fuck’ in it 39 times and sing it in the Arts Centre.” Liza Dezfouli WHEN & WHERE: Tuesday 9 to Sunday 21 April, Arts Centre, Fairfax Studio

very Comedy Festival for the last few years, if you spotted distinctive comedian, Randy – which is quite easy by virtue of his diminutive stature, purple felt fur and ping-pong-ball eyes – you can be sure his skinny, juicedrinking and marginally more humanoid sidekick Sammy J wasn’t far away. This year, Randy’s made some life choices resulting in his show Randy Is Sober, and Sammy ain’t part of the deal.

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“I’m coping exceptionally well [without him] so far,” Randy says. “I haven’t seen or spoken to him in about six months and if I never have to share a stage with that anorexic showpony again, I’ll die a happy man.” Randy says it’s been two years and nine months since he last felt the sweet, warm caress of a single malt scotch whisky gently flooding his system with “love and the promise of immortality”. But he doesn’t miss it – oh no. Since giving up his favourite tipple, a triple shot of Gran Patrón Burdeos Añejo Tequila with an Ardbeg ten year chaser, he’s never looked back. He says he eschewed the traditional 12-step program for getting sober in favour of a routine

“I WANTED TO WRITEE A SONG THAT HAS TH WORD ‘FUCK’ IN IT 39 TIMES AND SING IT IN THE ARTS CENTRE.”

t’s magic enough for most of us to be awake early enough to catch a morning TV show. But during this year’s Comedy Festival, illusionists Vyom Sharma, Alex de la Rambelje and Luke Hocking will be putting the prestidigitation into pre-noon programming with A Modern Deception: Live To Air. The premise is that three magicians turning up to do a guest spot on Mornings With David And Kelly are forced into hosting the TV show when something untoward happens to the hosts.

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“We twist all the morning show tropes we can think of into magic,” de la Rambelje says. “Things like the cooking segment, weather and news all get turned on their head and recreated in a spectacular new format. We’ve got some broad silliness in the show, mixed in with the more mind-boggling magic side of things. Without giving too much away, there may be drag in the show.” The boys have been mates for seven years and this is their third festival show under the Modern Deception banner. Live To Air comes to Melbourne fresh from a rip-roaring Adelaide Fringe season, where the lads did 37 shows, some of which were sold out, and some of which were performed in a tent in 40-degree heat and a broken air conditioning unit. “It

How does Randy rate his chances of staying on the wagon during MICF? “Considering I’m only doing two shows on the opening weekend and then spending the rest of the festival eating toasted sandwiches on my couch and reading a rare anthology of comic tales by Edgar Allan Poe, I think I’m in with a pretty good shot,” he says. And while Randy and Sammy J aren’t doing a show together this year, are they still mates deep down? Will they make up? Will Randy make it along to see Sammy J’s solo show? “The restraining order prevents me from going within 200m of him so it’s unlikely I’ll catch it,” the purple one says. “That being said, apparently it’s quite a good show so don’t let me stop you from seeing it yourself.” Baz McAlister WHEN & WHERE: Thursday 28 and Friday 29 March, Athenaeum

The trio work pretty clean and dick-joke free, mixing magic with stand-up, poking fun at morning shows, the media and each other. “We’ve taken all the different funny elements in magic, the tacky Vegas magic, the stupid show pony magic (like Gob’s magic in Arrested Development), and placed it into this narrative comedy – one part magic, one part stand-up and one part comic storyline,” de la Rambelje says. “Our director said he wanted to create a show that would be funny, amazing and completely entertaining even if the magic was taken out completely. More magic shows should have this kind of dedication to the scripting process, because audiences are becoming more discerning and want more and more from their performers.” Baz McAlister WHEN & WHERE: Tuesday 2 to Sunday 21 April, Comedy On Collins

HOW EMBARRASSMENT Comedy Festival Gala on television. “It was just so exciting. I’d walk around school the next day doing my best Judith Lucy impression for my friends, who at that time in my life were the library staff.”

of his own devising. “My regimen is simple: each morning I put Fleetwood Mac’s 1977 masterpiece Rumours on my record player, line up track five and dance around in my underpants as Lindsey Buckingham tells Stevie Nicks to sort out her shit,” he says. Randy says he doesn’t see quitting booze as a drastic step: “I think a lot of people are so crippled by self-doubt that they need to ply themselves with poison before feeling comfortable enough to socially interact,” he says. “And if you must know, I woke up on the roof of Fed Square in a spandex onesie with the arse cut out of it, handcuffed to a meerkat.”

The illusionist says his signature trick is probably his own version of the linking rings. “Vyom is brilliant at sleight-of-hand card magic; Luke doesn’t really have a signature trick, he just looks pretty and smiles a lot. They are all over the internet spending their Saturday nights researching the latest ‘underground’ tricks. Vyom often laughs at the fact that Luke and I moonlight as kids’ magicians, but he moonlights as a doctor. Not sure who is winning in the dedication-to-magic competition there, but I think Vyom is a couple of steps ahead in the has-a-real-life competition.”

he worst job Mel Buttle ever had was as a vendor at the Gabba Cricket Ground in Brisbane. She put hot chips in boxes and then put the boxes on the service counter. She only lasted four hours.

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“I burned my fingers, had a panic attack, and got mum to come and pick me up. I never went back.” Buttle does not shy away from sharing awkward experiences. In fact, she’s comfortable with it. “I have to be,” she says, “they’re the only things that ever happen to me.” And she has found the perfect outlet for sharing in her stand-up – a charming celebration of awkwardness. Many of her stories revolve around her eccentric father Barry, who always manages to embarrass her. In one bit, he encourages her to dress up as a boy in order to enter her primary school’s swimming competition. “I win. The school wins overall. Yay! The real winner: gender confusion.” Buttle took to comedy at a young age, staying up late in primary school to watch the Melbourne International

She started performing in 2004 (“just mucking around”), but only started to take it more seriously after she won the RAW Comedy Queensland state final in 2008. In 2010, she quit her full-time job to focus on comedy. (“Also,” she adds, “I hated working there.”) That same year, she was nominated for Best Newcomer at the MICF. Success has followed: she has a weekly column in Brisbane’s Courier Mail newspaper, a radio spot on Breakfast with Tom and Alex on triple j, and a highly successful podcast, The Minutes With Mel And Patience. Now, Buttle is making her return to the MICF with her new show, How Embarrassment, which she premiered in Brisbane earlier this month. With subject matter covering her time in high school, in childcare, and cats, she calls it her favourite show she has ever done. “Also, this show has jokes about bantam hens in it. None of my other shows have ever had jokes about a niche breed of chicken in them.” She also hopes her new show will demonstrate how she has developed as a comic. “I’m not actively trying to be awkward,” Buttle says, “I’m trying to be cool. I’ve been trying since 1988 to be cool, but apparently staging an all-cat musical of the hit TV show All Saints with the neighbourhood cats is not cool. Comedy can be therapeutic. So can talking to your therapist about what happens when cat musicals go wrong.” Anthony Collebrusco WHEN & WHERE: Thursday 28 March to Sunday 21 April, Victoria Hotel, Acacia Room


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THE SHOWS

PUBERTY RHYTHM AND BLUES

wanted to say no, but then I thought, ‘Stuff it, I’ll just do it’. I just kept saying yes, which is how I get most of my jobs.”

hen you’ve got a title as perfect as Puberty Rhythm And Blues, the chicken-oregg question simply must be asked: what came first, the title or the show? “Aw, the fuckin’ title came first!” says Em Rusciano, her voice bursting with excitement. “How good a title is it?!”

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Rusciano first leapt into the public eye in 2004, when she appeared on the second season of Australian Idol (the one that Casey Donovan won, and Ricki-Lee Coulter somehow didn’t). Since then she’s made her way into radio, television, cabaret and now comedy. When asked why she’s decided to take herself to MICF, she explains that she’s driven by a combination of peer pressure (in a good way) and a willingness to leap before she looks. “I’m a gag hag – all my besties are comedians, and I work [in radio] with a very good one in Dave Thornton,” she says. “I did Cabaret Festival, and all of the boys are like, ‘Why don’t you do [MICF}?’ I really

While she’s excited about taking on the challenge of MICF, Rusciano isn’t convinced that she’s the next big thing in comedy. “I don’t think I’ve even decided I’m in – this is like my apprenticeship,” she laughs. Anyone dying for a sneak preview won’t find her trialing material in the various Melbourne comedy venues, either – she’s got other avenues to test out her routine. “I did 20 minutes with the Governor General last week – as you do,” she says. Her process is a little different to how most of her comedian friends work. “I don’t write punchlines and I don’t write gags, I just tell stories that people can relate to and hopefully find funny,” she says. “I don’t deliberately sit down to tell a joke, because if I did that, it would be terrible.” For Puberty Rhythm And Blues, the stories are about something we’ve all experienced – that awkward moment when your body starts changing. It’s all the more reason why Rusciano can’t see herself on the traditional comedy circuit. “I think it would be weird if I got up and did a tight five on my hairy vagina from when I was 13,” she says. “Out of context, my very hairy vagina would be weird in a comedy room, and the comedy nerds in their Star Wars t-shirts would probably walk out.” Rusciano knows she has her fans though, and she hopes they get a kick out of her show. “It is the Comedy Festival, so hopefully someone at least laughs at me, if not with me.” Aleksia Barron WHEN & WHERE: Thursday 28 March to Sunday 21 April, Forum

AGE-LESS 2: GAME ON every kid gets to walk out having done something they wouldn’t normally get to do on any given day.” Moreover, Grey hopes to show kids that while video games are great they are not the be all and end all. Without being parenty, sorry or preachy, Grey shows audiences that the games that “you have to get off your butt for” can be just as good, if not better, because their only limitation is your imagination (also pocket money, but you can always ask for more).

hen Inpress interviewed kid entertainer extraordinaire Matty Grey the question of, “Have you had any truly shocker gigs?” was eyeopening to say the least. From malicious back urinators, party poppers to the eye and mid-show broken ribs and toes, to ear infections courtesy of exploratory fingers, kids letting off your car’s hand brake on 35 degree inclines and little girls fond of poking kid performers in the back with skewers (two stiches ensued), Grey has experienced it all. Good gigs are the ones where he gets cake, apparently.

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Grey (and more importantly his alter ego Matt Hatter) takes all of this in his stride, however, and has returned to this year’s festival with the sequel to his Age-Less series Age-Less 2: Game On. The show, unsurprisingly, is about games. Not just video games but all sorts of games. Grey explains, “The show’s core ideal is interaction. I created it to make sure that

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Grey, based in Sydney, originally got into his line of work after getting married because he had “no other qualifications for meaningful and life affirming employment”. Matt Hatter (the main character of the AgeLess show) is an interesting combination of a variety of different influences. While being a rather loud extension of himself, he channels a mish mash of people. “From the gentle and quiet manic of Gene Wilder’s Willy Wonka, the loudness of Nicolas Cage’s characters in Snake Eyes and Face Off, a touch of bewilderment from Depp’s Captain Jack, the physical uncertainty of the Genie in Aladdin and a healthy dose of every Doctor Who I have ever loved,” he says. As well, everyone gets an opportunity to mingle pre-show with Mr Hatter so they “aren’t too confronted when he bursts out from behind them in the show’s opening”.

ack by popular demand, Squeaky Clean Comedy will return to the MICF for four nights only. The twohour feel-good feast will this year play host to Dave O’Neil (Spick & Specks), Mike Klimczak (Adelaide Comedy Festival), Michael Connell (Australia’s Got Talent), Beau Stegmann (triple j RAW Comedy), plus Mike Tancredi, Mark Pengilly and ventriloquist Sarah Jones.

shows and there have been some priceless moments, like the one when a daughter bagged her mother to the audience but it turned out the mum was sitting right next to her and she had something to say, too. “The girl totally outed her mother,” Wilson remembers. “But then they out-guilted each other.” Things mothers say figure in many stories. “When they call you by your full name,” Wilson notes. “That strikes a chord with many people.”

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Now in its fourth season, over the years the event has been described as “a banquet of stand-up, ventriloquism, physical comedy and more”, though executive director Eugene Wong says that was never his intention when selecting the acts. “It’s slightly different every year. We’re not so worried about specifically seeking out different forms of comedy – it just happens. We do try to have different styles of humour though, which helps to keep it fresh throughout the night.” The 2013 line-up, Wong says, was carefully put together after watching a year’s worth of local comedy. “We spend most of the year attending comedy gigs and handpicking

“… I CAN HAVE COCO POPS FOR DINNER Y WHEN I WANT… IF M WIFE LETS ME.”

al Wilson Is Guilty hits the Melbourne International Comedy Festival after a brilliant reception at the Adelaide Fringe. It’s hard to imagine what the charming New Zealand-born comic has got to feel guilty about. “I’ve never killed a man,” Wilson admits. “It’s all the small things I do. Everyone feels guilty about something. It’s universal. It’s about my life as a guilty person; some of my earliest memories are about feeling guilty. Telling stories and making jokes is how I deal with it.”

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In Cal Wilson Is Guilty, Wilson invites audience members to share their own guilt-ridden tales – an approach which has conversations raging well after the show is over. “The talking starts as soon as the lights go up,” Wilson says. “It sparks off conversations because people identify with feeling guilty. People come up to me in the bar after the show and tell me their stories.” Some stories find their way into later

Benjamin Meyer

Brendan Hitchens WHEN & WHERE: Saturday 30 March to Saturday 20 April (Saturday nights only), Melbourne City Conference Centre

If anything’s been weighing on your conscience, this is the show for you. Liza Dezfouli WHEN & WHERE: Thursday 28 March to Sunday 21 April, Town Hall, Powder Room

playing technique. He’s upped-the-anti since then, though. “I am demonstrating the lovely little Yamaha Playacar organ, which came out of the late 1970s. It has a lovely little card with a magnetic strip along the bottom and it has all the musical information contained inside the little strip! And you slide it through the heads, push a button, and away it goes! You just lay back in the Jason recliner and let it all happen!

“The show began when someone challenged us to produce a show that was both funny and clean, but aimed at adults, as opposed to the standard kids’ shows,” he says. “We had a hunch we could do it, but the sell-out crowds and consistently great reviews have proven that clean comedy holds its own and has a place in the Comedy Festival.” True to its title, Wong says the show is, “suitable for all ages”, with their intended demographic being “ages 12 and up”.

When asked if he did have a favourite computer game as a child, he laments that his mother never let him have a console. “[This] is probably part of the reason I love games so much now,” he says. “It’s a big raspberry to my mum, ‘Nah nah, I play computers!’, and I can have Coco Pops for dinner when I want… If my wife lets me.”

Wilson holds the Protestant religion as partly responsible for her guilty feelings. “I was a religious teenager – that’s why I’ve got the guilt thing. I inhaled it from the Church.” Just as well she wasn’t a Catholic, then. “I would have exploded! I would have melted!” Wilson says she loves to tell stories – the biggest challenge in putting this show together was finding the right structure for them. “A friend said, do it in chronological order,” she explains. She covers a lifetime of guilt, from the early religious guilt through phases of self-improvement and bringing audiences up to date with the big one – parent guilt. “No matter how good your intentions are, at some point you’re going to screw your kids up,” says the performer. One story involves her toddler and a talking horse. “There is nothing so awful and so delicious as when your child is terrified and you find it funny.” Without giving the show away, is there any one defining episode of guilt in her life? “There is an incident in my teens involving both my parents,” she says. “Quite a big one.”

ORGAN IS NOT A DIRTY WORD

performers we think will work well together. Generally, our artists just need to be a) funny, and b) clean. Typically they also happen to be lovely people.

Despite the gala theme of the event, Wong says the comedians will be left to their own devices. “The performers all get to do whatever they like, but there is an overall theme to the night, which is ‘Hungry For More’, as we partner with World Vision to raise awareness of food security issues in developing countries.“ The partnership with the charity is something the director takes great pride in. “We love the work World Vision does and decided to work together last year. We’re just trying to promote the issue and encourage people to become advocates and donate to their Multiplying Food Appeal.” With performances from some of the nation’s finest comedians, no crass humour and supporting a charity in the process, how could you argue?

WHEN & WHERE: Tuesday 2 to Saturday 13 April, Scots’ Church Assembly Hall

CAL WILSON IS GUILTY

SQUEAKY CLEAN COMEDY

“I’ve got the Hammond Aurora Classic there again too and I’m playing a few groovy tunes on that. I’ve been listening to a bit of AM radio lately and I’m up with the latest hits. I’m doing a few grabs from Lady Gaga, the Skyhooks and everything in between.” ou just shook me out of bed, my goodness! All the wheels are falling off!” Barry Morgan, creation of comedian Stephen Teakle and proprietor of Barry Morgan’s Organs in Adelaide’s Sunnyside Mall, has had a big night on the keys. You may remember Barry from his appearances on Spicks & Specks, or one of his festival shows, where he likes to demonstrate his wares and how to play them. “I was at the Phatcave. And that’s without an F. It’s at the Adelaide Fringe, a comedy gala kind of affair, and it goes all night. They had me down there for the hard sell. I thought I was going to be right corked at half-past-one, two o’clock in the morning. But fortunately, again, I am back home with the organ.

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“They were all clapping along to my new hands-free organ toy. I’ve moved on from the one-finger method, which I’m sure you remember, Simon?” Indeed, the last time we spoke, Barry was proclaiming the virtues of his Hammond Aurora Classic organ and his one-finger

In a devastating twist, Barry has a new competitor. “Brayden Kayden – I wish I hadn’t said his name – he’s opened up a music shop next door, selling the electronic piano, Simon.” Barry’s voice melts to a soft croak, “He’s taken my one-finger method and now he’s applying it to the electronic piano. It’s a weapon of mass distraction! I tell you what, he’ll sell you one of them and your love of music will run out with the first set of batteries, Simon. Not like the organ. The organ’s got two keyboards, pedals, and all that wood!” But Barry’s hair, smile, and low, low prices mean it’s hard to imagine he won’t win-out when the two cross swords. Later in the year, in a big coup for organists everywhere, he’ll be supporting Jack Black and Tenacious D on their Australian Tour. One feels there are bigger organs in store for Barry in the very near future. Simon Eales WHEN & WHERE: Thursday 28 March to Sunday 21 April, Trades Hall, New Ballroom


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THE SHOWS

FAULTY TOWERS: THE DINING EXPERIENCE

LET’S DO THIS

the show on stages, in theatre foyers, in real hotels, pubs, mansions, a castle, marquees, converted stables, wine cellars and river boats – and Pollard-Mansergh says the most unusual venue was a stationary double-decker bus in Ireland, “where Basil couldn’t even stand up straight”.

y the end of the 1970s, just after it aired, the classic British sitcom Fawlty Towers had been sold to 45 TV stations in 17 different countries, and it continues to entertain. Social climber Basil, domineering Sybil and the harried Manuel have become household names. In 1997, the idea came to Alison Pollard-Mansergh to create a new theatrical experience that would allow fans to immerse themselves in the chaos of Basil’s hotel dining room on gourmet night – and the homage Faulty Towers: The Dining Experience was born.

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Pollard-Mansergh is now the artistic director of the show and its production company, Interactive Theatre International – and she plays Sybil as part of one of six teams of performers constantly crisscrossing the globe. She’s currently on a massive tour of The Netherlands, Belgium and Norway, where she says the TV show has many fans. “People all around the world love British humour,” she says. “I think [the TV show] endured because no matter where you are in the world, it rings true. You can actually receive service like this – sad but true!” At the two-hour show, the company manages to serve a full meal to patrons, while they marvel at Manuel’s ineptitude and Basil’s snobbery. This year they’re returning to take over The Aegean restaurant in Fitzroy, but they’ve put on

Before starting the show up, PollardMansergh owned a restaurant and says her food service experience stood her in good stead while working out the timing of the show. “Knowing how restaurants work, and how much preparation needs to be done certainly helped, and I’ve been able to teach the other performers from my experience,” she says. The mantra of Basil’s hotel was akin to Murphy’s law: if it can go wrong, it will go wrong, and Pollard-Mansergh says her many trios of actors have managed to get out of some sticky situations themselves, including a brave audience member picking up a cowering Manuel and actually carrying him from the room to protect him from Sybil’s wrath. “The worst one,” she says, “was probably when we were suddenly faced with a power-cut – it was lovely to improvise with, and the solutions we were coming up with were real. Thankfully, everyone ended up getting fed. There was also the time when we were working in a hotel and there was a full 12-engine call-out because all the fire alarms had gone off. Thankfully it was right at the end of the show, and we actually had people asking how difficult it was to organise the fire department [to turn up]!” Baz McAlister WHEN & WHERE: Wednesday 3 to Sunday 21 April, The Aegean

LAWRENCE LEUNG’S PART-TIME DETECTIVE AGENCY

won’t be long before he tracks one down to join his Part-Time Detective Agency. Leung has been displaying impressive sleuthing credentials in the most recent show he’s toured, Beginning Middle End. That show stemmed from him tracking down an erotic story about himself getting it on with another well-known Australian TV soapie character on an online forum. “It was pretty disturbing,” he says. “But luckily I’m a comedian. Not only do I have a thick skin but I can mine this stuff for comedy gold.”

ho I am on TV isn’t particularly sexy,” confesses Melbourne comedian and TV presenter Lawrence Leung. “I’m not a hot dude. I’m not a vampire from True Blood. I’m just me!”

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But the thing with Lawrence Leung is that he’s not just ‘him’, is he? No, he’s an everyman, but he’s the version of himself that takes risks, that kicks goals, that, well, chooses his own adventure. The version of himself we all want to be. Leung’s shows, whether on TV or on stage, have tended to be ‘quest-based’. “I’ll take a challenge or an adventure and explore it from lots of different angles until I run out of time or some calamity happens,” he says. One memorable example is his show from two years ago, Lawrence Leung Wants A Jetpack, where he bailed up a bunch of ‘backyard bogan MacGyvers’ in search of a functioning jetpack. This year, Leung wants to be like Sherlock Homes – the only problem is he’s not got a case to solve, or a loyal assistant, or even a sinister nemesis. But knowing Leung, it

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The comic has been building his profile steadily over the decade or so he’s been doing comedy; his ABC shows Choose Your Own Adventure and Unbelievable have enjoyed great success, not to mention garnered him some obsessive fans. “They say you’ve not really made it until you’ve got a stalker,” Leung laughs. “But [before the fan fiction] I have had love letters pop up in my email through my website, or sometimes at my shows people leave me little gifts and letters and things, which is kind of strange.” Leung won’t long be off our TV screens. He says he’s busy constantly pitching and developing projects at the ABC and has a feature film project on the go. He says with the internet, no one is limited to the stage anymore and comics are free to find their own audiences in various other media. “Every comedian and their dog has a podcast these days, so you don’t have to be held back by people deciding what your audience should be,” he says.

eAnne Smith is standing in a darkened cupboard, covered in Band-Aids fashioned from paper and sticky tape hiding from a two- and four-year-old. Visiting her sister in LA, she confesses “after Wii, changing outfits, scooters and playing a weird version of baseball with ten bases, convincing them to play nurses and stick paper Band-Aids all over me was a great trick to get a break!”

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Smith also runs a successful comedy and burlesque show called Stand Up, Strip Down, encapsulating her signature combination of nerdy and dirty. “I can’t help it!” she explains. “When I’m saying something dirty, I’ll inevitably make a Scrabble reference and when I’m making a nerdy joke about creation I’ll end up getting dirty and making puns about the big bang.” A fan recently asked Smith to be her spirit animal, and she agreed despite some confusion about her duties. “The weirdest was when I was a

“… PEOPLE LEAVED ME LITTLE GIFTS ANGS, LETTERS AND THIN F WHICH IS KIND O STRANGE.”

f you haven’t heard of the Moosehead Awards, you’re a dick. Well, no, you’re not a dick, but you should get yourself across it and pay your dutiful respects to the Melbourne comedy god, past and present. The awards – originally developed as a way to acknowledge the short but important life of 23-year-old local comedian, actor and fringe comedy producer, Brian McCarthy, who was tragically killed in a car accident – have now become a way of the Melbourne comedy community consolidating, sharing and celebrating its own, and those who have happily come along for the ride. The awards work in the form of a grant, decided by the Moosehead Committee, to help foster, promote and ultimately kickstart new comedy – as well as the awarding of the Golden Gibbo in memory of Lynda Gibson, a dead-set legend of the scene who also tragically passed before her time (but not before she created a great impression, appearing in every Comedy Festival since 1987 until her death in 2004).

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Now a quarter of a century in and 50-odd shows down, this year’s Mooseheaders are Joel Tito, Lessons

Smith is interested in audience participation beyond the show, recently trialing this at the Mainline Theatre in Montreal. “There’s an erotic cinema called Cine L’Amour next to the Mainline and one night I was doing my show couples could get in free, so I was like, ‘Wouldn’t it be funny if we all paired off and went in?’ During the show, the audience was like ‘Yay! Let’s do this!’, but by the time I got there it was just me and seven weirdos. I guess other people have lives.” Izzy Roberts-Orr WHEN & WHERE: Thursday 28 March to Sunday 21 April, Town Hall, Cloak Room

Standard Double encapsulates what the Mooseheads are about – giving something different a go just because it might be fun as well as funny – and they are exploring new ideas for comedy performance and the experience for the performers and audience. “It’s going to be really interesting to see how it works. Mark flew over for a couple of weeks and we just went like the clappers getting it together; he was particularly great in helping us work out the pacing. Even though the show is only an hour, it will be from check in to check out, following that story line,” she continues. “Without Moosehead it would be me and Wes in a makeshift hotel room in one of our houses, it wouldn’t have the same effect!” Liz Giuffre WHEN & WHERE: Sunday 21 April, Town Hall, Main Hall

the show – more specifically, my lack of it,” he says. “They say money can’t buy happiness, and even if that’s true, it’s hard to see yourself smiling if you can’t afford to keep the lights in your house on.” The title refers to Diamond House, a government office in Ghana where you can buy legit blood-free diamonds – “But it’s kinda weird,” says Okine, who was raised in Australia and recently visited Ghana, the country of his dad’s birth. “It’s less like a Michael Hill Jewellery store, and more like Lionel Hutz’s office [from The Simpsons].”

Although Smith’s Comedy Festival listing says the show is only 35% kickass, rest assured, it’s much further along. “They make us write the intros in October, so the show’s never 100% shaped, but it’s now about 85% kickass and the rest is solidifying.” In short, expect the unexpected. Let’s Do This includes longer segments than usual for Smith (her second show was aptly titled DeAnne Smith Lacks Focus) and may include group chants. Although so far, “I’ve only got about a 75% hit rate,” she says. “A good chant needs everyone to really get into it.”

With Luis, and Kate McLennan and Wes Snelling. While all are super duper exciting, the latter has attracted particular attention, with McLennan and Snelling’s show, Standard Double, snagging Mark Watson to fly over from the UK as a special guest director. Set in a hotel room (and staged in an actual hotel room), it was an email and a leap of faith that got it all together. “Wes and I wouldn’t be able to do the show without Moosehead, because getting 20 people into a hotel room to watch isn’t going to be a great money spinner… but doing this show for the love without having to worry about how many bums on seats will be there and what money it might make back is going to be a great pleasure,” explains McLennan, now in her tenth year of comedy festival goodness.

BROKEN DIAMOND HOUSE

poet, before comedy, a woman wrote me asking if she could get lines from one of my poems tattooed on her body. She sent me a pic when it was done but a few years later, she sent me another pic when she’d had it removed. She really didn’t need to send me a picture the second time.”

Baz McAlister WHEN & WHERE: Thursday 28 March to Sunday 21 April, Swiss Club

BRIAN MCCARTHY MEMORIAL MOOSEHEAD AWARDS BENEFIT

On his recent trip home to Brisbane, Okine undertook the arduous task of teaching his father how to send text messages on a phone. att Okine’s a record-breaker. Since the recent release of his DVD Being Black N Chicken N Shit, he says he’s smashed the record for most DVDs sold by a half-Ghanaian/Australian comedian from Brisbane. And the hits just keep on coming, because after a successful season of his new stand-up show Broken Diamond House at his hometown’s comedy festival, he’s on his way south to give the good people of Melbourne a taste of the same.

“It was a glorious moment,” he recalls. “There were tears, and spelling mistakes. He kept asking ‘How do I make it capitals?’ and I kept saying ‘It doesn’t matter. We’ll battle those big problems together’. It was very much like the time he taught me how to ride a bike, only I didn’t forget how to ride a bike by the next day. Parents, huh? They grow up so fast.”

“This new show encompasses most of my experiences from the past year,” Okine says. “All up, I’d say it took six months to write, and I wrote the majority of it in various hotel rooms around the world. That said, don’t be expecting a ripping hour on complimentary soaps and miniature shampoos. I’m better than that.”

“Hells yeah, bro. The Boilermakers are alive and well. Think I might hit up Sydney comic Genevieve Fricker for some more collabs while we’re down in Melbourne. In the meantime, you can download my latest mixtape from my website, at mattokine.com.”

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The show actually riffs on a variety of topics, but Okine says the main one is wealth: “I talk a lot about money in

And aside from his comedy pursuits, Okine says his nifty sideline in hip hop is going well and he’s been collaborating with other comics on that.

Baz McAlister WHEN & WHERE: Thursday 28 March to Sunday 21 April, Portland Hotel


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THE Q&AS

$5 COMEDY VARIETY HOUR

Describe yourself in exactly 140 characters (length of a tweet)? James Rose: I’m just a man answering questions for a magazine, asking the reader to love him. Great now I need more to cover it ruining my parody. Who is your biggest celebrity crush and why? Myself for getting exactly 140 characters above! I’d name someone but you know every time I mention in an interview that I find a celebrity attractive, they blow up my phone up with so many texts and calls that I need a new number. I’m sorry Vanessa Hudgens but I won’t be returning your calls! What’s your favourite team sport and why? Red Bull Formula 1 team. Why? Mark Webber’s wife, ‘nuff said! What’s a nightmare you’ve had recently? A world without Facebook! I had to actually talk to people in awkward social situations! There was no need to go to the gym anymore because I couldn’t check in. But worst of all, I had to actually deal with my personal problems rather than posting a needy status about how much my life sucks. THE HORROR!

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What are you looking forward to the most at MICF? In the Melbourne International Comedy Festival the performers are represented by two separate, yet equally important groups. The people who look forward to particular things at MICF and those who just go with the flow. These are the stories of the latter. WHEN & WHERE: Thursday 28 March to Sunday 7 April, Felix Bar

DANDYMAN

What are you looking forward to the most at MICF? Seeing people’s faces either during my show or as they are leaving the theatre with big bright eyes full of bubbly joy. WHEN & WHERE: Thursday 28 March to Sunday 21 April, Town Hall, Backstage Room

GAME CHANGER!: BARACK OBAMA AND MY PART IN HIS VICTORY

Describe yourself in exactly 140 characters (length of a tweet)? Daniel Oldaker: Fun-loving, charismatic fellow of many talents, occasionally known to do random acts of stupidity. Who is your biggest celebrity crush and why? Penelope Cruz ‘cause she looks a bit stupid while she acts. What’s your favourite team sport and why? Underwater hockey ‘cause my Dad plays it and my Dad is cool! What’s a nightmare you’ve had recently? People chasing dolphins in shallow water then I got chased by a bear.

Describe yourself in exactly 140 characters (length of a tweet)? Evin Donohoe: Aussie-American, politics & Survivor junkie w/ a Canadian temperament. Incurable optimist. Also #rollerderby #boardgames #poker #rock&roll What’s the best joke you’ve heard recently? I don’t know about ‘best joke’, but when your friends all get drunk and start “quoting” the goats-screaming-

like-humans video at each other it quickly devolves into a room full of people cycling through screeching in each other’s faces and then breaking into hysterical laughter. Also, you can’t go past Shane Matheson’s haunting rendition of the song Mango Hands.

EDIBLE PETS: THE FAREWELL TOUR

And the worst joke? Stonnington Council in Melbourne calling their pool the Harold Holt Swimming Centre. What’s a dream you’ve had recently? A friend of mine had his arm cut off in a particularly rough game of laser tag. He stitched it back on himself and nonchalantly carried about his business; he didn’t want to go to the hospital on account of the fact he was getting married later that day. What are you looking forward to the most at MICF? Four things: 1. What does any Sydneysider jealously look forward to most about Melbourne: trams. 2. Also, you have a nice zoo that isn’t on a 30-degree incline. 3. Also, seeing as many other comics’ shows as humanly possible. My hope is to be so drained of actual laughter as to be capable only of silently internalising any positive responses to comedy. 4. Taking nice dip at the Harold Holt Swimming Centre. What’s that Victoria Tourism ad? “It’s Easy to Lose Yourself in Melbourne”? WHEN & WHERE: Tuesday 9 to Sunday 21 April, Trades Hall, Evatt Room

Describe yourself in exactly 140 characters (length of a tweet)? Matt Dyktynski: The Edible Pets are two middle-aged blokes with something to say and a rapidly diminishing time to say it in. What’s the best joke you’ve heard recently? That Australia’s a fair and equitable society. And the worst joke? The same joke. What’s a dream you’ve had recently? That I’m 43 and unemployed and balding a bit and struggling with my weight and, oh wait, that’s my real, “awake” life. What are you looking forward to the most at MICF? People enjoying our little show and giving me some of their money. Not too much. Just what’s right. WHEN & WHERE: Thursday 28 March to Sunday 21 April, Victoria Hotel, Acacia Room


THE Q&A’S

WHITE TRASH

What are you looking forward to the most at MICF? Playing air hockey with Tracy Jordan. WHEN & WHERE: Wednesday 27 March to Tuesday 9 April, Imperial Hotel

SONG MY PARENTS TAUGHT ME

Describe yourself in exactly 140 characters (length of a tweet)? Xavier Toby: I look like Paul McCartney, and I’m offering $500 to anyone tells him he looks like Neil Sinclair – must have video proof. And I’m funny. Who is your biggest celebrity crush and why ? Amy Poehler, because of everything she has ever done ever! What’s your favourite team sport and why? Air hockey. It’s the only sport I like and it should be in the Olympic Games. What’s a nightmare you’ve had recently? I have a recurring nightmare about the end of the world. Sometimes it’s nuclear war, others zombies. Once it was walking dolphins.

Describe yourself in exactly 140 characters (length of a tweet)? Drag-queen-trapped-in-tubbygoth-girl’s-body, Sparklepuppy, @ thelisaskye, funny as, PLUS he’s probably not out of your league! HAS OWN METRONOME.

Who is your biggest celebrity crush and why? Sam Simmons because he is hot, weird and a motherfucking genius talented bitchhorse. Slutmonster because s/he is hot, weird and a motherfucking genius talented bitchhorse. IN FOR HOT WEIRD THREEWAY.

THE STAND UP COMEDY EXPERIENCE: WORKSHOP

SWEET CHILD OF MINE

What’s your favorite sports team and why? Maradona Posh Spice, because they kick all the goals and points!

Describe yourself in exactly 140 characters (length of a tweet)? Bron Batten: Bron is a Capricorn who is afraid of chickens and enjoys reality cooking shows #randomfacts #mykitchenrulesisgoodandtrashy #allyouneedtoknow

What’s a nightmare you’ve had recently? I was walking down the road at night and I heard a cockatoo in a tree. “It’s a bit late for you, Mister Cocky!� I chuckled to myself. I saw his silhouette in the tree, and as I walked past I looked up at him. The cockatoo turned to me AND HE HAD A MAN’S FACE PAINTED ALL WHITE. He stared at me and I woke myself up before my brain imploded.

Describe yourself in exactly 140 characters (length of a tweet)? Robert Grayson: I’m a picker, I’m a grinner, I’m a lover, and I’m a sinner. I’m a comedy educator, personal development facilitator, that sure don’t wanna hurt no one.

What’s the best joke you’ve heard recently? Q. What did one snowman say to the other snowman? A. Can you smell carrots?

What’s the best joke you’ve heard recently? The one about the fish.

What’s a dream you’ve had recently? That my mum killed Bruce Springsteen and I had to help her hide the body. I was really mad at her.

What are you looking forward to the most at MICF? The possibility of banging hot chicks in the loos at Tuxedo Cat. Stealing the drugs of far more famous and successful comedians. Fliering LOL JKS NO I DON’T EVERY MINUTE OF FLIERING MAKES ME DIE INSIDE.

And the worst joke? The one about the fish. What’s a dream you’ve had recently? All comedians, observationalists, anecdotal comics, satirists, one-liner comics, absurdists, physical comics, musical artists, mimes – okay, not mimes, but everybody else – could sit down at the table of comedic brotherhood, crack a few tinnies and be seen as equal. I have a dream.

What are you looking forward to the most at MICF? Seeing great shows by funny people, having fun performing with my Dad and eating late night chicken wings from Golden Towers. WHEN & WHERE: Thursday 4 to Friday 12 April, Northcote Town Hall

WHEN & WHERE: Thursday 11 to Sunday 21 April, Tuxedo Cat

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THE SHOWS

THE DC3: THE RINGTONE CYCLE

SPEAKEASY

DAWN OF A NEW ERROR my body that is just able to get to the bottom of a cock joke as quickly as it possibly can. And I’m worried that that’s my only fitness. That’s the only workable muscle in my body.”

So I thought: why not reduce Wagner to my subterranean level? In the end, I have fucked with the original Wagnerian spirit so badly that there are only the merest snippets of ol’ Dicky W left in the wreckage. My hatchet job on the Ring Cycle makes Muse look credible.”

only became anonymous after I took off the mask,” says Damian Cowell – and if you’ve just proved his point by not knowing the name, we’re talking about the former frontman of TISM and ROOT!, now helming his new trio The DC3. During this year’s Comedy Festival, Cowell and his compatriots will be tackling one of the most epic musical institutions known to man: Wagner’s Ring Cycle. In an hour.

“I

“Wagner’s Ring Cycle is 15-plus hours of opera over four consecutive nights with tickets starting at $1000 a shot. For 25 bucks you get three grumpy old men and a ringtone,” Cowell says. “Wagnerian is an adjective that means ‘fuck off’. As in: big sets, big voices, big story, big helmet. I’ve bandied the adjective Wagnerian about for years to describe things like the ridiculous voiceover at the start of the AFL TV broadcast. But it was only recently when my broadminded friends bought tickets to the Ring Cycle that I realised how wonderful it all is. It took Richard Wagner 26 years to compose, and radical interpretations of it have so enraged audiences that there have been fistfights – one woman even had her earlobe bitten off. It’s fair to say ‘melodramatic’ doesn’t quite cover it.

Throughout his career, Cowell has married comedy and music with great success, but he doesn’t quite agree that he straddles the territory of both. “I think ‘straddle and fall off’ might be a more accurate equestrian metaphor,” he says. “I’ve always regarded myself as a musician, a singer, a songwriter, just like everybody, and I think I aspire – I don’t succeed, I merely aspire – to the highest form of expression possible within this extremely limited form of expression: that is, to make people think, be horrified, be inspired, be uplifted, be depressed and laugh all at the same time.” Cowell says one of the things that makes him ‘not good enough’ is his dislike of having to learn thousands of words’ worth of scripts by rote: “You know, I wonder if the hip hop community has the same problem – all those goddamn words in the correct order!” he says. “I reckon if you turn up backstage after a Wu-Tang Clan gig they’d all still be hanging around looking for their car keys. No wonder Flavor Flav has a big clock around his neck.” Baz McAlister WHEN & WHERE: Wednesday 27 March to Sunday 7 April, Fortyfivedownstairs

THE AGEING YOUNG REBEL “I’m a big fan of Hunter S Thompson, Bukowski and Burroughs – those kinds of outlaw mavericks living on the fringe of society,” he says. “But mainly [in the show] I talk about my love for Jim Henson and how creative and innovative that guy was. I have always said The Dark Crystal is a work of art and should be shown in art-house cinemas all over the globe!”

t all started, says comedian Trav Nash, when the taxi driver started to have a heart attack – and it ended with his Comedy Festival show for this year, The Ageing Young Rebel.

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“Basically, the show is about almost dying in a taxi and realising maybe it’s time to grow up or pretend to be more like an adult,” says Nash, who’s saving the juicy details of his third festival show for the punters. But it’s not all about death, and it won’t be all about growing up and becoming responsible – Nash’s love of pop culture will inevitably become part of the show no matter what. “I think I waste way too much of time watching bad vintage TV, so it always seems to seep into my act,” he says. “It’s hard not to be affected by the power of bad ‘90s sitcoms.” Nash says his metered near-death experience caused him, as these things do, to take stock of his life, and to compare his life to those of his artistic heroes.

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Nash’s comedic style has been influenced by still more outlaw mavericks, but of the comedy world. “I grew up listening to classic albums like Eddie Murphy’s RAW and the infamous Wired World Of Sports albums,” he says. “In my teens, thanks to the Tool album I discovered Bill Hicks, but I think when I started out, I just tried to tell jokes, but then slowly gravitated to just speaking about what happened to me that week. I always seem to be some kind of freak magnet and I feel it’s my civic duty to report it on stage.” For his venue this year, Nash has chosen an underground room perfectly suited for his style of underground comedy. Fondly known as the LOL Bunker, it’s the basement of Caz Reitop’s Dirty Secrets in Collingwood, the same space that hosts Nash’s Death Star Comedy room every Wednesday of the year (except during the Comedy Festival). “Death Star Comedy has been going well for the last three years,” he says. “It’s always a good mix of the best established comics in the state – that we can afford! – and some great up-and-comers. We just try and give everyone some much-needed stage time.” Baz McAlister WHEN & WHERE: Wednesday 27 March to Saturday 20 April, Caz Reitop’s Dirty Secrets

resented by Darebin Arts, Speakeasy is a series of comedy shows that represent the northern hub of the Melbourne International Comedy Festival. The program includes Tommy Bradson’s Sweet Sixteen Or The Birthday Party Massacre; Live On Air With Poet Laureate Telia Nevile; Sweet Child Of Mine by Bron Batten; Dave by Zoe Coombs Marr; Sl*tmonster & Friends; God Fights The Dinosaurs And 9 Other Stories That Will Awesome You In The Face by Fabian Lapham and Body Poet by Sabrina D’Angelo. There’s even something for the kids, with MC Platypus & Queen Koala’s Hip Hop Jamboree and The Listies In 6D. Given the wildly eclectic range of shows on offer, naturally we want to know how the hell programmer Beau McCafferty went about choosing them.

At just 21, Nicholson won the 2012 Time Out Award for ‘Best Newcomer’ at the Sydney Comedy Festival. His show back then was about being single and bitter, and it was filthy and hilarious. Since then, he has found a boyfriend and is very happy. “And this is the whole problem, I’m running out of material! I’ve moved in with my boyfriend and we’re very happy and I just don’t know how to deal with that. I was raised by really good people, I had no reason to be bitter. At least I had loneliness to keep me productive.” This year’s show “Is about dealing with being a good person… Or trying to be a good person… By the end of the show we kind of realise I remain not a good person. But don’t give that away! Spoiler alert! I’m still a dick!”

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“I am an arts programmer for a living and keenly attend a huge variety of performances throughout the year,” he says. “I knew I wanted something markedly different to the standard stand-up with a microphone. I wanted to provide a home for the adventurous and risky work, the most exciting and non-traditional stuff I could find. The focus is on artists doing something differently, shifting your

“IT’S HARD NOT TOE BE AFFECTED BY TH POWER OF BAD ‘90S SITCOMS.”

ast year’s show was about how I was single and everything’s fucked. This show is about how I’ve got a boyfriend but everything’s still fucked. The whole idea is I’m happy. I should be happy in theory but I’m still just a grumpy cunt. You’re going to be using the asterisks a lot in this…”

“L

If you were lucky enough to catch Rhys Nicholson’s debut comedy festival show last year you would know he is foulmouthed, bitter, well dressed and has a giant red quiff of hair. “It’s got its own career these days, my hair. At one point, I measured it and it was at least four inches tall. It doesn’t sound big, but that’s pretty big. Not penis wise, but that’s how I measured it. I didn’t measure it from the balls though, ‘cause that’s cheating.” Rhys loves a good cock joke. “I just realised that there’s a part in my brain like a muscle that only makes cock jokes. It’s like this really toned muscle in

WHEN & WHERE: Thursday 28 March to Sunday 21 April, Northcote Town Hall

WHEN & WHERE: Thursday 28 March to Sunday 21 April, Portland Hotel

“Around the time of year when I have to start writing my festival show it can get hard to focus,” he says. “I just want to get home from doing radio and watch DVDs, masturbate, eat something and have a nap. I’m human – if you prick me, do I not bleed? So yes, it can be tough trying to create outside of that and come to the show with enough energy to make it fun.”

So does McCafferty have a highlight? “The highlight is the fact that these nine shows are all so keen to work with each other to build something new,” he says. “The Comedy Festival can be a very daunting beast and to take a chance and recognise that there is an audience hungry for something different... There is such camaraderie between the shows already and the season hasn’t even begun. It is going to be very exciting to spend a night there going from one show to the next.”

Tony McMahon

Kate Kingsmill

MY EGO IS BETTER THAN YOUR EGO

worldview for better or worse. But they also had to be hugely funny.”

McCafferty also talks about the Comedy Festival branching out into the north of the city, or the opposite, depending on your worldview. “It’s important to have a hub of alternative comedy and to have a hub in the north. All of these shows are quite theatrical and intricate and can’t be staged in standard festival venues. It will be a visual experience dramatically different to most other comedy venues. Additionally, the Comedy Festival is huge and has venues spread all over Melbourne, there’s simply no need to head into the CBD as the only way to see a show. We believe that a Northcote experience of seeing a show or two at the Town Hall and having dinner and a drink at one of the many local establishments beats heading into a packed city and dealing with hordes of people.”

In fact, Rhys met his boyfriend during the run of his show last year. “And I just never bothered to change the show. So I remained to be single in the show, hitting on men in the front row, for a good few months, and he would come to shows, and I’m rubbing my genitals on guys in the front row and then we’d just go and have a nice Thai meal after, and ignore what just happened.” Maybe his boyfriend enjoyed watching Rhys thrust his groin into other men’s faces. “Yeah, maybe it was his own personal porn! Maybe he’s a lot weirder than I thought he was. Oh god, we’re going to break up now. I might get some work done, finally. It’ll be next year’s show. Tickets on sale for the break-up show next year. By which time I will have another boyfriend…”

This year, however, Ballard’s come up with a winner – a show called My Ego Is Better Than Your Ego, born of a year’s worth of introspection which yielded the conclusion that the young comic indeed has a raging ego problem.

ime flies. It’s been four years since comedians Tom Ballard and Alex Dyson began dominating the weekday airwaves from 6am to 9am on triple j, but despite having to haul himself out of bed at 4am and go to sleep before most comedy clubs even open, radio work hasn’t dulled Ballard’s enthusiasm for the spotlight and microphone.

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“I’m really dedicated to keep doing stand-up,” he says. “Triple j have been very supportive of that, but breakfast radio and stand-up pretty much happen at the exact opposite ends of the day. But it’s worth it to spread laughter to the people.” It’s a hard slog for Ballard to juggle his on-air duties with the annual comedy festival circuit but he perseveres, despite the copious numbers of nanna naps and dealing with unbidden grumpiness. He says, however, that the main problem attached to pumping out 15 hours of radio content a week is creative burnout.

“Over the last 12 months, I’ve been questioning why I do comedy, and the obvious answer is for attention. It’s important to me that people like me. That’s fundamentally why I do it. I love making people laugh and creating stuff and making people think and feel happy, but the initial impulse to perform is just a desperate need for attention and validation from other people. No matter how edgy a comedian is, or how different they claim to be from all the sell-out mainstream comedians, every comedian wants people to laugh at their stuff and find it funny. I realise how indulgent it is to do an hour-long stand-up show about ‘Shut up, look at me, listen to me as my amplified voice booms at you for an hour and I expect you to laugh’ – but that’s the way I go about things.” Baz McAlister WHEN & WHERE: Thursday 28 February to Sunday 21 April, Swiss Club


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THE SHOWS

HELLO KITTY

THE DRAMA CAPTAIN

LITTLE DANCES

field at a rum distillery – it was one of those life-affirming moments,” he says, recalling the year gone past, before adding, “Also Anne Hathaway won the Academy Award... As a gay man, I was extremely proud.”

her comedy audience. She performed stand-up in countries such as Japan, France, Holland and Germany. She has also been on the bills at all the big festival including Edinburgh, Kilkenny and Cape Town. Luckily in 2009, this Sydneysider returned home to us. We also have an award-winning puss on our hands, recognised for a short film she made. However, these kinds of awards don’t allow their recipients to make speeches so Kitty’s beautifully crafted quips were left for another time. In addition, Flanagan was also been nominated for a 2010 Helpman Award for her previous stand-up show, Charming And Alarming. veryone’s favourite feline, Kitty Flanagan, is back for the third time at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival with her new show Hello Kitty. With signature curls and a charming Australian accent, you might be asking yourself, ‘Where have I seen that woman before?’ Well, the face of Kitty Flanagan has probably popped up in front of you at some stage. She’s been in the comedy game for the past 18 years, appearing on television, films and performing stand-up.

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Previously, you might have seen her on sketch programs such as Full Frontal and the UK’s The Sketch Show. Kitty currently holds a regular spot on Channel Ten’s The Project where she gives her satirical views on current events. She has also been spotted on Good News Week, The Micallef P(r)ogram(me) and Spicks & Specks. Despite her natural repulsion to water, in 2001 Kitty relocated overseas to the United Kingdom where she expanded

Flanagan’s way with words has seen her writing for television with the BBC and Channel Four, and films, too. Kitty also has musical paws, a talent she shares with her sister, singer Penny Flanagan, who will be a musical guest in Hello Kitty. Hello Kitty promises to tackle the big question we all face on a daily basis: What’s wrong with teenagers? Why are babies so angry? What snack foods should be avoided when dating? Should cabaret be outlawed? When did rappers start hating on ladies? Is it okay to consume hot beverages on the dunny can? Is dunny can an acceptable term for toilet? What makes ham so delicious? Which religion is best for me? And of course, are all women who own cats mental? As one of the funniest women in Australia, Flanagan’s comedy is more like catnip than kitty litter. Annie Brown WHEN & WHERE: Tuesday 9 to Sunday 21 April, Athenaeum

THE SPIRAL two joining forces because, as Scott says: “We had a common lament that doing stand-up is just so lonely.” It sees the pair, who first met and worked together more than two decades ago, on stage together doing what they do best. Oh, and dancing. To Rihanna’s S&M, no less. “That is worth the price of admission alone,” Lucy says. “It’s mind-blowing,” Scott adds. “Audiences have left the theatre in genuine shock claiming to have seen nothing like it since Torvill & Dean last toured.”

ver the last three years, longtime friends Judith Lucy and Denise Scott have laboured on writing their respective follow-ups to their first books. Scott was finishing The Tour, after the success of her 2008 memoir All That Happened At No.26, and Lucy was working on Drink, Smoke, Pass Out, having likewise published The Lucy Family Alphabet in 2008.

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“For both of us, writing our first book was easy but the second one was so much harder,” Lucy says. “So we would ring each other up and have these long conversations where we would talk about our mutual self-loathing, shame and despair. Then we’d have these long lunches which were the same, except alcohol was involved. So we just thought well, gee, doesn’t that sound entertaining? Let’s share that experience with a Melbourne Comedy Festival audience and do a fun, loose show, and hey – sell some books! That’s really the bottom line, we’re hoping to squeeze the ticket price out of people and also get them to buy our masterpieces.” That was the moment their 2013 festival show The Spiral was born – with the

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Neither woman recalls the first time they actually met, but both have vivid memories of seeing the other on stage for the first time. “I recall a young Judith on stage 20 years ago, twirling a salami over her head. To be honest the notion that Judith Lucy would become one of Australia’s greatest stand-ups was not the first thought that came to mind that night,” Scott says. “I saw Scotty on stage not long after I moved to Melbourne, which would have been 25 years ago,” Lucy says. “It was at The Last Laugh – I was just a punter – and one of the first shows I saw was where she’d dress up in drag [with three other performers] as male lounge singers. Little did I know that a few years after that we’d be doing shows together.” It is a friendship and mutual respect that has endured the test of time, and Scott says the pair have a lot in common. “We can both drink wine whilst in the foetal position on the floor; we both barrack for St Kilda; and neither of us drives,” she says. “The closest we’ve come to a disagreement was once when Judith wanted to get a cab and I wanted to get the tram. Judith won.”

icky Marr is a woman of many talents. She’s a trained dancer who has worked as an aerial artist, and has received acclaim for her writing, receiving a writing Fellowship at Varuna. She is now turning her multifaceted abilities to the world of comedic performance with Little Dances, a monologue about the secret dances found in everyday life.

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“I wanted to increase my profile as a writer so I decided to do a dance show,” says Marr, with a little bit of charming irony. A dance-heavy monologue performance, after all, isn’t the sort of thing that one would normally expect to attend during MICF. That said, the unexpected seems to be Marr’s favourite calling card. When asked how she is marrying the disparate worlds of dance and comedy in her show, she quips, “By making sure I bump into the furniture and forget my lines.” Marr is interested in comedic writing as she feels it fits her disposition better than drama. “I’m not naturally cheerful enough

“WE CAN BOTH DRINEK WINE WHILST IN THN FOETAL POSITION O THE FLOOR…”

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Indeed, Creasey certainly has a style all of his own. He’s had a busy last 12 months – his show Naked was a hit at MICF 2012, and he recorded his first TV standup special. “I also got to do this amazing show in Kununurra [northern WA] performing in the middle of a sugar-cane

Aleksia Barron WHEN & WHERE: Wednesday 17 March to Sunday 14 April, La Mama, Courthouse

Aleksia Barron WHEN & WHERE: Thursday 28 March to Sunday 21 April, Town Hall, Portico Room

and goes back to his hometown to visit the grave of his muse, who committed suicide a week earlier,” explains Workman. Ave Loretta is “much darker” than Mercy, according to Workman, and also represents a small (but not insignificant) break with his comedic tradition: unlike his previous festival shows, Ave Loretta will not feature any of Workman’s original music or art. “There’s a lot of talk about music and the importance of music, but there’s no actual music in it,” says Workman. “I guess that’s the breaking out from what I’ve done before. It’s not a 180, but it’s very different to Mercy.”

Her favourite memory of dance is also one of her first. Asked about a memory of dance that she treasures, Marr responds, “My first performance when I was five years old as a fairy with tulle wings made out of wire coat hangers with silver sequins along the edges. I was convinced I was the best dancer in the world, but then I turned six and realised my mistake.” While the “best in the world” is always something of an elusive title (for any of us, at anything), Marr has certainly carved an intriguing career out of one of the most difficult art forms – her stint at Strange Fruit, an aerial dance company, was particularly exhilarating. As for Marr’s favourite dance to do these days? “The dance that I do in my lounge room,” she responds. This seems to be the essence of Little Dances – that we’re always dancing, even when we don’t expect to be or didn’t plan on it. As Marr asks, “Why do we move our body around for no other reason than to move our body around?” It’s this secret of dance that she seeks to unpack in Little Dances, and if you’re looking for a break from the basic stand-up tradition during this Comedy Festival, this just might be your show.

As for 2013, Creasey has no plans to slow down. When asked about his plans for the next year, he replies, “There’s a few exciting things coming up which I can’t yet reveal, but just taking over the world basically. I plan to win the next season of Masterchef by winter and then be President by November. Baby steps.” It seems like someone might need to tell Creasey that Australia doesn’t actually have a President – but then, if he wants it to happen, he’ll likely make it so.

AVE LORETTA

to write drama so I’ll keep working on the comedy,” she says. “I’ve been trying to write jokes on purpose since I realised I’m too old to become an astronaut.”

Baz McAlister WHEN & WHERE: Saturday 30 March to Sunday 21 April, Princess Theatre

ou’d be hard-pressed to find a comedian more beloved by his peers than Joel Creasey. This (very) young comic is coming up in leaps and bounds, and never seems to stay quiet for long. He’s bringing a new show to MICF this year called The Drama Captain, which he describes thus: “The new show is all about my time as the drama captain of my high school (which you’d never pick from my limp-wrist and gay lisp). It’s also about getting dumped by my boyfriend of three years at the end of last year. So it’s all very exciting and INTENSE! It’s a drama, comedy, tragedy and musical all wrapped up in one.”

Not all of Creasey’s rural expeditions have been described as “life-affirming” – he’s had some rough experiences, including a particularly unfortunate run-in with a homophobic gang in the Colac region. However, he’s relentlessly positive, and is eager to share news that suggests the tide might be turning. “I did a show in a tiny town called Merredin in regional Western Australia,” he says. “The crowd were very blokey, rowdy and drunk – but fun.” He explains, “I always do this dumb joke where I ask the butchest guy in the front row to buy me a Bacardi Breezer, which they never do, during the interval. In Merredin I picked the roughest, scariest looking dude you’ve ever seen. I come back from interval and he is standing there with a Bacardi Breezer. When I asked if they sell them behind the bar, he said, ‘Nah, so I jumped in the car and drove down to Liquorland.’” One can’t help but laugh. “What a legend,” says Creasey.

f you happen across a Michael Workman fan at the Comedy Festival, you’ll know about it. Those who admire the young comic’s work can rarely talk about anyone else. Certainly, plenty of people have been taking notice of him – he won the Best Newcomer award at the 2011 festival for his first-ever MICF show Humans Are Beautiful, and he followed it up in 2012 with Mercy, which picked up an Award For Excellence at the Sydney Fringe.

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Workman is known for his complex, narrative-driven shows scattered with hints of the absurd, as well as his facility for crafting engaging characters (such as Augustus, the Castro-criticising Cuban from Mercy). His new show, Ave Loretta, is set to be no exception. “It is about a musician who’s quite successful, and one day he disappears

Workman’s shows always have an intriguing premise, but he’s reluctant to paint himself as any kind of idea-generating wizard. “I don’t really know where any of my ideas come from,” he says. “They just kind of hit me one day, and I become obsessed with them. That’s pretty much how [my shows] get built. If I weren’t such a weird, obsessive person I guess I would probably try to distract myself with other things. I would behave a bit normally rather than writing forever on one subject.” It’s an attitude that he carries with him when the time comes to retire one show and start working on the next one. “The story is a living thing that I just kind of present to people, but it’s not mine to control – except in a financial sense,” he says wryly, with a bit of a chuckle. “Legally, I own the show, but morally, I don’t. I am not the story – I’m just the guy who’s telling the story, so I don’t really have the right to cling to it when it’s time to go.” Aleksia Barron WHEN & WHERE: Thursday 28 March to Sunday 21 April, Town Hall, Regent Room


DAREBIN ARTS’ SPEAKEASY PRESENTS…

The alternative comedy home – not what you’re expecting as part of the Melbourne International Comedy Festival Featuring Sabrina D’Angelo / Zoe Coombs Marr / Fabian Lapham and the Actual Musicians / Telia Nevile / Sl*tmonster & Friends / Bron Batten / Tommy Bradson / Candy Bowers and Busty Beatz / The Listies

1 – 21 April 2013 Tickets darebinarts.com.au/speakeasy or call 9481 9500

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THE DAVES

THE PSYCHOLOGY OF LAUGHTER

SHAKING HANDS WITH DANGER

DUCK HEADS

Infidelity is something that most of us have experienced, but it’s notoriously difficult to talk about in public, no matter which side of the equation you’re on. (Just look at Brad, Angelina and Jennifer, who are probably perfectly nice people but instantly fall into the categories of cad, homewrecker and victim whenever they discuss the fallout of the Pitt-Aniston marriage break up.) Comedians often like to seem like the good guy when they’re on stage, and talking about moments of emotional weakness doesn’t really lend itself to that.

we have for getting laughter triggered. Despite getting the humour wrong, [Sidis] gets the psychology part right. It’s the opposite of funny because it breaks down why we laugh; it’s investigative psychology. However, the examples used in the book are from a scientific mind so they are hilariously unfunny. In some cases they are racist and sexist, or, as they called it back then, ‘normal’.”

rue story,” Irish-born comic Dave Callan says, about finding a book called The Psychology Of Laughter outside a castle in Edinburgh. “It was like a flipping fairy tale. A fairy tale with awful weather and food.” Callan has gone on to make a show about this book, penned, as he says, by an actual man called Boris Sidis. “Again, this sounds made up but it’s not. When I say he was an actual man, I don’t mean I’m not an actual man, we both are. I just mean I didn’t invent him.”

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The 100-year-old book sounds like a less-than-hilarious read. Callan agrees. “I read it while at Rainbow Serpent. I was surrounded by trippers and bright colours, meanwhile I’m reading this dry psychology book from 100 years ago in the middle of all this chaos. But nobody cared. I was probably a rhinoceros to them.” The book does have useful information for the professional comic. “I have more of an understanding of what drives people to seek and experience humour,” Callan says. “The three basic reasons

Callan’s done the work for all of us in finding out why we laugh and things haven’t changed in over a century. “You see the same things coming up all the time,” he notes. “For example, Sidis mentions incongruity theory and an example of incongruity he gives is when you see animals dressed as humans. He predicted LOL cats by some 95 years.” The Psychology Of Laughter has given Callan material for a show unlike anything he’s done before, something he makes a point of with each new work. “I just try to pick something completely different every year. So completely different to anything I’ve done and completely different to anything anyone else is doing. This means it’s usually fresh and inspiring.” As a comedian, Callan has some natural advantages to begin with – an Irish accent and a mum he describes as incredibly funny, plus the perspective of being a bit of an outsider. On the other hand, since he’s got instruction from the source, there’ll be no excuses – The Psychology Of Laughter had better be a damn funny show. No pressure, Dave. Liza Dezfouli WHEN & WHERE: Thursday 28 March to Sunday 21 April, Trades Hall, Meeting Room

TALL AND POINTY comedy-drama House Husbands, but isn’t sure whether his character, Gabriel, will be recurring. “My first real acting role was on Bed Of Roses on the ABC and I was Kerry Armstrong’s character’s son [Shannon], and I got shipped off to Perth,” Thornton says. “And then in House Husbands, my character got shipped off to Hong Kong. The way things are going, the next thing I’m on I’m surely going to end up in the Arctic Circle.”

ave Thornton is tall and pointy with pencil legs.” That was how reviewer Kate Herbert, writing in The Herald Sun, opened her assessment of Geelong-born comedian Thornton’s festival show last year, The Some Of All he Parts. Thornton has copped it on his (admittedly slightly angular) chin and worked the biological observation into a title for his new show this year, Tall And Pointy.

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“I don’t know if I can work on anything from that review,” Thornton muses. “When someone critiques you on your physical appearance you think ‘Well, either I’ve got to put on weight, or saw my shins off so I’m less tall’. I suppose it was an apt description anyway. I’m 6’2”. I don’t know where the ‘pointy’ came from, though – maybe it was the lighting.” Outside of stand-up, Thornton’s had a busy year since his last festival outing. He scored a supporting role in Nine’s

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The other side-project that’s been taking up a lot of Thornton’s time is his ongoing hosting gig with Mia Freedman on her female-focused MamaMia Today talkback radio show, alongside Em Rusciano, who’s also doing a festival show this year. “It’s extremely interesting because it focuses on mothers, and me being a human, 33 years old, with, let’s be honest, testicles, sometimes I find myself in the position of going ‘Really?’,” Thornton says. “Mia explains things to me in such detail that I can’t unlearn them. She explained to me all about mastitis the other day and it was like those scare campaigns they had in school sexual education class.” Thornton gamely keeps his head above water in this women’s world but says, “the sheer futility of having the emotionally bereft brain of a man” means some days he doesn’t have a lot to contribute. “Doing a show like that, you realise the tides are turning [from men to women]. I keep joking that I want to hold on to copies of Mad Men so I can show my grandson how we used to live. ‘Look at that, men were allowed to read and we could still vote. Those were some good times’.” Baz McAlister WHEN & WHERE: Thursday 28 March to Sunday 21 April, Victoria Hotel, Banquet Room

id-March marked the beginning of Victoria’s duck hunting season. Each weekend for 13 weeks, duck hunters travel to the Victorian wetlands to shoot and bag water birds. This is also a busy season for David Mould, who will be performing at this year’s Melbourne International Comedy Festival, but for a very different reason.

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Mould will also wake up early and head for the wetlands. Like the duck hunters, he will also brave the cold morning weather and wade through cold water. Except unlike the duck hunters, Mould will be putting himself, literally, in the line of fire. He is not a duck hunter; he is a duck rescuer and a member of the Coalition Against Duck Shooting. His objective: locate duck hunters and create enough of a commotion that ducks stay out of their firing range. Duck hunting is legal in Victoria if the proper regulations are followed. Hunters are only permitted to shoot the eight designated ‘game species’ and are only allowed to do so from a

AT I “I KEEP JOKING TH ON WANT TO HOLD ENTO SO I COPIES OF MAD MANDS ON CAN SHOW MY GR ” VE LI TO HOW WE USED

n his Comedy Festival website blurb for Shaking Hands With Danger, David Quirk has written, “If you’ve read this far, you’ve either: cheated, thought about cheating or been cheated on. We have that in common.” While he’s far from eager to give too much away, this much is clear: Quirk has definitely done at least two of the three things described in that sentence – and he’s not particularly proud of them.

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“[The show] is kind of about some trouble I got in emotionally, sexually, and I think it’s about something that doesn’t get discussed very much in public, and certainly not in a comedy show,” he says. “[Some topics] are probably harder to make jokes about. It feels like there’s almost no easy laughs in this show at all. If the crowd laughs, it’s because something is happening to them, or they’re on my side. There’s a lot of funny stuff in the show, but it comes from this place of shame, or honesty.”

WHEN & WHERE: Friday 29 March to Saturday 6 April, Abbotsford Convent

WHEN & WHERE: Thursday 28 March to Sunday 21 April, Town Hall, Backstage Room

His festival show is an exploration of himself as “a 42-year-old guy muddling through life, juggling family and a comedy career”. When asked about how being a dad has changed his perspective on comedy he says that he stresses less about his career now. However, that is mainly because most of the time he is stopping his kids “running out onto the road”.

“What’s the cleverest comeback ever grunted by a shooter?” he says. “Could these rugged hunter-gatherer types really survive in the wild or did one actually call the SES helicopter for a lift when he got stuck in the mud? And what’s the silliest thing a duck rescuer has ever done?”

Anthony Collebrusco

Aleksia Barron

and trying to make it in the comedy game, he shares that has its pros and cons. Pros being that country kids are more laid back and that it’s liberating that you can fail without anyone you know witnessing the occasion, but cons being that it is hard to get a start because you do not have an automatic audience of friends and family.

Needless to say, he is not very popular among the hunting crowd. And if he wasn’t popular before, his stand-up at the MICF likely won’t help. “These are the stories that show the real character of those who like to shoot small things,” his Facebook page for the event reads.

Mould also adds that the profits he receives from the show will go towards the Coalition Against Duck Shooting. “None of the proceeds shall be going towards the court case at all,” he says, in reference to recently being fined around $9000 for charges he incurred during the 2010 hunting season. “Thanks to duck shooters buying tickets to my show, I’m sitting pretty,” he quips.

In Shaking Hands With Danger, Quirk tells the story of his relationship with Claire (a pseudonym for his former girlfriend, who is aware of the new show and has given Quirk her permission to talk about her on stage). It’s not an easy show in a lot of ways, but judging from its early run in Adelaide, it’s an important one. “People seem to appreciate the fact that it’s the sort of show that isn’t just about jokes for the sake of it,” explains Quirk. “It means something to me, this show. I didn’t write this show for nothing.”

FREEZER BREAD

half an hour before dawn until a half an hour after sunset. Mould contends that hunters frequently violate these rules. Besides, he says, it is “inherently cruel” and immoral, especially since many ducks are wounded, not killed, and left to suffer for days before dying.

Mould is certain that duck hunters will be present for his show, but he is not concerned with hecklers interrupting his set. “I bet it will be a funny night even if I just stand there silently.”

It’s a challenge that Quirk is ready to take on. “I’ve talked about all kinds of things on stage over the years – even heavy things, like my mum’s death, and bleak thoughts,” he explains. “But I think people can relate to [this show] – I’m talking about something that is kind of a weekly occurrence in life. If you haven’t been cheated on, or cheated, you’ve probably thought about it. It just seems like the most full-on thing I’ve talked about ever on stage.”

hen we catch up with Dave Hughes for a quick chat over the phone regarding his new stand-up show, Freezer Bread, he is walking his dog in the local park on one of the windiest days that Melbourne had seen in a long time. The situation seems to suit Hughes perfectly, however, because with a morning radio show on Nova, The Project on Channel Ten, raising a family and writing and performing a Melbourne International Comedy Festival show, he wasn’t really going to do it any other time.

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Hughes, who is pretty much a household name in Australia, originally got interested in doing stand-up when he was about 14, after realising that he could make people laugh quite easily. As for being from the country

Indeed, it is juggling his work and family commitments that have been one of the biggest challenges of putting his current show together. With his “incredibly supportive” wife in charge of the kids, he has been pulling some big nights doing spots at comedy clubs around the city trying out new material. It is this process that he has most enjoyed, however, sharing that after doing comedy for so many years and thinking that you understand it thoroughly, some of the funniest moments for him have been “writing a joke and then performing it in front of a crowd, only to hear silence”. And as to freezer bread really being that bad? “It’s not,” he says, “but if you’re going to be successful you get to the point where you have to ask yourself, ‘when can I start eating nice things all the time?’” Benjamin Meyer WHEN & WHERE: Wednesday 26 to Sunday 31 March, Comedy Theatre


THE Q&A’S

JACK TANDY IN JACK TANDY FOREVER

my teeth. This is a very painful memory. Why are you making me relive it? What are you looking forward to the most at MICF? Using my Myki to get to and from venues. It’s just so easy. Touch on and touch off. WHEN & WHERE: Wednesday 27 March to Tuesday 9 April, Tuxedo Cat

LIVE VICARIOUSLY

Who is your biggest celebrity crush and why? Mimi Siku from Jungle 2 Jungle cause warpaint is hot. What’s your favourite sports team and why? The Hawks, ‘cause I’ve pashed Buddy Franklin. Who hasn’t? What’s a nightmare you’ve had recently? That I lost my teeth having sex. Oh wait, no, that really happened. What are you looking forward to the most at MICF? Sell out shows and crazy threesomes. WHEN & WHERE: Wednesday 27 March to Sunday 7 April, Sahara Restaurant & Bar

Describe yourself in exactly 140 characters (length of a tweet)? Jack Tandy: A man in the supermarket yells at cereal then buys 30 cans of pineapple. This is my dad. I’m not the same as him but I’m not that different.

MR SNOT BOTTOM’S STINKY SILLY SHOW

Who is your biggest celebrity crush and why? Jessica Tandy, because we’re not related. What’s your favourite team sport and why? Circle jerking, because it’s just so fast and exhaustive that the players really appreciate my half-time oranges. What’s a nightmare you’ve had recently? I was stabbed by a gang led by my best friend inside a bakery then woke up screaming with blood gushing from

Describe yourself in exactly 140 characters (length of a tweet)? Justine McInerney: Straight shooting and aggressively bouncy with an attitude towards life that’s addictive and contagious. There are no limitations with JMAC.

discovered by the dinosaurs in 1809 and before the age of two had invented the star jump and given birth to the band Right Said Fred. Today he will eat a sandwich. What’s the best joke you’ve heard recently? What kind of bees give milk? Boobees. And the worst joke? Have you seen Big Momma’s House 2? Pretty much all of that. What’s a dream you’ve had recently? I was going out with Batgirl. She asked me if I wanted to watch The Neverending Story with her. I said no, which she was cool about and then she left for the day. Then there was a knock on the door and it was my best friend Caleb. He asked if I wanted to watch The Neverending Story with him. I said, “sure”. We started watching it, Batgirl came back in and was so furious that she broke up with me. The most unrealistic part of this dream is the fact that I may have said no to watching The Neverending Story. What are you looking forward to the most at MICF? What’s the MICF?

Describe yourself in exactly 140 characters (length of a tweet)? Mark Trenwith: Mark Trenwith was

PHIL AND ME

WHEN & WHERE: Friday 29 March to Sunday 14 April, Lower Town Hall

Describe yourself in exactly 140 characters (length of a tweet)? Kim Huong Nguyen: I love to sing karaoke and dance to new dance called Gangnam Style. Good workout. I want my ugly teenage son Phil to be a doctor, but he want to be an actor. HE IS CRAZY. How is he supposed to take care of me when I am older? I am 32 year old... okay, 44. And I single mother who love my son until I die! What’s the best joke you’ve heard recently? I don’t like joke. Make no money talking joke. And the worst joke? That worse. What’s a dream you’ve had recently? I dream my son will be healthy and rich and buy two houses for me. What are you looking forward to the most at MICF? Teaching the people of Australia about tough love, and to buy my book Dragon Mum. WHEN & WHERE: Thursday 28 March to Thursday 18 April, Hairy Little Sista, Upstairs Lounge

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THE SHOWS

JOHN ROBERTSON: THE DARK ROOM AND KINKLING

ou awake to find yourself at the Comedy Festival. Should you: check pockets; go to Town Hall; or buy ticket to The Dark Room?

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The only sensible option is all of the above, really, for The Dark Room is a YouTube gaming hit that has bamboozled and delighted more than 300,000 players since its inception by Perth-based comedian John Robertson. The game harks back to the old computer text adventures anyone in their 30s or older might remember – Robertson plays a disembodied, shouty floating head who is at once Gamesmaster and villain. This festival, audience members can play it live in a pitch-black chamber in the bowels of the Town Hall. “The Dark Room is a cross between a text adventure and a game show,” Robertson explains. “It’s so fast and so immersive; you won’t believe how invested people get in other people’s playthroughs of the game. And it has a narrative to unlock – a really harsh, bleak narrative that you only see glimmers of when people are playing the game badly. And people who play the game badly ‘die’, which is very entertaining for everybody. But if they succeed, my God, people get involved in it! They say video games cause violence, but this could be the first video game that causes a riot.”

The live show has been touring around the country and is a roaring success. Robertson says it’s recently attracted a following of hardcore gamers who have been trying to map the game into a flowchart – something the comedian shunned from the start. “The idea that you could map the game didn’t occur to me at any stage; I mapped the whole thing out mentally,” he says. “It leaves a more instinctive feel to the game, because it rewards skill and creative thought. It has a real prejudice towards practicality. It’s wonderfully Old Testament and very harsh but fair.” But take on the challenge and it is not without its dividends. Robertson says that everyone who plays gets a prize: “Whether it’s some crap from my house or something I planned to get rid of during kerbside collection. In Perth, I gave a little girl a machete. She was really tiny and I gave her this massive knife, told her thanks for playing and to go and have a good time.” Robertson is also putting on an 11pm show at the Portland Hotel, Kinkling. “It’s just a wild party – jokes, songs, crowd-surfing – in a 30-seat room,” Robertson says. “It’s a late night, fun show so I wanted it to be unhinged, mental, chock full of esoteric and cabaret stuff and old acting tricks. If it ends after an hour, it ends, but if it doesn’t, we’ll go into the foyer until we’re asked to leave.” Baz McAlister WHEN & WHERE: Kinkling – Thursday 28 March to Saturday 20 April, Portland Hotel WHEN & WHERE: The Dark Room – Monday 1 to Monday 15 April, Town Hall, Cloak Room

SCHOOL DANCE school dance. “Essentially it’s an amazing script written by Matt, [the Attenborough doppelganger referenced earlier] who’s kind of harnessed all these things and found them all in us. Even down to the way that we talk – it’s amplified in it – and our actions. It’s like seeing yourself in a weird mirror, a funhouse mirror.

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The play follows a tight-knit group of three losers as they attend the highlight of the early-teenage social calendar, the

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s sophisticated as we think we are, somehow we still love feats of raw physical prowess. What else could explain the phenomenal punter-pleasing, critic-dazzling success of New York superstar circus Empire? With top shelf acts like Elena Lev and the utterly astounding Addis Brothers, Empire is taking the already epic circus revival to new heights. Partly it’s because, behind the scenes, they work exhaustively on detail; and Australian choreographer John ‘Cha-Cha’ O’Connell is very much part of that effort. Having collaborated with Baz Luhrmann on everything from Strictly to Moulin and Gatsby, working with non-dancers in a tent might seem a little left-field; until you scratch a little. “I worked a lot on the various transitions between the acts,” he explains, “For instance, while one act is doing his German Wheel routine another will come out with ostrich feathers and do a Vegas showgirl routine.” In addition, O’Connell has been working closely with hula star Elena Lev on Empire’s bubble act. “She had not worked in the bubble before so we had to pull all that together, combining her skills with some very un-traditional bubble work.” Ultimately,

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HING “WE SHARED EVERYTUS E TO AB D FROM HOUSEHOL LITERALLY – IN HIDING AWAY Y– AND METAPHORICALL AT TH CLOSETS; IT’S ALL OF.” LD OR KIND OF W

“My sister was wearing the fashions of the ‘80s as a teen so I’ve got lots of memories of her clothing…” Oxlade trails off another hilarious revelation: “I remember having a pair of stone-wash jeans that were really too high. That’s why I’m wearing them now, I think.” Dave Drayton

Paul Ransom

Having already been written into the earliest draft, the creative team offered up stories from their awkward formative years to help shape the show. “We shared everything from household abuse to hiding away in – literally and metaphorically – closets; it’s all of that kind of world. We talked about how people treated us, bullies, having those first feelings towards someone, stuff like that.” Just as Whittet found inspiration from real-life characters, the content of the show required only a similar retrospective glance to a world of roller skates, Blue Light discos, high-topped sneakers and acid-wash jeans. For Oxlade (who also designed the show), who was too young to completely embrace the fashion of the ‘80s, the inspiration for design came from his older sister.

WHEN & WHERE: Wednesday 10 to Saturday 20 April, Arts Centre, Playhouse

APARTMENTOCALYPSE While you may think that turning the entire and utter collapse of human society into comedy gold should be, figuratively speaking, a rather pleasant walk in the park, it seems that the team did have to overcome some creative challenges, none more so than maintaining the same energy and enthusiasm for the gags throughout the rehearsal process. “When rehearsing a comedy play, after about the third time rehearsing it all jokes seem to lose their shine – it’s only when it’s performed in front of an audience that we get to find it funny again.”

it’s all still circus and we’ve all seen it before. So why Empire? For O’Connell, the answer is obvious. “It’s the calibre of the acts, which is extremely high. We’ve got the Addis Brothers from Ethiopia, who are foot jugglers. On opening night it got something like five standing ovations, and that was during the act.” Indeed, the show’s Big Apple debut saw Spiegelworld pitch their antique tent on a prime lot “just down from” Times Square. As O’Connell recalls, they were playing opposite the theatre in which the musical Once was struggling for audiences. “At first business was a bit slow [for them] but we had quite big crowds outside ours. Then it won the Tony and you couldn’t get a seat.” Of course, part of Empire’s allure is the tailored venue. Although it has room for 700, the show happens on a handkerchief stage. “We’ve got these roller-skaters who are so fast and you’re, like, one foot away,” O’Connell enthuses. “The sweat of the acrobats is coming off in your face.” Even if a shower of carny sweat isn’t your idea of a great night out, Empire not only has spectacular bells and whistles (Oscar & Fanny, Gorilla Girls, Carrot Man) but a rowdy, intimate atmosphere. “It’s like being someone’s living room, but a very classy one. In fact, it looks a bit like Moulin Rouge with the mirrored panels and the velvet. It gives you something that you can’t get at a typical circus show.” Who said the Age of Empire was over?

“Matt nailed it. When I read the first three pages it was like, ‘Oh, I do sound like that! Oh my God, that’s annoying!’ I probably would have been written a little bit… different,” Oxlade cheekily concedes. e’s observed us for quite a while in secret, he was doing a David Attenborough,” says Jonathon Oxlade, sat at a table at the Wharf a few hours before he will portray an infinitely daggier version of himself on stage. School Dance was developed by South Australia’s Windmill Theatre Company following discussion between director Rosemary Myers and playwright/performer Matthew Whittet. Myers, Whittet, Oxlade and School Dance sound designer/ performer Luke Smiles had worked together previously on another Windmill production, Fugitive, and it was during its downtime that the seed for School Dance was planted. “Rose saw that we got along quite well, and maybe that we got along – and maybe this a good thing – in a slightly ‘juvenile’ way,” Oxlade admits with a sheepish laugh. “Matt and Rose have always been interested in writing stories about that liminal space between childhood and adulthood, and so this work sits in a similar space as Fugitive, which was a tale loosely based on Robin Hood but with all the characters as teenagers. This is a bit younger, more puberty-based.”

EMPIRE

WHEN & WHERE: Wednesday 27 March to Sunday 21 April, Spiegelworld at Crown Casino Rooftop

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hen the apocalypse finally comes, what will all the idiots do?

This, Michael Kalenderian tells Inpress, is the critical question that Apartmentocalypse will answer. The show, bought to us by the creative team behind The Extraordinary General Meeting from last year’s Comedy Festival, is “a narrative about three housemates trapped in their apartment after the apocalypse. It plays on the absurdity of surviving the apocalypse while also having to deal with the mundane and frustrating reality of share house living”. The team, consisting of Kalenderian, Andy Matthews, Eden Porter and Joshua Porter (Kalenderian and brothers Eden and Joshua are acting in the show, with Christopher Bryant directing) originally got inspiration for the concept during one of their many writing sessions when one of them cried out loud, “kill him and take his beans”. From this simple line, Kalenderian tells us that they quickly realised that they had stumbled upon a veritable gold mine of “post-apocalyptic tropes which we could subvert and reference in a show”.

It’s not all hard work, however, dealing with the apocalypse every day. Kalenderian says that writing sessions have been a particular highlight of the process. However, as with all creative endeavours, sometimes you do end up in strange places. Kalenderian shares one particular instance that occurred one night at 2am when everyone was reduced to hysterics over the prospect of an apocalypse survivor making flavoured milk by filtering the liquid through a flavoured condom. The idea was quickly deleted the following morning. Indeed, you have to wonder that if being in such a morbid headspace does affect you in unexpected ways. If Kalenderian’s experience is anything to go by maybe it does. He reveals that in a recent dream of his he was flying through the air on a giant stingray (it wasn’t weird cause there were other people doing the same thing as well) when suddenly, he accidentally stabbed a creature that was the last of its kind. Things took a dark turn pretty quickly after that, apparently. However, he is quick to add, “please don’t try and analyse this. Most of the time, my dreams are incredibly mundane.” Benjamin Meyer WHEN & WHERE: Thursday 28 March to Sunday 21 April, Tuxedo Cat

THE OTHER BROTHER of RAW Comedy at the MICF, The Comedy Zone, the MICF Roadshow, the Sydney Comedy Festival, and the Adelaide Fringe.

letcher Jones and Roger David – high street fashion icons if there ever were some. The endless array of chequered shirts that somehow manage to come in about a thousand different colour and line-cross variations. The tan pants, with all tan colours of the tanbow. 60% synthetic, 40% polyurethane mixes. Awkward shirt-sleeve lengths (just above the elbow so they tickle your upper forearm). Weird 15% leather shoes that have sole thicknesses somewhere between a boat-shoe and a platform – ones that your unmarried uncle might have several pairs of and wear to family functions.

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I don’t think the ironical wearing of Fletcher Jones or Roger David has hit the streets yet. At Savers you kind of just bypass those ones. I’m not sure if they have a back-of-house filter system at Savers, but Fletcher Jones and Roger David would probably get caught in it. They’re brands for men that go to the zoo, and drink light beer, and write reports, and have dogs, and go to Rosebud for their holidays. Smart Casual, the comedy duo from Sydney, is made up of Fletcher Jones on guitar and Roger David on vocals (Ben and Nick Mattick for reals). They formed in 2006 and since then have performed as part

They’ve toured to Southeast Asia, renounced their Sydney heritage (to Melbourne comedy-loving audiences anyway), and explored the absurdities of all art, the merits of musical comedy itself, the use of nouns as verbs, precarious sexual practices, and boundaries of brotherly love. Their latest show, The Other Brother, charts the ominous insertion of a third brother, Doug, into the golden duality they had going on. It’s more of the dead-pan musical comedy the pair have excelled at, and they still play off their remarkable heritage as two simple, sensitive blokes who have the same mum, but different dads. But is three a crowd here? We’ll have to see. The pair make beigey pullovers and rash-inducing suits a fashion choice for the cynically observant. They run a kind of slow-burning comedy that constantly develops over the course of the show. The point mutates, the punchline drops out from nowhere, and songs abruptly finish. The boys won’t make you sit through a song just because it’s supposed to have five verses. I remember that episode of The Simpsons where Homer’s brother came out from nowhere and back into his life. It caused nothing but trouble and heartache at the end of the day. Fletcher Jones and Roger David just need to keep things on the level, and dealing with a Doug, numerologically speaking (‘D’ especially is a bogey letter of the spiritual world), threatens to throw a right spanner in the mechanically rotating rack of well-ordered ties. Simon Eales WHEN & WHERE: Thursday 28 March to Sunday 21 April, Town Hall, Lunch Room


THE SHOWS

HOW I MET YOUR BROTHER

enjamin Stevenson (one half of The Stevenson Experience) is in the middle of rehearsing in Canberra for the 2013 Canberra Comedy Festival – one day after finishing up in Adelaide, and a week before opening his show in Melbourne. Comedians, it turns out, are in high demand this time of year. The Stevenson Experience are a comic duo that perform one part stand-up, one part musical comedy and one part two-brothers-annoying-each-other-onstage. As Benjamin puts it: “It’s me and my identical twin brother, and we’re a musical comedy duo, kind of like Flight Of The Conchords or Tripod. It’s a lot of fun, and we’re really well known for our audience interaction.” And the audience loves it. The style that The Stevenson Experience brings to the stage is not unfamiliar to lovers of musical stand-up, but the ease with which the twins interact with each other and the audience make them stand out from many other comic performers. The show is about 50/50 scripted and reactive, and sometimes the brothers will just go out of their way to annoy each other as much as possible.

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“Our rapport on stage is very natural,” Benjamin explains. “We’ll take arguments we had at home and script it into the show, so it’s all very natural. And we can also kind of vibe out what each other is

going to say. And it comes across as a very smooth and relaxed atmosphere of the show.” And, it seems, cheeky. In one recent show James (“the less attractive one”) decided to bring a squirt bottle on stage and spent the performance annoying Benjamin with it. It’s this sort of irreverence that makes a show like How I Met Your Brother stand out from the crowd, and means as an audience we can be assured of well scripted and rehearsed routines mixed with natural interactions and hilarious fun times. The chatty parts come between and in the middle of the singing, and it is first and foremost a comedy act, with the songs being a vehicle for its delivery. The show that we’re all looking forward to is about these twins leaving behind their careers as highly qualified engineers and going into the comedy circuit. They track their relationship as brothers and the chasing of this new career. Sounds like a mid-life crisis, but these talented lads are only just pushing their early 20s, as Benjamin is quick to note: “We started quite young, and we just really loved it so we kept doing it and we got better and better. We’ve been doing it for about five years, and this is the first year we’re doing it full time.” And if you’re going to dive head first into this sort of career, why not make a show of it? With seasoned performers such as these two, the show is bound to be fun, vibrant and full of energy. Plus, Benjamin has promised to get James back for that bottle squirting incident… James Daniel WHEN & WHERE: Thursday 28 March to Sunday 21 April, Trades Hall, Evatt Room

BLERNSHAW COMEDY is considered; Blesser states frankly, “at a fetish club”. The two simply reflect on their own lives and interests in the shows. Blesser explains, “Everybody draws humour from their own life experiences and I think the fact that Avi owns a science fiction bookshop and I work in the fetish industry, it kind of makes for an interesting style of comedy.” So You Decided To Host An Orgy isn’t their only show at the festival either. Up Late With Blernshaw is a late night variety show with interviews and topical jokes as Blesser and Bernshaw go unscripted and clean(ish). Nerdgasm follows two out-of-work video game villains who, Blesser says, “are ripping on life in general”. It has drawn comparisons with Wreck-It Ralph prior to the film’s release. Bernshaw points out, “Now that Wreck-It Ralph is out, it has got absolutely nothing to do with what we’re doing except for the fact that the both share a cameo character.”

uke Blesser and Avi Bernshaw want you to know that their shows aren’t for everyone – just the right sort of people. As Bernshaw says, “We are very aware that our humour is not aimed at every sort of person so if people are going to come to our show they need to be prepared for sleazy douche-baggery.”

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Blesser quickly adds, “Chances are, if you are wearing a yellow pantsuit, you probably don’t want to come and see the show.” With a title like So You’ve Decided To Host An Orgy, maybe that isn’t particularly surprising. The show is a lecture on how to put on a night of sexual proclivity for three or more people. Sex and dick jokes will abound. This style of humour isn’t much of a surprise either when their first meeting

joins a choir after being dropped from her last one – and all the ones before that – out of her passion for singing and search for connection. Collins is known for her onewoman show style of storytelling but under Cody’s direction she is joined by a full choir. “When initially discussing the role of the music in the play we threw around ideas of recorded choral music, using an established choir as a sort of orchestra for the play, using the original tracks,” Cody explains, “and we finally fell on creating a choir of what Susan would consider the perfect choir girl.” o Time is that moment when you have to dive into whatever you’ve been anticipating – for instance, a skydive. You sit at the doorway of the plane, shitting yourself, and then they count down, and when it’s time, you know it’s time, and that is Go Time,” says Comedy Festival favourite Arj Barker, explaining the title of his new show. “Go Time is when all doubt and thinking cease and action takes over. In the opening of my show, Go Time is actually the moment when I have to walk out onstage in front of all those people and make it happen. But as the show progresses, we find out that Go Time is a far heavier and beautiful concept than that. Deep, brother, deep.”

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Speaking of deep, Barker says the show looks at “living fully, truthfully”, which he seems to have taken to heart, taking the last year off to try new experiences such as hang gliding and cooking. “I pursued my lifelong dream to fly last year and it culminated

in two 15-minute solo flights from the lighthouse launch at Byron Bay. It was pretty awesome, and cracking jokes was the last thing on my mind at that point. It was more of a steady mantra: ‘Okay, Barker, don’t fuck this up.’” The break has recharged his mojo. “I think from now on I’ll only bring out a new show every two years or more, because if I do one every year, I don’t feel I’m allowing enough time to have new experiences and reflect on them. It will just be all airports, hotels, clubs, crowds and email interviews. And what kind of life is that? A good one, every other year.”

Given the opportunity to recommend three shows in the festival, Bernshaw and Blesser opted for John Robertson’s Kinkling, Lisa Skye’s Songs My Parents Taught Me, and Paul McDermott’s Paul Sings. “McDermott,” Blesser explains, “because I’m pretty damn sure I’m his abandoned love child.” Sam Hilton

Rebecca Cook

WHEN & WHERE: Wednesday 27 March to Saturday 20 April, Fad Gallery

From this decision, the choir took on a significant role in the performance beyond just providing the music. The choir accompanies Susan on her journey and makes it vivid for the audience. Cody explains, “The girls act as the thoughts in Susan’s head and perform in a true Greek chorus/ensemble style. I feel it really aids the audience’s view of the crazy character and adds to the stage picture immensely.” f you’ve ever found yourself tempted to sing with a group in public to your heart’s content, then the world of choirs will be no mystery. For the rest of the audience, Choir Girl is a prime chance to dive into the world of a rarely spoken about sub-culture. Director Celeste Cody learnt a lot about choirs, and the types of personalities they regularly attract, as she put the show together. Cody explains, “Every choir has a Brunhilda: all braun, no blend. Every choir has the kissy kissies: menopausal goody two shoes. There’s the hunky, nerdy accompanist; the men always bring plastic wrapped non-perishables at supper; the sopranos reign supreme.”

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This world of choirs is brought to life on stage by Cody, Sarah Collins (writer and lead) and theatre production company Attic Erratic, in a tale of loneliness and connectedness. Susan (Collins)

“THE GIRLS ACT AS THE THOUGHTS IN SUSAN’S HEAD ... IT REALLY AI THE AUDIENCE’S VIEWDS OF THE CRAZY CHARACTER. ”

Despite his work-life epiphany, don’t expect Barker to start evangelising. “I never want to sacrifice funny for message because after all, I’m a fucking comedian, not a minister or guru! So at times during my show, although you might think ‘holy shit, I think he’s really serious about this’, trust me, there’s a laugh coming.” But he does have some advice for newcomers. “The early years of comedy are among the best and most exciting (or so I found) and you can’t go back and relive those days, no matter how successful you get, so savour it. Not that it’s horrible being successful either, but put it this way: remember the first time you got laid? How long were you walking on a cloud for after that? A week? Now think about the last time you got laid. Were you even thrilled about it for 30 minutes? Everything new and exciting becomes less new and exciting. It’s why I’m seeking out new experiences on my off time!”

The shows might not be for everyone, but the two certainly have their audience; Orgy sold out the second week at MICF 2012. Bernshaw explains, “We find our comedy to appeal to a very certain audience type. It is very guy-oriented, it is very simple humour, and it refers a lot to certain sub pop culture elements.” Plenty to put a lot of bums on seats.

CHOIR GIRL

GO TIME

WHEN & WHERE: Thursday 28 March to Sunday 21 April, Town Hall, Main Hall

Collins made a name for herself with Nothing Extraordinary Ever Happens In Toowoomba (Ever) in 2008 and Donna And Damo: An Asexual Love Story in 2010. Cody and Attic Erratic made a name for themselves from vivid, thought-provoking theatre. The two obviously had a high degree of trust for each other to work out of their comfort zones. It isn’t surprising, then, when Cody explains, “We all went to uni together and worked on many a student theatre show.” Given the opportunity to recommend three other shows at the festival, Cody opted for Aunty Donna And The Fax Machine Shop, Lessons With Luis’ Famoucity!, and In The Parlour With Tilly And Flora. Sam Hilton WHEN & WHERE: Monday 1 to Monday 15 April, Town Hall, Supper Room

FANFICTION COMEDY annoying, O’Loughlin says, “because we have to write so much bloody material. But it’s good for the audience, probably. We also have awesome guests like Wil Anderson, Josie Long, Tegan Higginbotham, Cal Wilson and basically all the coolest people in the Festival. They all read out brand new original stories that they write themselves. Probably on iPads because they’re famous.” Comedy on iPads. iComedy. Geeks: always with the making fun of Apple.

he trans-Tasman assault continues as Kiwi comedy quartet FanFiction bring another Wil Andersonproduced show to town. Just in case you didn’t have enough “iNZid” in your life, or webzine-based pop-culture spin-off fantasies like Hermione in a three-way love affair with Bob Pattinson and Mario, they’re here and ready for you to throw some ideas in the mix.

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Based on the literary genre ‘fan fiction’ – where avid fans of say, Samurai Pizza Cats, for example, will imagine that Speedy falls in love with Guido and write their own spin-off story about it – the group play on the “weirdo” imaginations that are in all of us. Team member Heidi O’Loughlin says that the show’s “about Pokemon getting lonely. It’s about Harry Potter on an episode of Jeremy Kyle, it’s about Optimus Prime becoming the lead singer of Linkin Park”. “We really hope people use this show to embrace their inner geek,” she continues. “And then rip their inner geek out of their bodies and get a neck tattoo of it.” Of the show’s boundless virtues the fact that no two shows are the same has to be up there in terms of boundlessness. It’s a bit

As O’Loughlin recounts, there’s been a little heartache, and a little re-birth, on the road to the 2013 Comedy Fest. “At last year’s MICF the five of us slept in one horrible tiny windowless hotel room usually reserved for adulterers or pre-loading teenagers. In conclusion, it has taken us a year to talk to each other again. We have separate rooms this time. So in a way, a lot like Jesus, our souls died a little then came back to life.” She helps conceptualise the show in a way we’ll better understand it. “It’s like having a freaky cheese dream where you’re fighting and/or pashing all your TV and movie heroes at once. But then Joseph Gordon-Levitt from Inception comes along and wires you into all your friends’ similar cheese dreams and you don’t want to be in them but all of a sudden you’re in a ridiculous cheese dream orgy, which you resist at first but ultimately are totally into.” That certainly cleared things up. Still doesn’t explain why Gordon-Levitt has the monopoly on alternate universe-based movies, but, you know, whatever. Simon Eales WHEN & WHERE: Saturday 30 March to Sunday 21 April, Town Hall, Clock Room; Victoria Hotel

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THE Q&A’S

OLYMPIK PHEVER

SHE KNOWS TOO MUCH

Hall toilets. And there was a free carbonara dinner under everyone’s seat! WHEN & WHERE: Thursday 28 March to Tuesday 9 April, Tuxedo Cat

SKITHEADS Describe yourself in exactly 140 characters (length of a tweet)? Madeleine Tucker: An outsider entertainer for the next generation, presenting a strange collection of intriguing spoken word pieces, live advertisements and catchy pop tunes. Who is your biggest celebrity crush and why? Geraldine from Ship To Shore used to come into my work and I’d blush heaps because she was Geraldine from Ship To Shore. What’s your favourite team sport and why? My favourite sport team is the Hommustown Chickpeas. I think they play Celery Stick Cricket. What’s a nightmare you’ve had recently? I dreamt that I was running extremely late for my race at the Olympics! ARRGHHH. What are you looking forward to the most at MICF? Performing at the Forum Theatre! I hope at the end I get to keep one of the ceiling stars as a treasured memento. WHEN & WHERE: Tuesday 9 to Sunday 21 April, Forum, Pizza Room

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Describe yourself in 140 characters (length of a tweet)? Catherine Magill: 4 parts Taurean, 2 parts middle-aged, 1 part magic realism, 3 parts organic, 4 parts chardonnay, 3 parts purple-orange swirl, 1 part dancing queen, the rest chocolate. Who is your biggest celebrity crush and why? If I had one, it would be three parts Alan Rickman, two parts Billy Connolly, two parts Sting and the rest chocolate. What’s your favourite team sport and why? I don’t “do” sport, but now that I live in Melbourne I think I have to say AFL. What’s a nightmare you’ve had recently? I was in a huge crowd going to a Comedy Festival info night. An ex-boyfriend was there, doing what exes do! I couldn’t read the notice board ‘cause the light was dim and I didn’t have my glasses. I couldn’t find the right room, so I just went in the first door. The floor was sloping, the chairs were in diagonal rows facing the walls – it was Alice In Wonderland meets Melbourne Recital

and promptly took flight Banana-Man style and met up with Jessica Alba. What are you looking forward to the most at the MICF? I really enjoy checking out some of the smaller, up-and-coming acts. There’s always going to be a few hits and misses, but you’d be surprised by how much fantastic comedic talent there is out there. Some mates of mine are in a group called Wizard Sandwiches, who are hilarious, so I’ll definitely pop along and check them out. WHEN & WHERE: Wednesday 27 March to Saturday 6 April, Colonial Hotel

Describe yourself in exactly 140 characters (length of a tweet)? Nick Rudich: 29/M/Melbourne. I love a wide variety of comedic styles. I like to sing about mundane things in the voice of James Blunt. If I was a porn star, my name would be Rick Nudich. What’s the best joke you’ve heard recently? A mate of mine had a few of us over for dinner the other night. Quite casually, he said, “I hope that nobody’s allergic to nuts, because I like to rest mine on the table.” And the worst joke? Last week, a colleague of mine arrived an hour late to work. Jokingly, he said to me, “Sorry I’m late, I had to find a vein.” It didn’t go down well with our boss who had just walked in behind him. What’s a dream you’ve had recently? Once I dreamt that I was fighting a bunch of monsters outside my house when I suddenly became aware that I was in a dream. I thought, “Screw this”,

50 SHADES

Describe yourself in exactly 140 characters (length of a tweet)? David J: When I reach for things they disappear. I can’t always remember what I need to know for tomorrow. Can I just give you a web link to my life? What’s the best joke you’ve heard recently? I keep a comprehensive catalogue of irony but I don’t keep a catalogue of jokes in my head. Death is the best joke that I know of. Death is definitely recent and of course perennial. It can’t be beaten for a joke. The joke is on all of us. But I wished you had asked me for the best irony. Then I could have put my irony catalogue to good use.

And the worst joke? Why do you want to submit readers to the worst joke? Life is short. Aren’t we all busy enough as it is? By definition, a crap joke is not worth repeating (or worth the effort of validating in writing) unless putting it in writing suddenly makes it funny, like some magical post-modern anti-comedy becomes comedy, bad is kind of good, antirelativistic resurrection of the worst shit. What’s a dream you’ve had recently? My Melbourne Comedy Festival show, 50 Shades, is packed to the rafters and sold out for its season of 11 nights, from April 3 to 14, and it is then extended by a week by public demand, through to April 21. Everyone reaches 50 Shades at Revolt, 12 Elizabeth St, Kensington on time. Nobody is late because they know that they can’t be late. Everyone realises the venue is easy to find, while all the trains run on time and the cab drivers rave about the show after seeing it themselves. Audience members hungry for good and weird comedy file out of both Kensington and Macaulay railway stations toward the Revolt performance complex and there is no rain. All of my other dreams are either too disjointed or too filled with wild sex to be suited to this format. My other dreams would be like combining Fear & Loathing In Las Vegas with something written by William S Burroughs. Seeing my comedy show succeed is an easier and more rewarding dream to explain. WHEN & WHERE: Wednesday 3 to Sunday 14 April, Revolt


RYAN COFFEY LATE and

LOUD MARCH 28 - APRIL 21

10.30PM (NO MONDAYS)

HAIRY LITTLE SISTA 230 LITTLE COLLINS ST, MELBOURNE COMEDYFESTIVAL.COM.AU

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THE SHOWS

SUITCASES, BAGGAGE AND OTHER SYNONYMS

PLUMS

LIVE ON AIR

that the show isn’t 60 minutes of stone fruit anecdotes: “It really is a show all about Plums. But it won’t feel like it. It won’t be like 45 minutes in, ‘if I hear one more thing about plums...!’. It won’t be like that. It’s not like I’m throwing plums at you.”

cabaret piece and was built, song-bysong, into a stunning 90-minute play.

t’s difficult to work out whether Suitcases, Baggage And Other Synonyms is best described as a cabaret, a musical or a narrative comedy, but one thing it definitely stands out as is one hell of a good time. There is a narrative (even though the show and a lot of the humour is character-based) and the comedy is palpable, following the interaction of the characters. As we learn from actor Sarah Jackson: “the humour lies in the distractions, really; I’d describe it as an onstage sitcom. You really get to know the characters and their relationships, and the interest comes from the characters and the distractions from the narrative.”

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The first brainchild from new production company Nick Of Time Productions has piqued the interest of Comedy Festival punters who are after a comedy act with a solid storyline and thorough commitment to character. And music, let’s not forget the music! All of the songs are original compositions except one (which is a new arrangement of four existing songs) and hilariously cover topics from the struggles of making it as an actress to the social intricacies of Grindr. Now a full-length show, this new work started as an award winning ten-minute

The characters form the lynchpin of this narrative comedy, and are made up of an aspiring comedian with OCD, a singer/ waitress on the cusp of making it, a serious actor who relates everything to Shakespeare, a gay pianist endlessly battling off heterosexual advances and a jazz musician who desperately wants to learn how to scat. We meet this group of five friends when one of them is granted annual leave for a joint holiday that nobody has planned yet, and the next hour and a half is spent following these fascinating characters as they try to plan their ideal overseas travel, while continually being side-tracked into various distractions. “It’s really art imitating life,” Jackson explains, “The audience can relate to most things in it and people feel really comfortable watching these characters on stage and relate to how they interact with each other.” The humour shifts from dry to flamboyant, with some characters really focused on the sardonic and others just wanting to have a great time. As audience members, we will grow to love these five friends, enjoy some cheeky breaking of the fourth wall (with some actors being locked in the dressing room) and adore a turning point that will stay with us for a long time after the curtain has fallen. Essentially, it’s the sort of comic play that will appeal to everybody, and with five writers working in tandem on the project you can be assured that every voice is represented somewhere in the story. James Daniel WHEN & WHERE: Wednesday 17 to Saturday 20 April, Theatreworks

PIECE OF CAKE Spy,” says Mourne. “Otherwise, Eve has a tendency to nod off and stay sleeping for some hours with her leg in the way of the gear stick, which can make things both difficult and dull. Dawn never joins in with the games, but rather makes continuous entries into the ledger she keeps that contains a variety of data entries on the numbers of dogs, cats, birds, yellow cars and telegraph poles that we pass. This also can be dull during travel, but makes for a good read with a cup of tea and lamington when we arrive at our motel room.”

nce upon a time, there were three fairly odd sisters who lived in a small town in Queensland called Esk. They spent their leisure time listening to the wireless and learning the songs they heard on guitar, tuba, keyboard, musical saw, toilet brush and other household items they like the sound of. One day, while practicing a Michael Jackson tune, they were discovered by a neighbour, Earl, whose rottweiler Gordon had stopped to defecate on their daisy patch. “As Earl waited outside our house for Gordon to finish his business,” explains Mourne Kransky (Annie Lee), the oldest of the sisters, “Earl thought us his own, and before long we left home on our first tour.”

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That was around 2004. Since then, Mourne, Eve and Dawn have toured nationally and internationally in their 1958 Morris Major, just last year travelling to Holland, Portugal and Belgium. Though it can be good for their relationships at times, all this travelling together can also get a little trying. “Travelling together is nice when we can all enjoy a game of I

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Mourne says she and her sisters do tend to prefer the smaller towns over the big cities. “We do like the small towns as they remind us of home. Some cities can be very big and have parking meters and traffic lights. We prefer to park in paddocks and be guided by the light of the moon,” she says. “In the small towns you can always get a good pub meal for $8.50. In the cities we can only afford the chips.” They have been touring their most recent show, Piece Of Cake, regionally, and will be bringing it to the Melbourne Comedy Festival. Set to feature new songs and travel tales, Mourne describes the show this way: “A piece of cake is always a tasty treat at parties, and that’s what we’d like to serve our audience. We’ve also got a biscuit tin of new songs and stories of our recent travels to share with the lovely people of Melbourne, and we are looking forward to meeting the people there again. It’s always a nice drive down too, as we always take a break to look at the big sheep on the way.” Zoe Barron WHEN & WHERE: Tuesday 9 to Sunday 21 April, Hi Fi

Plums promises spousal quarrels over the fate of backyard plum trees, a graphic tale of the time Hooper accidentally ate a whole packet of prunes in one go and a great story about gardening celebrity, Don Burke. With plums out of season at the moment, Hooper will also talk about her metaphorical plums and how she recently decided that it was time to grow a pair.

oets have the hardest time being heard; surprisingly, even the poet laureate, Telia Nevile. At this year’s MICF, audiences will find that Nevile is still in the suburbs, still socially inept and awkward, and still unheard.

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How did a misfit become poet laureate? Nevile simply borrowed the title for her on stage persona. She explains, “I decided that because Australia didn’t have a poet laureate, and wasn’t likely to ever get one, I may as well steal the title and apply it to an outsider who can’t even get their parents, let alone their country, to listen to them.” In Live On Air, Nevile continues the struggle to find an audience from her bedroom in the suburbs where she lives. There is only one thing for her to do now to find an audience: broadcast her own radio show. Nevile herself is an audience drawcard so her onstage persona hasn’t much reflected life. Initially the inspiration came from the aspiring open mic performers that are known too well.

NS YOU “IN THE SMALL TOW OD CAN ALWAYS GET A.5GO IN 0. PUB MEAL FOR $8 ONLY THE CITIES WE CAN S.” AFFORD THE CHIP

“I kind of decided last year that I was living my life in a really timid way, like I’ve always been inclined to be an observer rather than somebody who just gets amongst and does fun stuff. So I guess the show is more about this idea of trying to be like essentially daring myself to be a more interesting person.”

laire Hooper has been looking forward to the 2013 Melbourne Comedy Festival for two years. After spending a couple of years in Sydney sitting down on commercial breakfast radio, she has returned to Brunswick and is getting back to old fashioned, stand-up comedy.

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Leading up to Melbourne, Hooper has been warming up her Plums to crowds of bogans and carnies in Adelaide as the city simultaneously hosts the Fringe Festival and Clipsal 500 V8 Supercars. “You make such amazing headway when you’re in Adelaide, because there is nothing like a live audience to really whip a show into shape. I did seven shows and the seventh was very different to the first so it was great, it just means that I’m striding towards Melbourne with a more fun show.” Hooper reassures

From the all the griping, one might get impression that our language is truly doomed but Nevile herself is more optimistic. “I’d like to think that rather than having missed a golden age,” she says, “we’re just going through a little bit of an ebb right now and the flow is right round the corner.” Samuel Hilton WHEN & WHERE: Thursday 4 to Friday 12 April, Northcote Town Hall

Annie Brown WHEN & WHERE: Thursday 28 March to Sunday 21 April, Town Hall: Cloak Room

Law Revue. After sell-out MICF shows with Aardvarks in 2011 and 2012, this is Duncan and Mammana’s first show without the other Aardvarks. “Michelle and I work in a very similar way, although we sometimes approach things from very different perspectives. Also, we both love cheese, so every writing session is kind of an excuse for a wheel of brie.”

This is the third solo show for Poet Laureate Telia Nevile. Her first show, While I’m Away, was met with critical acclaim at the 2009 Melbourne Fringe and garnered award nominations at MICF 2010. For Whom The Bell Tolls premiered at the 2010 Melbourne Fringe.

The parallels are notable. Poet Laureate Nevile lets flow her gripes over the misuse of the English language. Nevile herself doesn’t disagree: “I hate the use of text-speak in normal conversation – my fingers itch every time I hear the word ‘lol’. Acronyms can be incredible and evocative, but that one just does my head in and every time I hear it I want to light things on fire.”

For fans of natural fibre, gardening or rude celebrities, whichever you’re into, the wonderful Claire Hooper has got it for you.

LIFE LESSONS WITH MICHELLE AND GEMMA

Nevile says, “I built her around a lot of open mic performers I’ve watched, who are desperate to connect but just keep going about it all wrong.”

There is no doubt that the character has evolved. Nowadays Nevile sees the character as an extension of her self and her own anxieties. “She’s parts of me taken to extremes – my frustrations, fears and desperate hopes amped up to 11.”

Apart from having more stories involving plums than the average person, Hooper is also a member of an exclusive group of comedians who don’t use Twitter, which includes Kristen Wiig and David Sedaris. “I totally get why it’s for everyone else in the world, but me, I get butterflies in my tummy and my skin crawls when I even think about going on.” If you want to chat with Hooper, you’ll find her around the festival checking out comics such as Pete Holmes, Rich Fulcher, Xavier Michelides, Sam Simmons and The Pajama Men.

asically, Michelle and Gemma have done the research on life and made the tough mistakes for us. Life Lessons With Michelle And Gemma “is a shortcut so that you don’t have to do the work,” says co-star Gemma Duncan. “I think everybody’s had a moment where they want to try something that they probably shouldn’t just because they can. Michelle and I learned early on via the sweet, sticky educator of sweetened condensed milk that it’s just going to end in tears and/or throwing up. We aim to teach our audience to recognise that feeling and ignore it at all costs.”

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Although results may vary from show to show and Duncan is wary not to give too much away: “I can say that we delve deeply into exploring the controversial act of spooning and whether or not it can be platonic.” An interactive stand-up show written and performed by Duncan and her co-star Michelle Mammana, audiences “can expect to find most of the problems in their lives solved, and to have miraculously sexy abs from all of the laughing”. Duncan and Mammana are part of comedy ensemble Aardvarks Anonymous, founded in 2010 by members of the 2009 Deakin

Duncan explains, “the Aardvarks are always keen to try new things in order to challenge ourselves creatively and personally, and with that in mind Michelle and I decided to branch off and do our own show under the Aardvarks banner.” The show also promises to explore the nature of both evil and stupid twins, although not in the literal sense. “While we have had some heated debates about the nature of our friendship, we are just good friends and no relation.” “Everybody has those Evil Twin situations where they do something stupid or horrible; we want to explore the nature of those moments and, more importantly, find a way to avoid the blame for them.” Duncan and Mammana are doing Melbourne a favour, “after discovering last year that you shouldn’t eat eight-year-old Redskins from under your bed or rub your eyes after using menthol cream, we realised that with 50 years of life experience between us it would be selfish of us not to share our wisdom. Besides, both of us own our own washing machine. This proves beyond a doubt that we are in fact very grown up and reliable people worth taking advice from.” Izzy Roberts Orr WHEN & WHERE: Thursday 28 March to Friday 13 April, Word Warehouse


7HERE’S1O 3LACE/IKE

HOMO

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THE SHOWS

RONNY CHIENG: CAN YOU DO THIS? NO YOU CAN’T and has spent the intervening time touring the country with his incisive humour.

he stand-up comedian has a difficult task sometimes… he or she is not able to rely on a narrative, is very rarely allowed to hide behind costume, props or set without seeming tacky and has only one weapon: their wit. It’s just the comedian, the spotlight and hundreds of judgmental faces. Enter Ronny Chieng, completely unfazed.

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Punters who have been craving sharp, funny stand-up without tacky thematic distractions have been blown away by this new face on the circuit. And Chieng is relaxed and confident with the stand-up genre, knowing he has all the tools to deliver. “I don’t really do themed shows,” Chieng says of his new routine, “It’s just stand-up comedy that I’ve developed over the past year.” And what a year it has been. Twelve months ago Chieng fostered an already stellar reputation when he was awarded joint Best Newcomer of the 2012 Melbourne International Comedy Festival,

His new show Can You Do This? No You Can’t is straight stand-up: not heavily themed, just one man giving a “one-hour special” of top-notch humour. He talks a little bit about what it takes to succeed, but the title pretty much sets up the attitude of the character, who is more or less him. As Chieng says, “It’s being channelled from somewhere deep inside, but the lines blur. I definitely wouldn’t want to be that guy 24/7, but there is a bit of me in there.” Past that, what you can expect is new material in a stand-up format. Those who have seen Chieng in the past (and he’s been active in Melbourne for at least the past four years) know what they’re in for, and those who have not yet had the chance can look forward to adding a new comedian to their essential ‘must see’ list. He provides a unique perspective on stand-up – partly from his Malaysian/Chinese heritage and partly from his background in commerce and law. And as for the coming year? Well, as he has recently been tagged as one of the hottest tickets for this year’s comedy festival, the world is at the feet of Mr Ronny Chieng. He has a number of television stints that have been recorded and are waiting to be aired, as well as plans for future touring, potentially internationally. While he’s keeping the specifics of his future plans close to his chest, one thing is certain about this comedian: you want to catch him now. That way, in a few years you can brag about how long you’ve been a fan. James Daniel WHEN & WHERE: Thursday 28 March to Sunday 21 April, Town Hall: Council Chambers

WONDERLAND CARNIVALE while his brother Justin gets a head start and jumps on that bandwagon: “Speak for yourself, I’m wearing a suit and getting short back and sides!” While The Nelson Twins have been round the traps since 2006, momentum has grown particularly for them since going televisual, not only on AGT, but also The Footy Show, NBC’s Last Comic Standing, 2010 Australian IQ Test, Before The Game and The Project. They’re particularly looking forward to the Wonderland gigs as a way to get back into it (and also, because there are dodgem cars).

he Wonderland Spiegeltent at Docklands is offering a mixture of events, laughs and tunes this Comedy Festival season. The gorgeous venue is playing the Wonderland Carnivale: comedy in a classy venue (sitting in booths if that’s your thing, complete with wine and cheese). There will also be some cool physical acrobatic-y stuff happening too; as is always the case, the kind of shiny thing that should complement the ‘ha ha’ nicely. There’s a good mix of comedy headliners, including the ever classy (if less glassy these days) Fiona O’Loughlin, as well as Mick Molloy, Lehmo, Dave O’Neil, Ian Bagg and Australia’s Got Talent graduates The Nelson Twins. Talking to Inpress from a secret location while preparing their comedy extravaganza, they explained there are some subtly differences of approach (and opinion) when it comes to approaching a show like this. “Most comedians would try and get the ‘carny’ look happening; we already have it so we will just get up and be ourselves,” says Chris Nelson, with a gentle but definite dismissal of such antics,

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“Our jokes will be a bit more edgy live,” says Justin, comparing live and TV shows. “You certainly get a different audience when you are on TV at 7.30 as opposed to performing live. And they put make-up on you when you are on TV.” Finding common ground again, Chris sparks up, “I really enjoyed wearing the lipstick.” Ah hah, definitely Footy Show fans, then? In addition to getting the attention of some significant networks and local comedy icons, The Nelson Twins have marked themselves visually, getting on the comedy beardy bandwagon. While a carnival is often the exact right place for a beard (particularly a beardy lady), do the boys feel there are enough beards in Australian comedy at the moment? Could the scene do with some more? “There can never be enough beards in comedy. I’d like to see some of our fellow comedians at the Spiegeltent grow a beard before they take the stage. Mick Molloy and Ian Bagg would look awesome with a big beard,” says Justin. Not be left out, Chris adds, “so would Fiona O’Loughlin.” Liz Giuffre WHEN & WHERE: Thursday 28 March to Saturday 20 April, Wonderland Spiegeltent, Harbourtown Docklands

THOMAS JASPERS: NO PLACE LIKE HOMO

RYAN COFFEY: LATE & LOUD

he beard separates the men from the boys. See a bad beard from a mile away. The lustre of your beard defines the male hierarchy.” Ryan Coffey has informed you and he isn’t threatened by the growing popularity of beards. He looked back at his life pre-facial growth and admitted some tough opinions on himself. “I didn’t win Raw and I blame that on not having a beard. Hindsight is always 20/20.”

on the long-legged Australian entertainer, who opens his show each night. She has her own Twitter account, was a star at the recent Pride March and is fast becoming a YouTube sensation. Regardless of her rise to fame, she hasn’t quite won everyone over just yet. “I am far too polite to say anything nasty about anyone else, so it’s great doing the Rhonda character and saying the most horrible, nasty, bitchy things about celebrities,” he says of his double act. “They all have a pretty good sense of humour about it, too. Although, a friend of mine was sitting backstage at a show once and heard Patti Newton saying, ‘Oh I just don’t understand it. Who would say things like that about Ding-Dong Drysdale?’ So I guess cyber-sarcasm is a generational thing.”

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He hits the stage this year with his guitar and loop pedals to once again grace Comedy Festival with his wit and musical ability in his new show Late & Loud. He wants to change it up this year with it being “more rock concert than comedy. It’s a late night get together. It’s going to be loose and loud.” He also mentioned that things might get crazy when he introduces a second loop pedal. When asked what got him into musical comedy he wanted to make one thing clear: “I’m not a fan of musical comedy, so I’ve attempted to fix it by making the show a lot more

L “ OUR JOKES WIL BE A BIT MORE EDGY LIVE”

espite its hilarity, Thomas Jaspers’ There’s No Place Like Homo is deeply personal, candid comedy, tackling real life events including a preteen fascination with drag, relationship breakups and a nasty HIV scare. “The show explores how I grew up a shy camp kid from a sports-obsessed family and turned into a female impersonator,” he reveals. “So it was important for me to make sure that all the stories in the show were true.” Beneath the laughs, the show makes comment on discrimination, schoolyard bullying and rejection, with sincerity. “In being honest and true to the story, it was really important for me to note that whilst being a feather-loving, sequin-wearing, camp kid is a lot of fun, it is not easy,” Jaspers informs. “Don’t get me wrong, the show is very funny and light hearted, but I would be lying if I told my life story without the serious bits, too.”

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The light-heartedness he refers to comes in the form of his drag alter ego Rhonda Butchmore, a satirical take

Matt Ziccone WHEN & WHERE: Thursday 28 March to Sunday 21 April, Hairy Little Sista: Upstairs Lounge

Brendan Hitchens WHEN & WHERE: Wednesday 27 March to Sunday 7 April, Horse Bazaar

attention on Dave Hughes’ ARIA-nominated DVD, Dave Hughes Is Handy, with a feature spot. Cody can be found everywhere in the Melbourne comedy scene, his sharp wit and down-to-earth banter a funny twist on the familiar for Melburnians. His presence on the net is filled with blogs and YouTube makings. Last year Cody and fellow comedian Troy Kinne caught the attention of Olympic fans with the online videos, Shit NEVER said during the Olympics. He later found out that it made the rounds at the Olympic Village.

Coffey’s music ability, he states, is sadly restricted to comedy, that every time he tries to write something serious the unavoidable penis joke finds its way in. Every time. His edgy, suave but slightly aggressive stage presence has been ripping up music festivals with Falls, Woodford Folk, Harvest and St Kilda Festivals to name a few. Coffey’s life outside of comedy is a balance of coffee making, trivia nights and stilt walking. Stilt walking is the most lucrative of all his professions, “you either get it or you don’t get it. If you can’t get it on your first try, you’re done for.”

Ryan Coffey will be your late night comedy fix for those who are not ready to call the evening quits. Be ready to move, to laugh and admire the beard of the man, a real rock comedian.

Jaspers, in his mid-20s, will appear at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival for the first time in what has seen him referred to as ‘the new kid on the queer comedy block’. “I’ve heard about this,” he says of the description. “I’m not entirely sure where it is, but I know Tony Abbott isn’t invited.”

NICK CODY: INAPPROPRIATE

awesome than normal. The show will have awesome guitar solos, and be like a one-man Black Keys with dick jokes.”

Within comedy and professional circles, Coffey is known for having one of the greatest business cards in the known universe. He sat in a bar one day and after a discussion with a friend went home and decided to make a card. Six weeks later, upon forgetting about the night, the cards arrived in the mail. “It was the best present drunk Ryan ever did for sober Ryan.” His card, you ask? Two eagles, all nonsense, no contact details.

In spite of Patti’s lack of enthusiasm, Jaspers isn’t fazed, content in knowing that Burchmore herself is a fan of his act. “She saw the Twitter parody and one of the videos I had done with Nath Valvo and got in touch with us and asked if she could be in one. I was so scared when I got the call, I thought ‘Oh dear… I don’t know any lawyers’. But it turns out she has the best sense of humour, particularly when it comes to herself. When we showed her the script for what we had in mind, she said, ‘make it filthier!’”

hile on a family holiday last year, Nick Cody entertained his sister’s family by taking them to a Thai ping pong show. For sporting fans, this wasn’t a sporting event. After some ping pong ball gymnastics, “it was all a laugh, but when the budgie flew out, I felt that it had crossed the line.”

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Nick Cody likes the inappropriate. He has also conveniently named his new show Inappropriate to encourage straight out understanding that Nick Cody isn’t a comedian for your grandma. Unless your Grandma is into that. After spending some time in the US, taking to the stage in New York, Las Vegas and LA, he’s back and ready to make some noise at the 2013 festival. As well as plenty of sell out shows from the past few years and recent guest spots on NovaFM, he has been getting some

Cody is straight up and honest that he believes comedy has got to push the edge a little. “If you have come to a stand-up room and find something inappropriate… I find that really silly.” After a number of times being informed that he has crossed the line, including a joke about epilepsy, he realised that he needed to make it clear that’s where he lies in the comedy spectrum. Part of being a comedian for Cody is going to those places you shouldn’t go. Something that is ‘too soon’ has already been said by him and he is looking for the next off remark to get you to cringe and realise we all think those thoughts. Nick believes that people focus too much on the taboo rather than listen to the content, that “people hear the word, don’t listen and react to it, just because of the word”. Stand-up is this guy’s world. He jumps right in and delivers the pure craft of comedy. Let Nick Cody test your morals and make you laugh at the social boundary he will inevitably break. Matt Ziccone WHEN & WHERE: Thursday 28 March to Saturday 20 April, Tony Starr’s Kitten Club


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THE LISTINGS THE GALA Wednesday 20 March Palais Theatre

1 MAN DEBATE WITH SIMON TAYLOR Thursday 28 March to Sunday 21 April Trades Hall

AGAINST THE GRAIN Monday 1 to Monday 15 April Town Hall, Backstage Room

ASHER TRELEAVEN, BAD DANDY Thursday 28 March to Sunday 21 April Victoria Hotel

CAPITAL PUNISHMENT Thursday 28 March to Sunday 21 April Town Hall, Backstage Room

ALL STAR SUPER SHOW Wednesday 27 March Palais Theatre

1ST WORLD BLUES Saturday 6 to Sunday 21 April Comedy On Collins

AKMAL Saturday 6 to Sunday 14 April Athenaeum Theatre

ASHES, THE COMEDY SHOWDOWN Saturday 30 March to Saturday 20 April Exford Hotel

CATHERINE DEVENY, CURVY CRUMPET Thursday 28 March to Sunday 21 April Trades Hall, Meeting Room

THE 24TH ANNUAL GREAT DEBATE Sunday 7 April Town Hall

2 UKULELES AND A CELLO Wednesday 3 to Sunday 21 April Caz Reitop’s Dirty Secrets

ALASDAIR TREMBLAY-BIRCHALL, TRYING HARD Thursday 28 March to Sunday 21 April Forum Theatre

AUNTY DONNA AND THE FAX MACHINE SHOP Thursday 28 March to Saturday 20 April Town Hall, Powder Room & Portland Hotel

THE VERY BIG LAUGH OUT Friday 29 March to Sunday 21 April Fed Square

3 LITTLE GIGS Wednesday 27 March to Sunday 21 April Imperial Hotel

ALEX WILLIAMSON AND FRIENDS Thursday 28 March to Sunday 21 April Trades Hall, New Ballroom

BALDERDASH! Tuesday 9 to Sunday 21 April Imperial Hotel

COMEDY CLUB FOR KIDS Saturday 30 March to Sunday 14 April Town Hall, Lower

$5 COMEDY VARIETY HOUR Thursday 28 March to Sunday 6 April Felix Bar

UPFRONT Wednesday 17 April Town Hall, Main

5 IN A BED Wednesday 27 March to Sunday 21 April Loop Bar

ALI MCGREGOR’S LATE-NITE VARIETYNITE NIGHT Thursday 4 to Saturday 20 April The Famous Spiegeltent

BARRY MORGAN, ORGAN IS NOT A DIRTY WORD Thursday 28 March to Sunday 21 April Trades Hall, New Ballroom

RAW COMEDY NATIONAL GRAND FINAL Sunday 14 April Town Hall, Main

5 STEP GUIDE TO BEING GERMAN 2.0 Saturday 30 March to Sunday 21 April Elephant & Wheelbarrow

ALI MCGREGOR’S WESTERN LULLABIES Monday 8 April The Substation

BEAU Sunday 7 to Sunday 21 April Horse Bazaar

CLASS CLOWNS NATIONAL GRAND FINAL Friday 19 April Town Hall THE FESTIVAL CLUB Thursday 28 March to Saturday 20 April Hi-Fi DEADLY FUNNY NATIONAL SHOWCASE Sunday 7 April Town Hall, Lower AUSTRALIA, YOU’RE STANDING IN IT Saturday 6 April Town Hall, Main DOUG ANTHONY ALL STARS, DAAS DVD LAUNCH & SIGNING Saturday 13 April RMIT Capitol Theatre DIE ON YOUR FEET Saturday 13 April RMIT Capitol Theatre ROD QUANTOCK’S MYSTERY WALKING TOUR Saturday 30 March to Sunday 21 April Town Hall HANNAH GADSBY, NAKED NUDES Saturday 30 March to Saturday 20 April NGV COMEDY BITES Tuesday 26 March RMIT Capitol Theatre JEEZ LOUISE, BEHIND THE COMEDY CURTAIN Saturday 20 April Arts Centre, Hamer Hall RED HOT SHORTS Friday 12 April ACMI

9TH ANNUAL DEAKIN COMEDY REVUE Wednesday 10 to Saturday 20 April Colonial Hotel 10 SONGS EACH BETTER THAN THE LAST Tuesday 9 to Sunday 21 April Trades Hall, Quilt Room 50 SHADES Wednesday 3 to Sunday 14 April Revolt 50 SHADES OF GRAVËY Thursday 28 March to Sunday 14 April Word Warehouse 100% NUTS, MMM…GOOD! Wednesday 3 to Sunday 21 April Bridie O’Reilly’s 2013, WHEN WE WERE IDIOTS Wednesday 27 March to Tuesday 9 April Corner of Swanston and Collins St, Burke & Wills Statue A MODERN DECEPTION, LIVE TO AIR Tuesday 2 to Sunday 21 April Comedy On Collins A SUNBURNT HISTORY, THE FIRST FLEET Thursday 28 March to Sunday 7 April Trades Hall, Quilt Room AAAAAAAARGH! Wednesday 27 March to Saturday 20 April Red Violin, Level 2 AAMER RAHMAN, THE TRUTH HURTS Thursday 28 March to Sunday 21 April Town Hall, Portico Room ART! ART! ART! Wednesday 10 to Saturday 20 April Highlander Bar

LIFE OF BRIAN Thursday 11 April ACMI

ABIGOLIAH SCHAMAUN, GIRL GOING TO HELL Wednesday 27 March to Tuesday 9 April Tuxedo Cat

THE 16TH ANNUAL COMEDY FESTIVAL AWARDS Saturday 20 April Hi-Fi

ANDY MATTHEWS & TONY BESSELINK ACHIEVE NOTHING Wednesday 27 March to Sunday 7 April Imperial Hotel

WEB COMEDY, THE NEW JOKE? Saturday 13 April The Wheeler Centre

ADAM HILLS, HAPPYISM Thursday 11 to Sunday 21 April Princess Theatre

THE MOOSEHEAD AWARD BENEFIT Sunday 21 April Town Hall, Main

ADAM KNOX, CATACLYSMOS Monday 1 to Thursday 18 April John Curtin Hotel

#BOLLARD Monday 8 to Saturday 20 April Horse Bazaar

ADAM ROZENBACHS, EURODAD Thursday 28 March to Sunday 21 April Town Hall, Regent Room

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ALICE IN WONDERLAND Tuesday 2 to Sunday 14 April Theatre Husk

BENN BENNETT, PERFECTLY MOWED LAWN Thursday 4 to Sunday 14 April La Mama Theatre

ALL OF THE THINGS! Wednesday 27 March to Tuesday 9 April Tuxedo Cat

BEST COMICS WORST GIGS Sunday 31 March to Sunday 14 April Town Hall, Powder Room

ALL WASHED UP! Wednesday 27 March to Sunday 7 April Fortyfivedownstairs

BEST OF BRITISH Thursday 28 March to Sunday 21 April Exford Hotel

AN EVENING OF SKETCH Thursday 28 March to Saturday 20 April Bull & Bear Tavern

BEV KILLICK GOES THERE…AGAIN Monday 1 to Monday 15 April Town Hall, Powder Room

AND WHAT’S YOUR FREAKING PROBLEM??? Wednesday 3 to Sunday 7 April Chekhov Drama Studio AN ANNOYING DEVIL IN MELBOURNE Wednesday 27 March to Saturday 20 April Sahara Bar ANDREW MCCLELLAND’S HANG THE DJ Friday 29 March to Saturday 20 April Trades Hall ANGUS BROWN MANIA Thursday 28 March to Sunday 21 April Forum Theatre, Carpet Room ANIL DESAI’S ANOTHER NIGHT AT THE MOVIES Wednesday 27 March to Sunday 21 April WORD Warehouse

BLERNSHAW COMEDY(‘S UP LATE) Wednesday 27 March to Saturday 20 April Fad Gallery BODY POET Saturday 13 to Sunday 21 April Northcote Town Hall BOHEMIA CABARET CLUB COMEDY SHOWCASE Friday 29 March to Wednesday 20 April Bohemia Cabaret Club BOHEMIA COMEDY GALA Friday 22 March to Sunday 21 April Bohemia Cabaret Club BOMBAY TO BEIJING BY BICYCLE Thursday 28 March to Tuesday 9 April Tuxedo Lounge BOUND OF GLORY Thursday 28 March to Saturday 20 April Tuxedo Cat & The Hairy Little Sister

ANNE EDMONDS, ‘THE QUARTER CABBAGE’ Thursday 28 March to Sunday 21 April Town Hall, Lunch Room

BRAD OAKES, AN ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM Tuesday 9 to Sunday 21 April Hairy Little Sister, Upstairs Lounge

ANTHONY SALAME, THE CLOWN PRINCE Monday 1 to Monday 15 April Town Hall, Lunch Room

BRAIN STUFF, COL CAMERON Tuesday 9 to Saturday 20 April Sahara Bar

APARTMENTOCALYPSE! Thursday 28 March to Sunday 21 April Tuxedo Cat ARCANE Thursday 28 March to Sunday 7 April Portland Hotel, Locker Room ARGUING WITH SEAGULLS Thursday 11 to Saturday 13 April Gertrudes Brown Couch ARJ BARKER, GO TIME Thursday 28 March to Sunday 21 April Town Hall ASAF GERCHAK IS A TERRIBLE STAGE NAME Wednesday 27 March to Saturday 6 April Horse Bazaar

BULMERS BEST OF EDINBURGH FEST Thursday 28 March to Sunday 21 April RMIT Capitol Theatre CAL WILSON IS GUILTY Thursday 28 March to Sunday 21 April Town Hall, Powder Room CAM KNIGHT IS JUST ANOTHER MISFIT Thursday 28 March to Sunday 7 April Hairy Little Sister, Upstairs Lounge CANDY B & BUSTY BEATZ, MC PLATYPUS & QUEEN KOALA’S HIP HOP JAMBOREE Monday 1 to Sunday 14 April Northcote Town Hall CANNONBALL Thursday 28 March to Sunday 7 April Victoria Hotel, Acacia Room

CELEBRITY THEATRESPORTS Saturday 20 April National Theatre CHARLES BARRINGTON, ONE CHARACTER OR LESS Tuesday 2 to Sunday 21 April Comedy On Collins and Tuxedo Cat CHESSMATES, THE STORY OF KASPAROV AND DEEP BLUE Thursday 28 March to Sunday 21 April Trades Hall, Evatt Room CHICKEN RUN, SELECTION FROM THE MOVIE SOUNDTRACK Monday 8 April Fed Square CHILD SAFE? Saturday 30 March to Monday 1 April Bull & Bear Tavern CHOIR GIRL Monday 1 to Monday 15 April Town Hall, Supper Room CHOOSE YOUR OWN PORTENZA! Thursday 28 March to Sunday 14 April Town Hall, Powder Room CHRIS DEWBERRY, SWAGGERMONKEY Wednesday 27 March to Sunday 21 April FAD Gallery & Caz Reitops Dirty Secrets CINEMA FIASCO Friday 20 March to Friday 19 April Cinema Nova CLAIRE HOOPER, PLUMS Thursday 28 March to Sunday 21 April Town Hall, Portico COLLIDING BRAINS Tuesday 2 April Melbourne Brain Centre COMED-OKE’ Wednesday 27 March to Wednesday 17 April Fluid Oz Bar COMEDY PICK ‘N’ MIX Thursday 28 March to Sunday 21 April Three Degrees COMMEDIA DELL PARTE Thursday 28 March to Thursday 18 April George Lane Bar CONFESSIONS OF A SENSITIVE MALE STRIPPER Wednesday 27 March to Friday 19 April Elephant & Wheelbarrow CONTROL-ALT-DELETE, THE FUNNY SIDE OF COMPUTERS Wednesday 27 March to Saturday 20 April Sahara Bar COPERNICUS THE WIZARD MAGIC Tuesday 16 to Saturday 20 April Dane Certificate’s Magic Tricks, Gags & Theatre CRAIG HILL, JOCK’S TRAP Tuesday 16 to Sunday 21 April The Famous Spiegeltent CUT YOUR HAIR Friday 12 to Monday 22 April Highlander Bar DAMIEN POWER, MONKEYS IN SPACE Thursday 28 March to Sunday 21 April Portland Hotel, Locker Room


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THE LISTINGS DAN ILIC, A RATIONAL FEAR Sunday 7 April Town Hall, Supper Room

DON’T PEAK AT HIGH SCHOOL Thursday 4 to Saturday 20 April Hares & Hyenas

DAN ILIC IS LEGALLY AMBIGUOUS, ‘NAUGHTY BY NATURE’ Tuesday 9 to Saturday 20 April Trades Hall

DON’T QUIT YOUR DAY JOB Tuesday 2 to Saturday 13 April The Croft Institute

DANDYMAN Thursday 28 March to Sunday 21 April Town Hall, Backstage Room DANNY BHOY, DEAR EPSON Tuesday 2 to Sunday 21 April Arts Centre, Playhouse DANNY MCGINLAY, HYPTERNONIC Tuesday 9 to Sunday 21 April Hairy Little Sister, Upstairs Lounge DANNY STINSON’S ‘INTERVIEW WITH A PSYCH NURSE’ Wednesday 27 March to Sunday 7 April Station 59 DARIEN BROWN, MY LIFE ON THE B-SIDE Tuesday 2 to Saturday 13 April Comedy On Collins & The Scots Church Assembly Hall DARKNESS AND LIGHT Thursday 11 to Sunday 21 April Tuxedo Cat DAVE BLOUSTIEN, THE GRAND GUIGNOL Thursday 28 March to Sunday 7 April Trades Hall, Evatt Room DAVE FAIRCLOUGH IN LOVE Wednesday 10 to Sunday 21 April Imperial Hotel DAVE HUGHES, FREEZER BREAD Tuesday 26 March to Sunday 31 March Comedy Theatre DAVE O’NEIL IN 33 THINGS I SHOULD HAVE SAID NO TO Thursday 28 March to Sunday 21 April Hairy Little Sister DAVE THORNTON, TALL & POINTY Thursday 28 March to Sunday 21 April Victoria Hotel, Banquet Room DAVE Saturday 6 to Saturday 20 April Northcote Town Hall DAVE QUIRK, SHAKING HANDS WITH DANGER Thursday 28 March to Sunday 21 April Town Hall, Backstage Room DAYNE RATHBONE, IT’S ME DAYNE Thursday 28 March to Sunday 21 April Portland Hotel DE PETRO AND D’AGOSTINO Monday 8 to Sunday 21 April Loop Bar DEANNE SMITH, LET’S DO THIS Thursday 28 March to Sunday 21 April Town Hall, Portico Room DEATH RIDES A HORSE Wednesday 27 March to Tuesday 9 April Tuxedo Cat & Revolt DFO, DARREN FREAKS OUT Wednesday 27 March to Sunday 7 April Felix Bar DIRK DARROW, NCSSI Tuesday 2 to Sunday 21 April Comedy on Collins DIRTY THIRTIES Thursday 28 March to Sunday 7 April Red Violin, Level 2 DIXIE LONGATE, MY BAGS WENT WHERE? Thursday 28 March to Sunday 14 April Forum Theatre, Downstairs

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DOUG, HELLO LADIES! Tuesday 9 to Saturday 20 April Three Degrees DRAMA QUEENS Tuesday 2 to Thursday 18 April The Exford Hotel DUCK HEADS Friday 29 March to Saturday 6 April Abbotsford Convent EARLY SHOW, THE FESTIVAL SHOWCASE Thursday 28 March to Sunday 21 April Exford Hotel EDDIE IFFT, TOO SOON? Tuesday 16 to Sunday 21 April Athenaeum ELLIOT CYNGLER IS TOO SMALL TO FUNCTION Wednesday 27 March to Sunday 7 April Imperial Hotel EM RUSCIANO, PUBERTY, RHYTHM & BLUES Thursday 28 March to Sunday 21 April Forum Theatre ETHAN ADDIE, ROOKIE MISTAKES Wednesday 27 March to Sunday 7 April Station 59 EVIN DONOHOE, GAME CHANGER! BARACK OBAMA AND MY PART IN HIS VICTORY Thursday 11 to Sunday 21 April Trades Hall, Evatt Room EX-GERMAN Wednesday 27 March to Saturday 20 April Three Degrees EXCITED!!! Thursday 28 March to Sunday 7 April Trades Hall, Old Council Chambers EXIT LAUGHING Monday 22 April Comedy Club EXPLOSIONS! Thursday 4 to Sunday 21 April The 86

FREHD & TIM EEE HAVE ALL OF THE FUN Friday 29 March to Sunday 7 April Town Hall, Powder Room GAVIN BASKERVILLE, CRUNCH TIME Tuesday 9 to Saturday 20 April Three Degrees GENEVIEVE FRICKER, PARTY POOPER Thursday 28 March to Sunday 21 April Forum Theatre, Carpet Room GERALDINE HICKEY IN…LOVE OR A SLAB OF FUDGE Thursday 28 March to Sunday 21 April Forum Theatre GERALDINE QUINN, STRANGER Thursday 28 March to Sunday 21 April Trades Hall GET SMUT Wednesday 27 March to Thursday 11 April Loop GIRLS NIGHT Thursday 28 March to Sunday 7 April Hairy Little Sister, Upstairs Lounge GIRLS UNINTERRUPTED ARE GOOD VALUE Thursday 28 March to Sunday 21 April Portland Hotel, Main Room GOD FIGHTS THE DINOSAURS & 9 OTHER STORIES THAT WILL AWESOME YOU IN THE FACE Saturday 13 to Sunday 21 April Northcote Town Hall GORDON SOUTHERN, THE KERFUFFLE Thursday 28 March to Sunday 21 April Forum Theatre GP THE MUSICAL Wednesday 17 to Saturday 20 April Gasworks Theatre GRAAAHM, ‘DON’T LOOK AT ME’ Thursday 11 to Sunday 21 April Tuxedo Cat GREG FLEET, THE BOY WHO CRIED SOBER Thursday 28 March to Sunday 21 April Town Hall, Council Chambers & Backstage Room GUINEAPIGS DOWNUNDER (& FRIENDS) Sunday 7 to Thursday 18 April Mountain View Hotel

HELP ME, HUNTER! Wednesday 27 March to Saturday 6 April Fad Gallery HERE COME THE GIRLS Wednesday 27 March to Saturday 20 April Red Violin, Level 2 HOO-HAA YOU? Thursday 28 March to Saturday 20 April Butterfly Club HOPE IS THE SADDEST Wednesday 3 to Sunday 14 April La Mama Theatre HOW I MET YOUR BROTHER Thursday 28 March to Sunday 21 April Trades Hall, Evatt Room HOW SHIT IS SHIT Saturday 6 to Saturday 20 April Spleen Bar HOW TO DRAW CARTOOBS AND OTHER TYPOS WITH YOUR HOST FIRST DOG ON THE MOON Thursday 28 March to Sunday 21 April Victoria Hotel, Acacia Room HOW TO GET RICH Thursday 28 March to Sunday 7 April Trades Hall, The Meeting Room HOW-TO Wednesday 27 March to Sunday 7 April Butterfly Club HUGGERS Friday 5 to Saturday 20 April Comedy On Collins I LOVE GREEN GUIDE LETTERS, LIVE PODCAST RECORDING Saturday 30 March to Saturday 20 April Town Hall, Supper Room

JOE BONE, BANE 1 Thursday 28 March to Sunday 21 April Trades Hall, Quilt Room JOEL CREASEY, THE DRAMA CAPTAIN Thursday 28 March to Sunday 21 April Town Hall, Portico Room JOHN ROBERTSON, KINKLING Thursday 28 March to Sunday 21 April Portland Hotel, Locker Room JOHN ROBERTSON, THE DARK ROOM Monday 1 to Monday 15 April Town Hall, Cloak Room JOHN BENNETT, FIRE IN THE METH LAB Thursday 28 March to Sunday 21 April Tuxedo Cat

JOSH EARL VS THE AUSTRALIAN WOMEN’S WEEKLY CHILDREN’S BIRTHDAY CAKE BOOK Friday 29 March to Saturday 6 April State Library

IN THE PARLOUR WITH TILLY & FLORA Tuesday 2 to Saturday 20 April Comedy On Collins INSIDE Thursday 28 March to Sunday 21 April The Famous Spiegeltent

FANFICTION COMEDY Saturday 30 March to Sunday 21 April Victoria Hotel & Town Hall, Cloak Room

HANNAH GADSBY, HAPPINESS IS A BEDSIDE TABLE Thursday 28 March to Sunday 21 April Town Hall, Supper Room

JACK DRUCE, UNQUALIFIED LIFE COACH Wednesday 27 March to Monday 15 April Town Hall, Lunch Room & Spleen Bar

HAPPINESS ODYSSEY Wednesday 27 March to Saturday 6 April Rue Bebelons, Upstairs

JACK TANDY, JACK TANDY FOREVER Wednesday 27 March to Tuesday 9 April Tuxedo Cat

HEADLINERS Thursday 28 March to Sunday 21 April Town Hall, Lower

JACKSON VOORHAAR & MITCH ALEXANDER, SATAN’S FINEST Sunday 7 to Thursday 18 April Horse Bazaar

HEATH FRANKLIN’S CHOPPER, THE (S) HITLIST Saturday 30 to Sunday 31 March Athenaeum Theatre

JMAC, LIVE VICARIOUSLY Wednesday 27 March to Sunday 14 April Sahara Bar

IDIOTS OF ANTS, MODEL CITIZENS Thursday 28 March to Sunday 21 April Victoria Hotel, Banquet Room

JACK DEE, LIVE! Thursday 18 to Saturday 20 April Town Hall, Main Hall

FOREIGN OBJECTS Tuesday 9 to Sunday 21 April Hairy Little Sister, Upstairs Lounge

JIMEOIN, WHAT?! Tuesday 26 March to Sunday 7 April Athenaeum Theatre

JOSH EARL IS A LIBRARIAN Friday 12 to Saturday 20 April State Library

HAHAHAHA Wednesday 3 to Sunday 21 April Comedy On Collins

FOOTYCOUCH Thursday 28 March to Saturday 20 April Pugg Mahones

JENNY ÉCLAIR, ECLAIRIOUS Thursday 28 March to Sunday 7 April Town Hall, Supper Room

IAN D MONFORT, THE ONE Wednesday 27 March to Sunday 21 April Exford Hotel

FAIRWAY TO HEAVEN Wednesday 27 March to Sunday 21 April Elephant & Wheelbarrow

HEAPS GOOD SA SHOWCASE Thursday 28 March to Sunday 7 April Hairy Little Sister, Upstairs Lounge

JENNIFER WONG IS SPINELESS Thursday 28 March to Sunday 21 April Portland Hotel, Pool Room

JONATHAN SCHUSTER’S CHRYSALIS Wednesday 27 March to Saturday 20 April Imperial Hotel

GWEN & JOHN, A MELODRAMATIC LOVE STORY Wednesday 20 March to Thursday 11 April La Mama Courthouse

FELICITY WARD, THE HEDGEHOG DILEMMA Monday 15 April Athenaeum Theatre

JEFF GREEN, LEAPING OFF THE BELL CURVE Thursday 28 March to Sunday 21 April Town Hall, Supper Room & Swiss Club

I’M HERE ALL WEEK Wednesday 27 March to Saturday 6 April 3 Degrees Comedy

FACTY FACT, A LATE NIGHT COMEDY GAME SHOW Thursday 4 to Saturday 20 April Tuxedo Cat

FAULTY TOWERS THE DINING EXPERIENCE Wednesday 3 to Sunday 21 April The Aegean

JASON CHATFIELD, STAND UP COMIC STRIP LIVE Wednesday 10 to Sunday 21 April Portland Hotel, Locker Room

IT’S A WESTERN Wednesday 27 March to Sunday 21 April Butterfly Club

JACQUES BARRETT, THE CONTRARIAN Thursday 28 March to Saturday 20 April Tony Starr’s Kitten Club JARED JEKYLL, LOONY BIN Tuesday 2 to Sunday 21 April Word Warehouse

JOSH THOMAS, DOUCHEBAG Thursday 28 March to Sunday 21 April Town Hall, Lower JOSIE LONG, ROMANCE & ADVENTURE Tuesday 9 to Sunday 21 April Town Hall, Supper Room JUDITH LUCY & DENISE SCOTT, THE SPIRAL Saturday 30 March to Sunday 21 April Princess Theatre JULIET MEYERS, MIDDLE LANE SWIMMER Wednesday 27 March to Tuesday 9 April Tuxedo Cat KAPUT Thursday 28 March to Sunday 21 April Town Hall, Cloak Room KARIN DANGER, HOT BOX Tuesday 9 to Sunday 21 April Butterfly Club KARL CHANDLER HAS (LITERALLY) 1.5 MILLION JOKES Thursday 28 March to Sunday 21 April Forum Theatre, Pizza Room KATE MCLENNAN & WES SNELLING, STANDARD DOUBLE Thursday 28 March to Sunday 21 April Blackman Hotel


Monday

April 15 7.30pm

The Hi-Fi

125 Swanston St (opp Town Hall), Melbourne All tix $45 www.ticketmaster.com.au or 1300 660 013

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THE LISTINGS KATE MIDDLETON SHOW QUEEN Friday 19 to Saturday 20 April Red Bennies KATERINA VRANA, FETA WITH THE QUEEN Wednesday 27 March to Saturday 20 April Three Degrees KELFI & FIKEL Wednesday 27 March to Saturday 20 April Fad Gallery KEVIN KROPINYERI, WELCOME TO MY WORLD Thursday 28 March to Sunday 21 April Town Hall, Lunch Room KHALED KHALAFALLA, DEVIOUS Wednesday 27 March to Sunday 21 April Trades Hall, Quilt Room KITTY FLANAGAN, HELLO KITTY Tuesday 9 to Sunday 21 April Athenaeum Theatre KNOCK OFF Tuesday 16 to Saturday 20 April Wonderland Spiegeltent KUNT & THE GANG Wednesday 27 March to Sunday 14 April Sahara Bar

THE LITTLE DUM DUM CLUB, LIVE PODCASTS! Monday 1 to Monday 15 April Town Hall

MICHAEL WORKMAN, AVE LORETTA Thursday 28 March to Sunday 21 April Town Hall, Regent Room

OPEN MIC LIFE (LIVE) Saturday 30 March to Saturday 30 April Sahara Bar

LOCAL LAUGHS Monday 1 to Monday 15 April The Local Taphouse

MIKE BIRBIGLIA, MY GIRLFRIEND’S BOYFRIEND Thursday 28 March to Thursday 4 April Arts Centre, Fairfax Studio

OUR FRIEND HAROLD Wednesday 27 March to Saturday 20 April The Croft Institute

LOL Friday 29 March to Tuesday 16 April Loop

MILKY T, BRRRAP!!! Tuesday 9 to Sunday 21 April Red Violin, Upstairs

LORDS OF LUXURY Tuesday 9 to Saturday 20 April Trades Hall, The Bookshop

MISS INTERPRET STARRING BOBBY MACUMBER Friday 5 to Saturday 20 April Pugg Mahones

LORETTA MAINE, BIPOLAR Thursday 28 March to Sunday 21 April Town Hall, Powder Room LUKE HEGGIE, MEGA DRY Thursday 28 March to Saturday 20 April Town Hall, Backstage Room & Tony Starr’s Kitten Club LUKE MCGREGOR, MY SOUL MATE IS OUT OF MY LEAGUE Thursday 28 March to Sunday 21 April Portland Hotel, Locker Room MAD BENDLE Wednesday 10 to Sunday 21 April Station 59

LATE NIGHT LETTER & NUMBERS Friday 29 March to Friday 19 April Trades Hall, Old Council Chambers

MADELEINE TUCKER, OLYMPIK PHEVER Tuesday 9 to Sunday 21 April Trades Hall, Evatt Room

LATE NIGHT THEATRESPORTS Thursday 28 March to Saturday 13 April Town Hall, Regent Room

MAN ABOUT THE HOUSE Thursday 11 to Saturday 13 April Walsh Street

LAURA DAVIS, LOOK OUT, IT’S A TRAP Thursday 11 to Sunday 21 April Tuxedo Cat

MARK TRENWITH, AFTER DARK Thursday 11 to Sunday 21 April Tuxedo Cat

LAWRENCE LEUNG’S PART-TIME DETECTIVE AGENCY Thursday 28 March to Sunday 21 April Swiss Club

MATT DYKTYNSKI & BANG MANGO COOLS, EDIBLE PETS, THE FAREWELL TOUR Thursday 28 March to Sunday 21 April Victoria Hotel, Acacia Room

LAY-LAH WAZIR, A NIGHTMARE ON HIGH STREET Wednesday 3 to Sunday 21 April Comedy On Collins LE FOULARD Wednesday 27 March to Sunday 21 April Tuxedo Cat LEGAL COMEDY DEBATE Monday 15 April Athenaeum Theatre LESSONS WITH LUIS IN FAMOUCITY! Thursday 28 March to Sunday 21 April Town Hall, Portico Room LET’S PUT ON A SHOW Tuesday 9 to Sunday 14 April Gertrude’s Brown Couch LIFE LESSONS WITH MICHELLE & GEMMA Thursday 28 March to Saturday 13 April Word Warehouse LIFE, LOVE AND MISGUIDED ASPIRATIONS Tuesday 2 to Saturday 20 April Paloma Bar LILYANNE SLADE SHAVED HER LEGS FOR THIS Thursday 28 March to Sunday 21 April Word Warehouse LIME CHAMPION’S NIGHTMARE TALES Monday 1 to Monday 15 April Town Hall, Lunch Room LITTLE DANCES Wednesday 27 March to Sunday 14 April La Mama Courthouse

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MR PERSONALITY, 1988 Thursday 28 March to Sunday 21 April Forum Theatre MR SNOT BOTTOM’S STINKY SILLY SHOW Friday 29 March to Sunday 14 April Town Hall, Lower MUSIC MIRTH & MAYHEM 15 Monday 15 April Hi-Fi MY DENTED IDENTITY Thursday 18 to Sunday 21 Theatre Husk NAKED UNICORN VOMIT Tuesday 2 to Saturday 13 April Dane Certificate’s Magic Tricks, Gags & Theatre NATH VALVO ALMOST 30 Thursday 28 March to Sunday 21 April Trades Hall, The Annex NEAL PORTENZA’S TEST SHOW Wednesday 27 March to Sunday 21 April Tuxedo Cat NEIL SINCLAIR, PHONEY Wednesday 27 March to Sunday 21 April Imperial Hotel

THE MAN WITH A HAT Tuesday 2 to Sunday 21 April Elephant & Wheelbarrow PAJAMA MEN, JUST THE TWO OF EACH OF US Wednesday 4 to Sunday 21 April Arts Centre, Fairfax Studio PAT BURTSCHER’S BREAKING EVEN Thursday 28 March to Sunday 21 April Tuxedo Cat PATRICK CROSS, SO REAL Wednesday 27 March to Sunday 21 April Central Club Hotel PATRICK MILLER, CHAOS Thursday 11 to Sunday 21 April Tuxedo Cat PAUL FOOT, KENNY LARCH IS DEAD Thursday 28 March to Sunday 21 April Hi-Fi PAUL MCDERMOTT, PAUL SINGS Tuesday 9 to Sunday 21 April Forum Theatre PETER HELLIAR, WHATEVS (…FOREVS) Tuesday 9 to Sunday 21 April Victoria Hotel, Banquet Room PHIL & ME Thursday 28 March to Sunday 7 April Hairy Little Sister, Upstairs Lounge PICTURE THIS! Thursday 28 March to Sunday 21 April Tuxedo Cat

NELLIE WHITE Thursday 11 to Sunday 21 April Tuxedo Cat

PICTURES OF YOU, LIVE, THE COMEDIANS Tuesday 2 to Sunday 14 April Forum Theatre, Downstairs

NEVER SAY ALWAYS Wednesday 10 to Sunday 14 April Mechanics Institute

PIRATE CHURCH Wednesday 3 to Saturday 13 April St Peter’s Anglican Church

MATT OKINE, BROKEN DIAMOND HOUSE Thursday 28 March to Sunday 21 April Portland Hotel

NEW YEAR CHEER Friday 5 to Friday 19 April Imperial Hotel

PLAY DATE Monday 8 to Saturday 20 April Bull & Bear Tavern

MATTY GREY, “AGE-LESS 2, GAME ON” Tuesday 2 to Saturday 13 April Comedy On Collins

NICK CODY, INAPPROPRIATE Thursday 28 March to Saturday 20 April Tony Starr’s Kitten Club

LIVE ON AIR Thursday 4 to Friday 12 April Northcote Town Hall

MAX & IVAN ARE…CON ARTISTS Thursday 28 March to Sunday 21 April Town Hall, Powder Room

NICK KESIDIS, ONE LONELY GUY, MAGIC SHOW Tuesday 2 to Sunday 14 April Comedy On Collins

POLI-WAFFLE Saturday 30 March to Saturday 20 April Fad Gallery & Elephant & Wheelbarrow

MAX ATTWOOD, AM I BETTER THAN GANDHI? Wednesday 27 March to Tuesday 9 April Tuxedo Cat

NICK STEVENS, THE DREAM IS ON Tuesday 2 to Saturday 20 April Pugg Mahones

POLITICAL ASYLUM’S LATE NIGHT RIOT! Saturday 6 April Town Hall, Supper Room

ME, ME, ME & ME Thursday 28 March to Sunday 21 April KaDo

NIK COPPIN, MIXED RACIST Wednesday 27 March to Saturday 20 April Sahara Bar

POLY-GOBBLE Tuesday 9 to Saturday 20 April Fad Gallery

MIDDLE RAGED Wednesday 27 March to Saturday 6 April 3 Degrees

MEL BUTTLE, HOW EMBARRASSMENT Thursday 28 March to Sunday 21 April Victoria Hotel, Acacia Room MEMOIRS OF AN AISHA Thursday 11 to Sunday 21 April Revolt MICAH D HIGBED, NOTEWORTHY Monday 8 to Sunday 21 April Imperial Hotel MICHAEL HING, OCCUPY WHITE PEOPLE Thursday 28 March to Sunday 21 April Portland Hotel, Gold Room

NIKKI BRITTON, ABDICATING ADULTHOOD Thursday 28 March to Sunday 21 April Forum Theatre NINA CONTI, DOLLY MIXTURES Thursday 28 March to Sunday 14 April Town Hall, Lower NO PLACE LIKE HOMO Wednesday 27 March to Sunday 7 April Horse Bazaar OP SHOP TOUR Saturday 6 to Saturday 20 April Town Hall

POP ROCKETEER Thursday 28 March to Sunday 21 April Portland Hotel, Pool Room PR!CK THE MUSICAL Friday 5 to Sunday 14 April Flying Saucer Club RANDY IS SOBER Thursday 28 to Friday 29 March Athenaeum Theatre RHYS NICHOLSON, DAWN OF A NEW ERROR Thursday 28 March to Sunday 21 April Portland Hotel, Gold Room

RICH FULCHER, TINY ACTS OF REBELLION Monday 15 to Sunday 21 April Town Hall, Lower RICH HALL Thursday 28 March to Sunday 7 April RMIT Capitol Theatre & Town Hall, Lower ROB HUNTER, LATE O’CLOCK Monday 1 to Monday 15 April Town Hall, Cloak Room ROBOTS VS ART Wednesday 17 April to Sunday 5 May La Mama Courthouse ROMCOM Thursday 2 to Saturday 20 April Three Degrees RONNY CHIENG, CAN’T YOU DO THIS? NO YOU CAN’T Thursday 28 March to Sunday 21 April Town Hall, Council Chambers ROSS DANIELS, GRAHAM CLONE ‘THIS FUTURE IS INCORRECT’ Wednesday 27 March to Saturday 20 April Three Degrees ROSS NOBLE, MINDBLENDER Thursday 18 April Hisense Arena ROZ HAMMOND, GYM AND TONIC Wednesday 27 March to Sunday 21 April Town Hall, Back Stage Room RUBY WAX, OUT OF HER MIND Thursday 28 March to Thursday 4 April Town Hall, Lower & Forum Theatre RYAN COFFEY LATE & LOUD Thursday 28 March to Sunday 21 April Hairy Little Sister, Upstairs Lounge SAM MCCOOL, MULTIPLE PERSONALITY DISORDER Tuesday 9 to Sunday 21 April Trades Hall, The Bookshop SAM SIMMONS, SHITTY TRIVIA Thursday 28 March to Sunday 21 April Hi-Fi SAMMY J, POTENTIALLY Tuesday 9 to Sunday 21 April Arts Centre, Fairfax Studio SARAH MILLICAN, HOME BIRD Thursday 28 March to Sunday 7 April Victoria Hotel, Banquet Room SCHOOL DANCE Wednesday 10 to Saturday 20 April Arts Centre, Playhouse SEAN CHOOLBURRA, 50 SHADES OF BLACK Thursday 28 March to Sunday 21 April Town Hall, Backstage Room SEIZE THE DAVID O’DOHERTY (CARPE DO’DIEM) Thursday 28 March to Sunday 21 April Forum Theatre SET LIST-STAND-UP WITHOUT A NET Friday 5 to Sunday 21 April Town Hall, Lower & Victoria Hotel SHAGGERS Thursday 28 March to Saturday 20 April Exford Hotel SHANE DUNDAS, BELIEVE Thursday 28 March to Sunday 21 April Portland Hotel, Gold Room SHANE MATHESON AND THE IMMORTAL SPACE HOPPER OF DOOM Thursday 11 to Sunday 21 April Tuxedo Cat SHE KNOWS TOO MUCH Thursday 28 March to Tuesday 9 April Tuxedo Cat


THE LISTINGS

SHE’S OFF & RACING Thursday 28 March to Sunday 21 April Bull & Bear Tavern

STEVE HUGHES, BIG ISSUES Thursday 18 to Saturday 20 April Forum Theatre

THE FAIRYTALE COOKBOOK Tuesday 9 to Sunday 14 April Town Hall, Powder Room

THE SUPER HAPPY FUN HOUR Thursday 11 to Sunday 21 April Tuxedo Cat

THE AGEING YOUNG REBEL Thursday 28 March to Saturday 20 April Caz Reitop’s Dirty Secrets

SIDEKICKS Thursday 28 March to Saturday 6 April Trades Hall, Bookshop

STILL CRAZY Tuesday 9 to Saturday 20 April Three Degrees

THE GLORIES OF GLORIA REVUE Thursday 28 March to Sunday 21 April Town Hall, Powder Room

THE TIME MACHINE Saturday 6 to Saturday 20 April Imperial Hotel

TRENT MCCARTHY, A SIGN FROM NATURE? Friday 5 to Saturday 13 April Little Feat Theatre

SIMON ABRAHAMS & LACHLAN MACLEOD, SATURN RETURNS Wednesday 27 March to Saturday 6 April Butterfly Club

STOP IT! YOU’RE KILLING ME! Thursday 4 to Sunday 21 April Amigos Tequila Bar

THE GREAT GONDOS VARIETY SHOW Friday 5 to Saturday 13 April Red Bennies

THE TRIAL & DEATH OF SOCRATES (NO RELATION) Thursday 28 March to Sunday 21 April Trades Hall, The Bookshop

TREVOR NOAH, THE RACIST Thursday 28 March to Sunday 21 April Trades Hall, New Ballroom

SUBJECT TO CHANGE Monday 8 to Sunday 21 April Highlander Bar

THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST AS PERFORMED BY 3 F**KING QUEENS & A DUCK Wednesday 3 to Saturday 20 April Mechanics Institute

THE WIZARD SANDWICHES Tuesday 6 to Sunday 21 April Trades Hall, Old Council Chambers

SIMON KECK, NOB HAPPY SOCK Thursday 28 March to Sunday 21 April Portland Hotel, Locker Room SIMON MUNNERY, FYLM-MAKKER Thursday 28 March to Sunday 21 April Victoria Hotel SKETCHUAL HEALING Thursday 28 March to Friday 19 April Imperial Hotel SKITHEADS Wednesday 27 March to Saturday 6 April Colonial Hotel SLUTMONSTER & FRIENDS Thursday 4 to Saturday 20 April Northcote Town Hall SMART CASUAL, THE OTHER BROTHER Thursday 28 March to Sunday 21 April Town Hall, Lunch Room SOCIAL NEEDIA, THE EPIDEMIC Wednesday 3 to Thursday 18 April Loop SOME KIND OF SOMETHING Thursday 28 March Sunday 21 April Portland Hotel SONGS MY PARENTS TAUGHT ME Thursday 11 to Sunday 21 April Tuxedo Cat SOPHIE MILLER, DO BETTER Thursday 28 March to Saturday 20 April Cohen Cellars Wine Bar SPAG N DRAG DINNER SHOW Saturday 6 to Saturday 20 April The Local Hotel SPIDERLASH, VAMPIRE VAUDEVILLE Thursday 28 March to Sunday 21 April Dracula’s Cabaret Restaurant SPLENDID CHAPS Saturday 6 to Saturday 13 April Trades Hall, The New Ballroom SQUEAKY CLEAN COMEDY Saturday 30 March to Saturday 20 April City Conference Centre SQUID STAMP, THE TECHNOLOGY SHOW Monday 8 to Friday 12 April Abbotsford Convent ST KILDA COMEDY AT FELIX BAR Wednesday 27 March to Wednesday 17 April Felix Bar

SUITCASES, BAGGAGE & OTHER SYNONYMS Thursday 18 to Saturday 20 April Theatre Works SULLIVAN & BOK Wednesday 27 March to Sunday 21 April Imperial Hotel SUPER SPEEDY SOUND SHED Wednesday 3 to Sunday 7 April The Famous Spiegeltent SUPERWOG & MYCHONNY Friday 19 to Sunday 21 April Town Hall, Lower SWEET CHILD OF MINE Thursday 4 to Friday 12 April Northcote Town Hall TALES OF A STRAIGHT, SINGLE CAT LADY Wednesday 3 to Sunday 21 April Caz Reitops Dirty Secrets THE 5,30 SHOW Thursday 28 March to Sunday 21 April Portland Hotel THE ACADEMY OF LAUGHTER Friday 5 to Saturday 20 April Melbourne Chess Club THE AFTER PARTY Thursday 28 March to Saturday 20 April Exford Hotel

THE INCREASINGLY HANDSOME ADVENTURES OF EARL BIRCHER & OTHER TALES OF ADVENTURE Thursday 28 March to Sunday 7 April Trades Hall, Bookstore THE INCREDIBLY SATISFYING ADVENTURES OF MILTON MCAFFREY P.I. Thursday 11 to Saturday 20 April Revolt

THE WRITERS Thursday 28 March to Sunday 21 April Town Hall, Regent Room THESE KIDS ARE GOOD Wednesday 27 March to Sunday 21 April Imperial Hotel

THE IRON(IC) LADY Tuesday 9 to Sunday 21 April Highlander Bar

THIS IS HISTORY…MELBOURNE Wednesday 27 March to Saturday 20 April Exford Hotel

THE KRANSKY SISTERS, PIECE OF CAKE Tuesday 9 to Sunday 21 April Hi-Fi

THE MISERY FACTORY Thursday 28 March to Saturday 20 April Forum Theatre & Tuxedo Cat

THE LAST VIDEO SHOP EVER Tuesday 9 to Saturday 20 April Fad Gallery THE LIJRETTA SHOW Wednesday 3 to Saturday 20 April Loop THE LISTIES IN 6D* Tuesday 9 to Saturday 13 April Northcote Town Hall THE MAN WHO PLANTED TREES Wednesday 10 to Sunday 14 April Arts Centre, Fairfax Studio

THIS IS WHAT DREAMS TASTE LIKE Monday 1 to Saturday 13 April Madame Brussels THREE MEN & MY LITTLE LADY, THE MUSICAL Monday 15 to Saturday 20 April Comedy On Collins TIM FERGUSON IN CARRY A BIG STICK Thursday 28 March to Sunday 7 April Town Hall, Supper Room TIM READ’S ALL REVVED UP Tuesday 2 to Saturday 6 April Comedy On Collins TODAY TONIGHT, TOMORROW THE WORLD Tuesday 2 to Sunday 21 April Comedy On Collins

THE AGE OF WONDER Wednesday 27 March to Sunday 21 April Spleen Bar

THE MOULIN BEIGE Thursday 4 to Friday 19 April Burlesque Bar

THE AXIS OF AWESOME, CRY YOURSELF A RIVER Tuesday 9 to Sunday 14 April Forum Theatre

THE NEW CONWAY TONIGHT SHOW Thursday 28 March to Sunday 21 April Town Hall

THE BENDLE & NAT SHOW Wednesday 27 March to Sunday 7 April The Red Violin

THE NEXT SUPERPOWER, BRACE YOURSELF FOR AN EASTERLY Thursday 4 to Sunday 14 April Club Voltaire

TOM GLEESON Thursday 28 March to Sunday 21 April Town Hall, Supper Room

THE BEST IN THE WEST Friday 5 to Saturday 20 April Bianco Café

THE PERSIAN VERSIAN Friday 12 to Saturday 13 April Spring Street Theatre

TOMATOES & OTHER STAKEHOLDERS Thursday 4 to Saturday 20 April Longplay Theatrette

THE BIG DIPPER Wednesday 3 to Sunday 21 April Butterfly Club

THE PSYCHOLOGY OF LAUGHTER Thursday 28 March to Sunday 21 April Trades Hall, Meeting Room

TOMMY BRADSON’S ‘SWEET SIXTEEN OR THE BIRTHDAY PARTY MASSACRE’ Thursday 4 to Sunday 21 April Northcote Town Hall

THE CAFFEINATOR Tuesday 9 to Saturday 20 April Five Boroughs

THE RAPTURE Thursday 4 to Saturday 20 April Revolt

THE COMEDY ZONE Thursday 28 March to Sunday 21 April Trades Hall, Old Council Chambers

THE RUBBERBANDITS Thursday 28 March to Sunday 7 April Hi-Fi

STEELE SAUNDERS, THE STEELE SAUNDERS’ VENUE GOT DEMOLISHED LATE NIGHT SHOW Thursday 28 March to Saturday 20 April Portland Hotel

THE CURIOUS CASE RE-OPENED Thursday 28 to Sunday 31 March Dane Certificate’s Magic Tricks, Gags & Theatre

THE SEXUAL AWAKENING OF VIRGINIA POPPYCOCK Wednesday 27 March to Monday 13 May Bohemia Cabaret Club

STEEN RASKOPOULOS, BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN LIVE IN CONCERT Thursday 28 March to Sunday 21 April Portland Hotel

THE DC3 PRESENTS, THE RINGTONE CYCLE Friday 29 March to Sunday 7 April Fortyfivedownstairs

THE SHELF Tuesday 26 March to Monday 15 April Toff In Town

STEPEHN K AMOS, THE SPOKESMAN Thursday 28 March to Sunday 21 April Athenaeum Theatre

THE DECONFESSIONALS Thursday 28 March to Thursday 18 April Dan O’Connell Hotel

STAND-UP SIR-DOWN, COMICS IN CONVERSATION Thursday 28 March to Sunday 20 April Victoria Hotel, Acacia Room

THE WORLD’S PROBLEMS SOLVED WITH CHARLIE PICKERING & WALEED ALY Sunday 31 March to Sunday 21 April Town Hall, Lower

THE STAND-UP COMEDY EXPERIENCE COMEDY WORKSHOP Monday 15 to Monday 22 April Comedy Club

TOM BALLARD, MY EGO IS BETTER THAN YOUR EGO Thursday 28 March to Sunday 21 April Swiss Club

TOMMY DASSALO, SPREAD Thursday 28 March to Sunday 21 April Forum Theatre TOMMY LITTLE, SEX, DRUGS & HERBAL TEA Thursday 28 March to Sunday 21 April Town Hall, Council Chambers TOMORROW’S WEATHER & OTHER PREDICTIVE ERRORS Wednesday 3 to Saturday 13 April Bull & Bear Tavern TOUCHED BY FEV Wednesday 27 March to Saturday 20 April Spleen Bar TRACY MORGAN Saturday 13 April Arts Centre, Hamer Hall

TRI NATIONS COMEDY CHOW Wednesday 3 to Saturday 6 April Pugg Mahones TRIPOD, MEN OF SUBSTANCE Thursday 28 March to Sunday 14 April The Famous Spiegeltent TWICE SHY Friday 29 March to Thursday 18 April Loop TWINKLE TWINKLE, THE CONFESSIONS OF A CHILD-HATING CHILDREN’S LIBRARIAN Wednesday 27 March to Saturday 6 April Fad Gallery UNDIAGNOSED Wednesday 27 March to Saturday 20 April Bull & Bear Tavern UNLEASH THE BEAST Tuesday 9 to Sunday 21 April Victoria Hotel, Acacia Room URZILA CARLSON, I’M GOING TO NEED A SECOND OPINION Thursday 28 March to Sunday 21 April Town Hall, Powder Room VICTORIA HEALY’S ANATOMY Wednesday 27 March to Sunday 21 April Imperial Hotel WATSON ONCE WERE PLANETS Thursday 28 March to Sunday 21 April Trades Hall, Old Council Chambers WE SHOULD KNOW BETTER Friday 29 March to Monday 15 April Hares & Hyenas WELCOME TO PLANET EARTH Thursday 28 March to Sunday 21 April Portland Hotel, Pool Room WELL HUNG EGOMANIACS 2 Thursday 28 March to Sunday 21 April Tuxedo Cat WIL ANDERSON, GOODWIL Thursday 28 March to Sunday 21 April Princess Theatre WONDERLAND CARNIVALE Thursday 28 March to Saturday 20 April Wonderland Spiegeltent WORD CRIME Tuesday 9 to Wednesday 17 April Butterfly Club WORD VAMPIRE Wednesday 27 March to Sunday 21 April Elephant & Wheelbarrow WRONGTOWN, POPULATION YOU! Wednesday 27 March to Tuesday 9 April Tuxedo Cat XAVIER MICHELIDES, GOOD MORNING Thursday 28 March to Sunday 21 April Forum Theatre XAVIER TOBY, WHITE TRASH Thursday 28 March to Tuesday 9 April Imperial Hotel YARRAVILLE LAUGHS Saturday 6 to Sunday 21 April Yarraville Club YON & HIS PRISM OF SEXY THOUGHTS Thursday 11 to Saturday 20 April Butterfly Club YOU’RE TEARING ME APARTMENT, THE ROOMSICAL Wednesday 27 March to Sunday 7 April Fortyfivedownstairs

53


THE GIVEAWAYS Everyone loves free stuff, and free stuff loves you! For your chance to win, stalk Inpress on Facebook (no really, we are inviting you to). We have DVDs, show tickets and eskys (!?!).

Sam Simmons: Shitty Trivia

TICKETS

Josh Thomas: Douchebag Wednesday 3 April– three doubles Town Hall, Lower

Nick Cody: Inappropriate Thursday 4 April – five doubles Tony Starr’s Kitten Club

Paul McDermott: Paul Sings Tuesday 9 April – two doubles Forum Theatre

Joel Creasey: The Drama Captain Wednesday 3 April – two doubles Town Hall, Portico

Alex Williamson: And Friends Thursday 4 April – two doubles Trades Hall

Sam McCool: Multiple Personality Distorter Tuesday 9 April – five doubles Trades Hall

The Glories Of Gloria Revue Wednesday 3 April – two doubles Town Hall

Amy Bodossian: Graaahm,

Jimeoin: What?! Thursday 28 March – five doubles Athenaeum Theatre

Cam Knight: Just Another Misfit Wednesday 3 April – five doubles Hairy Little Sista, Upstairs Lounge

DeAnne Smith: Let’s Do This

Tripod: Men Of Substance Wednesday 3 April – two doubles The Famous Spiegeltent Sunday 31 March – five doubles Hi-Fi

Game Changer: Barack Obama And My Part In His Victory Tuesday 9 April – two double Trades Hall Michael Workman: Ave Loretta Thursday 11 April- – three doubles Town Hall, Regent Room The Kransky Sisters: Piece Of Cake

Barry Morgan: Organ Is Not A Dirty Word

Khaled Khalafalla: Devious Sunday 31 March – two doubles Trades Hall John Robertson: Dark Room Monday 1 April – four doubles Town Hall, Cloak Room Don’t Look At Me Friday 12 April – two doubles Tuxedo Cat

Choir Girl

Greg Fleet: The Boy That Cried Sober Thursday 4 April – four doubles Town Hall, Backstage Room

Friday 29 March – five doubles Town Hall, Cloak Room

Jacques Barrett: The Contrarian Thursday 4 April – five doubles Tony Starr’s Kitten Club

Asher Treleaven: Bad Dandy Friday 29 March – five doubles Vic’s Bar

Jeff Green: Leaping Off The Bell Curve Thursday 4 April – two doubles Swiss Club

Shane Dundas: Believe Friday 29 March – five doubles Portland Hotel

Wednesday 3 April – two doubles Trades Hall

50 Shades Of Gravëy Friday 29 March – three doubles Word Warehouse John Robertson: Kinkling Saturday 30 March – five doubles Portland Hotel

Monday 1 April – five doubles Town Hall, Supper Room

The Rubberbandits Friday 29 March – two doubles Hi-Fi

Wil Anderson: Goodwil Tuesday 2 April – three doubles Princess Theatre

Loretta Maine: Bipolar Saturday 30 March – two doubles Town Hall, Powder Room

Pictures Of You Live: The Comedians Tuesday 2 April – two doubles Forum Theatre

Comedy Zone Sunday 31 March – two doubles Trades Hall

A Modern Deception Tuesday 2 April – three doubles Comedy On Collins

54

Pajama Men: Just The Two Of Each Of Us Thursday 4 April – three doubles Arts Centre Tom Ballard: My Ego Is Better Than Your Ego Thursday 4 April – three doubles Swiss Club Luke Heggie: Mega Dry Thursday 4 April – five doubles Town Hall, Backstage Room Kevin Kropinyeri: Welcome To My World Thursday 4 April – four doubles Town Hall, Lunch Room

Cal Wilson: Is Guilty Thursday 4 April – three doubles Town Hall, Powder Room Hannah Gadsby: Happiness Is A Bedside Table Thursday 4 April – three doubles Town Hall, Supper Room Claire Hooper: Plums Thursday 4 April – three doubles Town Hall, Cloak Room Dave Thornton: Tall & Pointy Thursday 4 April – three doubles Victoria Hotel, Banquet Room Bev Killick: Goes “There”…Again Monday 8 April – five doubles Town Hall, Powder Room

Thursday 11 April -– five doubles Hi-Fi Fabian Lapham & The Actual Musicians Saturday 13 April – five doubles Northcote Town Hall Pete Helliar: Whatevs (…Forevs) Thursday 11 April – five doubles Victoria Hotel, Banquet Room

DVDS We have eskys to give away also, full of comedy DVDs including Bret McKenzie and Hamish Blake’s Two Little Boys, Sarah Millican’s Chatterbox Live, Sammy J and Randy’s Bin Night and Ross Noble’s Stiches – along with Budgie Smuggler vouchers.


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Melbourne International Comedy Festival 2013  

Melbourne is one of the few true rock’n’roll capitols of the world. And Inpress magazine is the voice of this great rock’n’roll city. For ov...

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