With the Melbourne International Comedy Festival on its merry way, we at T-SQUAT care about your LOLs. Even your LMAOs, to a lesser extent. So here, plucked from the 400+ shows on offer in 2012- more than ever- is a platter of comedic and theatrical goodies.
Having debuted this comedic revue last June, The Bedroom Philosopher will be returning in 2012 with brilliant Principal Ben Pobjie, school band Sex on Toast and, if last year is anything to go by, a cavalcade of song, dance, poetry and oddball characters, including the brilliant Telia Nevile and Emilie Zoey Baker. The massive success of Beddy Phil’s ‘Songs from the 86 Tram’ show and album, and its subsequent single, Northcote (So Hungover, will be tough to match, but having seen the Assembly in full flight last year, I can only assume that the elements of that brilliant show will be reignited in 2012.
Alasdair Tremblay-Birchall - The
Alasdair Tremblay-Birchall has not only created the most difficult show to Google in this year’s Comedy Festival, but an assemblage of witty and oft-dry humour….nuggets. Tidbits? Piece-lets? Anyway, the show itself seems all-encompassing, perhaps in order to put focus on the specifics (“The mind, The secret, The amazingness…”), no doubt bringing along his darkly absurd and wry jocosity.
For more Birchall and friends, check out their videotubes on Stupid Old Man Media.
Dave Callan- The Graveyard Shift
If you haven’t seen Dave Callan on stage, you might as well trade in your life. Callan’s 2011 show featured his (with backup dancer accompaniment) brilliant performance of Beyoncé’s Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It) which, this year, will be tough to beat on the LOLscale. Callan’s show in this festival will be a collection of his real-life stories and experiences from his time on the ‘late shift’ at Triple J radio. There’s a reason Callan is a consistent favourite in stand-up, in and out of the festival season- people die from the laughter. You’ll have to go to the show to see if I’m joking or not.
Jack Druce- Introvert Def Jam!
Much has been made of Jack Druce‘s youth in reviews and such; it is notable, sure, that Druce is quickly becoming a comedic favourite at the tender age of twenty, but it isn’t his comparatively young age that punters so adore. Comedy fans love the cheeky, geeky wit and brilliant delivery of the Sydney comic whose “collection of Star Wars action figurines is bigger than his collection of friends’ phone numbers”. In 2012, Druce will further explore his inherent nerdery in his casually endearing manner.
Laura Davis- Notes from Birds
The endlessly likeable Laura Davis is returning to MICF with Notes from Birds, a seemingly darker set of tales from the delightful young Perth comic, but doubtless no less amusing. Her 2011 show, ‘The Dog in the Ink’ was a parade of psychoanalysis, dogs, oddball behaviour and biscuits, and ‘Notes from Birds’ promises to showcase much of Davis’ already established charm and effervescent delivery. You’ll want to hug her by the show’s end, but ask first.
Dingo & Wolf – Winning at Life
A relatively new act, Dingo and Wolf combine both old-school double act (Wolf, generally, being the ‘straight’ one, the Abbott to Dingo’s Costello, though the two flick back and forth in this roleplay) and oddball humour. Dingo and Wolf play in a mish-mash of music, sketch comedy, witty banter and absurdist skits in their particular characters, though the personas themselves seem intrinsic to their own; the ladies have developed an act based on their own silly humour, making the act far more fun.
Michael Williams‘ Mild Spectacular (In 3D)
Williams’ 2011 show, ’Our Princess Is In Another Castle’, massively tickled my nerd gland. The loveable and sharp Williams does whatever he puts his comedy hand to with seemingly effortless aplomb and warm silliness. Now Williams is attempting the history’s first ever 3D comedy show. I’m not even sure how this will work but I have to see it. I hope there’s dinosaurs.
For those that fit into that Venn Diagram set of fans of both live comedy and silent film (I know you’re out there, I’ll find you…) will be tickled to hear that local comic gems Andrew McClelland, Asher Treleaven, Adam McKenzie, Celia Pacquola and Sammy J will be performing a rough-housing, ‘tache-twirling adventure story the likes of which The Artist would pale in comparison. Most likely. The animated personalities of all on show and piano acuity of Sammy J can only result in a smashing evening.
Shane Matheson and His Fabulous Singing Bucket of Gravel
You may have seen Shane Matheson as partner in comedic crime (a turn of phrase; nothing illegal happened, alright) to Ryan Withers the last couple of years in his shows, ‘The Lemon Lime Funtacular Occurence Hour Right On’ and ‘The Lemon-Lime Time Miscellany Hour Live Why Not’, or in ensemble act ‘Pedigree Syndicate’ , but in 2012 Matheson will be accompanied in his Com Fest jaunt by…a “fabulous singing bucket of gravel”. I can vouch only for Matheson’s own fabulousness thus far, having seen his sweetly bizarre, terrifically silly stand-up many a time, but any friend of Shane Matheson is a friend of mine…plus, it’s a singing bucket of gravel, you guys.
Celia Pacquola- Delayed
Even without her television success on ABC’S Laid, Celia Pacquola has been a long-running favourite of the comedy scene. Shamelessly silly with perfectly placed delivery and exposition, Pacquola delves into both the broad and absurd in her stand-up. Pacquola is, I suppose, like the friend we all wish we had; witty, friendly, quick with a retort- and a good one. Her show in 2012 will follow the tribulations of her move to the UK. Having seen some of her travel stories already, I’m looking forward to Pacquola charmingly unravelling her “idiot-ventures”.
Dave Bloustein- Grand Guignol
Having brought the monthly comedy event Wit Large to Sydney’s ‘nerdcore’ comedy scene, award-winning writer and comic (Dr.!) Dave Bloustien- once an academic, now a verbose and erudite stand-up- will bring his ‘Grand Guignol’ show to Melbourne town. One can no doubt expect a darkly theatrical, smart romp in the comedic hay, littered with Bloustien’s brand of wittily friendly and loquacious, easygoing charm.
Zoe Coombs Marr- Gone Off
After 2011′s ‘And That Was The Summer That Changed My Life’, I was- and am- a confirmed Coombs Marr convert. More theatre and performance art than straight-up stand-up, Coombs Marr painted a bizarre, often troubling, portrait of her awkward, confusing adolescence, with all the dinosaur puns, nosebleeds and long, tense looks you could ever hope for…and yet, somehow, it was still a laugh riot. She’s good. This year, I am excited to hear of her “misguided ramble across the desert on a sugar high” in ‘Gone Off’ and watch an already entertaining and intricate performer go from strength to strength.
Rob Hunter- Late O’Clock with Rob Hunter
After some of the most awkward moments you might ever experience in the company of strangers, the witty, oft-smarmy (hilariously so) Rob Hunter is coming back to give us more. Last year’s ‘Late O’Clock’ shows were a hit of the festival and, like last year, will be in high demand, being a very short run of three Monday night slots in April. The shows are in a talk show format, but the similarities to Carson or Conan end there. Hunter and crony Luke McGregor- a ridiculously funny comic in his own right, so the team-up is a treat- ply other comics onto the stage, allow them stand-up time and then barrage them with awkwardness and concise barbs. Fans of Schadenfreude and black comedy, roll up, roll up.
For all your Com Fest shows, details and ticket needs, head to the website.
Words: Lisa Dib