What Was The Best Show Of The Comedy Festival?
After her fabulous article pre Comedy Festival, my gorgeous girlfriend, and Comedy Festival expert, has kindly written a post article for you, sharing highlights and tallying up the shows she saw in order of favourite to least favourite.
Tracey and I went a saw a couple of shows together this year, which fortunately were in her top 3, Hannah, Joel and Sammy J. I also saw Frank Woodley and have to agree with Tracey, he wasn't up to his normal standards. Other highlights for me were Will Anderson in Critically Will, who us how it was and didn't hold back, and Richard Stubbs in Full Flight, told many Dad jokes, which I could relate too, because he made funny everything my husband complains about with our children.
Without further ado, I hand you over to Tracey for her fun report on the festival.
My favourite part of April is the month long Melbourne International Comedy Festival and this year I managed to clock up 15 shows. A bit lower than my record of 26 shows, the festival had to compete with school holidays, Easter, a trip to Yarrawonga and a visit to the MCG to see the Hawks. Oh and I did manage a bit of work in there too!
Caz and her gorgeous daughter Emma joined my daughter, Taylah and I to kick off the opening night of the festival. Trusting us with the picks for the evening, first off was the brilliant Hannah Gadsby in Nannette. Hannah is a strong advocate for the LGBTI community and whilst still very funny her show left us thinking about her raw and brave messages long after the show ended. For me this show was one of the highlights of the festival and I was thrilled she picked up the Barry Award (Australia’s most prestigious live comedy award) for Nannette. Sadly Hannah announced in the show that she is retiring from stand-up. I only hope she continues to entertain us through other means in the future.
On a lighter note, our next pick of the night was Joel Creasy in Poser. Joel is always full of outrageous stories and Caz loved Joel so much she went again a few nights later, this time sitting among some larger than life characters (not the first time this has happened to us when it comes to Joel).
Another highlight of the festival and playing in the iconic Spiegeltent was Abandonman in Life + Rhymes. One reviewer described this duo from the UK and Ireland as Flight of the Conchords meets 8 mile, so I thought Connor, my teenage son might enjoy this show for our family night. However there was a problem; what to do with Steve (hubby) whose mantra when it comes to musicals is “I would rather undergo another vasectomy than sit through this”. Luckily the Spiegeltent has a fully stocked bar and we knew Steve could be kept occupied for an hour while we enjoy the show. We needn’t have been worried as Steve couldn’t help but be entertained by the musical comic geniuses that weaved songs cleverly improvised from everyday lives of the audience members. My daughter also loved it and went again the following night with her girlfriends – she said the show was even better second time around.
As birthday treats my lovely girlfriend Allison shouted her besties a ticket to Judith Lucy and Denise Scott in Disappointments. These gals are consummate masters of comedy, who these days prefer to do their stand up lying down (why not, they’ve earned it). They filled the State Theatre to the brim night after night and defied their gammy knees to climb over numerous audience seats to get up close and personal with the younger set as they pondered if they had come to the correct show.
Finally there was a little bit of culture added to the comedy mix this April. My girlfriend Wendy and I attended the Australian premiere of Lord of the Flies choreographed by Matthew Bourne. Best known for his all-male cast interpretation of Swan Lake this dance adaptation of Lord of the Flies included a cast of mostly Victorian school boys, some of whom had never danced before. Reading the program we could see the boys had been chosen from far and wide including a young Afghan refugee. An opportunity to participate in a full-size production at the Arts Centre would be life changing for some of these young boys. Modernised to be set in a warehouse in lieu of an Island, the boys played their parts with just the right amount of savagery. The pride swelling from the family members in the audience as they gave the cast a standing ovation almost had us in tears (ok, I was in tears).
And the place getters are:
1. Hannah Gadsby, Abandonman, Joel Creasy –sorry can’t split them.
2. Sammy j in ‘Hero Complex’ – awesome story from Sammy’s high school days including video footage and hilarious photos from his teenage years to present.
3. Judith Lucy and Denise Scott in ‘Disappointments’.
4. Tash York in ‘These Things Take Wine’ – Tash’s beautiful cabaret voice takes you on a drunken journey…..wine after wine.
5. Urzila Carlson in ‘Unacceptable’ – Urzila swears a lot but she is f****n funny.
6. Ben Knight in ‘The Parent Teacher Interview’ – this hip youngster has given up his career as a teacher to entertain masses. Who knew there were thousands of exceptions to the rule ‘i before e except after c’ how is this a rule!
7. Soap – had a bath immediately after this show.
8. Nick Cody in ‘On fire’ – a young Pete Helliar and Dave Hughes rolled into one.
9. Luke McGregor in ‘Almost fixed it’ – giggles from the master of awkwardness.
10. Frank Woodley in ‘I, Woodley’ – ending is errrr…… different!
11. The Desperettes in ‘A Guide to being a Wingman’ – three crazy beehived gals sing up a storm to pick up.
12. Josh Earl & Daniel Tobias in ‘Josh Earl’s Festival’ – a little underwhelming this time.
13. Clara Cupcakes in ‘The Worst’ – sadly maybe the worst.
Until next April,
If you are having withdrawals of the Comedy Festival like we are, you can nowget your comedy fix from the comfort of your couch. Heaps of the 2017 Melbourne Comedy Festival action is available now on ABC view, including The Gala, Opening Night, The Great Debate and Comedy Up Late. The perfect place to get your LOLs online, anytime!