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Okay. these are all the 13 shows I saw in the last week of the Comedy Festival.

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It's the final night of the Comedy Festival. Weekend so far: Friday: Ardal O'Hanlan, Josh Earl, Lawrence Leung, 80's Enuff (where someone didn't merely knock the beer in my hand, they sent it flying three feet into the air, showering everyone in the vicinity) Saturday: Tripod, Xavier Michelides, Dave Callan and Otto Rot, walking home because there were no taxis Tonight: Tarnished, followed by... I'm not sure yet. Courtney Hocking? Die Roten Punkte?
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Mark Watson is doing a 24 hour show as part of the Comedy Festival.

On stage. From midnight last night to midnight tonight. Sleep deprived insanity ensues.

There's a (not very coherent) blog of what's happening at

Anyway, audience numbers are flagging because of boring stuff like people having to go to work.

So if you're free today, pop down to Umbrella Revolution in Federation Square, and be part of the madness. It's $5 entry, and you can leave and come back as often as you wish.

I'm going to go down (briefly) at lunch time, and again after work.

City Head

Apr. 22nd, 2007 07:21 pm
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Puppets. Lego. And a person with a city growing in their brain.

Sounds like a great show, right?

Unfortunately, City Head was a disappointment.

It's advertised as running for a half hour. It actually ran for under fifteen minutes. I don't know whether they left out scenes or what, but there was almost no development of the ideas. It was literally patient tells doctor he has headaches, doctor diagnoses city head, the little people in the city sing a song, patient is cured, the end. The audience were left blinking in confusion.

It's a shame. The Lego city sets were quite elaborate, the puppeteer playing the doctor was especially good - droll, smug, and slightly dodgy. The best bit of the show was before it began, when he brought the puppet out to talk to the people in line, calling the children dwarfs and prodding the adults while assuring them it was okay, he's a doctor.

But the actual show... it just a pity it didn't run the advertised half-hour, and use that time to develop its ideas.
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Birdhouse went totally off.

Full review when it's not 4 o'clock in the morning.
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I'm behind on my Comedy Festival reviews. These are the shows I've seen this week:

The Hound of the Baskervilles )

Jim Henson's Puppet Up - Uncensored )

Science-ology )

Dave Bloustien - Beastly )

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I was going to have a quiet Comedy Festival this year. Only see one or two shows. Save my money.

Yesterday I dropped $200 on tickets. And there's still more shows I want to see.

So much for that plan...

Last night I saw Josie Long's Kindness and Exuberance at the Melbourne Town Hall.

Her show was about the little things that she loves - bus drivers who stop to talk to each other, snow globes bought in charity shops, haikus. Above all, she loves DIY, the idea that anyone can go out and create. Even if it's rubbish.

Josie Long belongs to the indie-pop school of comedy -- cutesy, deliberately lo-fi, favouring whimsy and enthusiam over slick presentation. She greeted the audience as they came in the door, telling them that there was handmade program for the show. She had big posters on the wall with scribbly drawings on them. On stage, she reminded me of both Daniel Kitson and Noel Fielding and their child-like wonder, except with even awkwarder body language.

I guess you either find this stuff endearing, or you find it nauseating. I spoke with Richard Watts after the show, and he hated it. Personally, I was charmed. Long never manages to make her love of the tiny little things sound heroic in the way that Daniel Kitson does. But she's sweet and funny and silly.

Afterwards I met up with [profile] andricongirl and we went down to the Festival Club. We were upstairs in the VIP roon, which turns out to be a terrible place to watch the comedy from - the sound was muffled and everyone was too busy chatting for me to hear what was going on. But we could just make out some Rhod Gilbert, and Charlie Pickering, who seemed funny enough, and We Are Klang were bizarre and offensive and hilarious.

80s Enuff

Apr. 14th, 2007 02:13 pm
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I've had a horrid stomach bug the last few days. I had to cancel dinner with [personal profile] ms_kismet because of it.

But it was [profile] andricongirl's and my six year anniversary yesterday. And since she leaves to work at the Comedy Festival just before I get home from my job, the only way we were going to meet up was if I dragged my sickly carcass out to some late night shennanigans.

And thus it was I came to Trades Hall.

Trades Hall are running a series of free late night shows during the Comedy Festival. Last night, they had 80s Enuff, an 80s cover band. There were mullets. There were skinny ties. There was a red electric drumkit. And there were songs  like "Video Killed the Radio Star", 'Wired for Sound', and 'Mad World". The crowd loved it. They were dancing like crazy, cheering and jumping up and down. Guest artists who dropped in for a song included Ben McKenzie (Science-ology), Andrew McClelland (Somewhat Ambititious Solution...) and Lawrence Leung (Learns to Breakdance), who wowed everyone with his ability to solve a Rubik's Cube while singing 'Bizarre Love Triangle'.

It was fun. It was free. It's upstairs at the Bella Union bar, Trades Hall.

Afterwards we wandered down to Caberet Nocturne at Tilt. It's very cramped, and the music was very loud, which is probably why so many people crowded into the little smoker's courtyard out the back.

Tonight I'm going to see Josie Long, and then meet A. at the Festival Club.

Assuming my stomach lets me. Although it does seem to have settled down. Maybe I've underestimated the restorative powers of cheesy music and passive smoking.
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I love Daniel Kitson.

With his bushy beard, unkempt hair, and ill-fitting suits, he looks like a UNIX programmer from 1979*. But he's mastered the difficult art of being whimsical without being twee. He can make watching fireworks explode or paddling in the sea sound like acts of revolution.

There are two major themes in his work. One is documenting those fleeting moments of magic and wonder that illuminate our otherwise dull lives. The other is railing against the world's cunts.

He seemed pretty cheerful tonight. Fireworks was heavy on the wonder, light on the cunts. Maybe he was just pleased with the size of his audience. The Atheneum was sold out. (Of course, Kitson was one of the few acts on on a Monday night.) We managed to score last minute tickets in the front row of the Upper Circle, so we had a precipitous drop between us and the stage.

The Atheneum's a beautiful old theatre. Crumbling plaster ceiling roses, red velvet seats, Art Deco urinals in the Gents. There was a velvet curtain near our seats with a NO EXIT sign above it. I just had to peek behind it. And there was a little storage room, piled up to the ceiling with old red velvet cushions. It was like the Elephants Graveyard of theatrical seating.

It was a surreal little moment, entirely fitting for a Daniel Kitson show.

And how was his show? Well, in his own words: "If you haven't seen me before... I'm brilliant."

* Even amongst computer geeks, fashion evolves. Modern UNIX programmers look more like ageing goths.


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