My promises are worthless. Still no jellyfish.
Went to the zoo to see the Mali the baby elephant. Jel has Comedy Festival flu, so she couldn't come. I only got there ten minutes before Mali went on display, so I was at the back of very long queue. The day was hot and sunny. Volunteers had to help several older people out of the queue to sit down. Glad I wore my new shemagh.
(I bought a shemagh during the week. This either makes me pro-terrorist, pro-hipster, or anti-sunburn. I did get greasy looks on the tram home from someone wearing a Star of David around his neck.)
Little Mail was very cute, if not quite as playful as she normally is. You only get five minutes to view her, and she spent most of that time leaning against her mum, being scratched by the keepers, and yawning adorably. I tried to get pictures but she was mostly in the shade.
Looked at a few other exhibits (the butterfly house, the snow leopards, the bears -- a keeper told me the male bear has a thyroid problem, which is why he loses all his fur in the summer). Then home for a grandpa nap before heading out to...
Four shows. One evening. Can our hero survive?JOSIE LONG - BE HONOURABLE
Oh, Josie. With your whimsy and your twinkling eyes and your hand-drawn zines and your constant reminder that you have a boyfriend...
Her show started off about breakfasts, and how dieting led her to look up pictures of food on the Internet the way other people look up porn. It detoured through jokes about cardigans and Etsy.com. And it ended up as a plea for young people to engage with politics, and the difference between Being Nice and actually Doing Good.
This was a preview. Bits were still wobbly. Long had to check her notes for some sections, and her rant on politics was heartfelt but vague.
But her charm carried it through. I'm very tempted to see this show again later in the Festival, to see it really bedded down.Should you see this show?
Of course you should. It's Josie Long. She's awesome.
(Heartwarming moment: there was a teenage girl in the audience. Blue hair. Docs. Standard adolescent wounded-puppy look in her eyes. She was there with her parents. She was seeing Josie Long with her parents. That family is going to be just fine.)
CLAUDIA O'DOHERTY - MONSTER OF THE DEEP 3D
A quirky, surreal lecture from Claudia, last surviving citizen of the top-secret Aquaplex underwater research facility, on the history and culture of her people, before they were all killed in an explosion.
This show is in the same vein as the Mighty Boosh, but more focused. o'Doherty takes her concept and builds on it beautifully. The writing is weird and smart. Her performance is charming. This show won the Best Comedy award at last years Fringe Festival. It deserves it.Should you see this show?
If you like weird, quirky comedy, yes. It was great.ANDREW McCLELLAND - SOMEWHAT ACCURATE HISTORY OF THE FALL OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE
As the title says: Andrew McClelland. Giving a talk. About the Roman Empire. With jokes. And audience participation in the nicest possible way.
(I got to be Lead Piping).
This is the best McClelland show I've seen since Mix Tape and A Somewhat Accurate Histroy of Pirates. It really feels like he's returned here to his strengths: a strong subject, a vintage suit, and a chance grin enourmously at the crowd while he rabbits on about something he loves.
Only Andrew could make five hundred years of tyranny, murder and orgies into an hour of feel-good comedy. Should you see this show?
It's smart. It's funny. You can volunteer to play Caesar and be assassinated live on stage. And it's even educational. So, yes.ALI McGREGOR'S LATE NIGHT VARIETY HOUR
Burlesque/Opera singer Ali McGregor and her comedy butler Saxon (Asher Treleaven) present a variety of acts from the Festival, interpersed with McGregor singing.
The acts were:Dead Cat Bounce:
Irish musical comedy rock band. Their songs were hilarious, in a Flight of the Conchords way. They've made my list.Carl Einer-Hackner
: Swedish singer/magician. Just insane. Pratfalls. Stuff flying everywhere. Didn't let up once. Hilarious.Tom Ballard
: Triple J breakfast announcer doing straight stand-up. Funny, but too conventional to really interest me.
The Pajama Men
: American sketch duo. They had a case of the late-night shambles, but were still funny.
Should you see this show?
It's a fun way to kick back at the end of the night. The guest acts vary each night, so check Ali McGregor's FaceBook