Sunday 16 April 2017

Reviews: Melbourne International Comedy Festival 2017 (Part 3)

So far, Narrelle Harris and I have reviewed four shows at this year's Melbourne International Comedy Festival - four in the first week and another four in the second.

Now here are our final three reviews, this time from two smaller venues away from the Melbourne Town Hall hub...

1. Small Car
Reviewed by Narrelle Harris

To succeed, improvisational theatre needs a cast with rapport, who trust each other to take bizarre moments and run with them, and know when the moment is running out of steam so they can flip it around to start a new scene.

Andrew Watt, Broni and Mario Hannah come onto the tiny Tuxedo Cat stage claiming the only thing they've prepared is "their friendship". It's clearly all they need to deliver on the aforementioned techniques.

Naturally, every night will deliver a unique show. Easter Sunday's audience provides the prompt of 'a painter's studio', and they're off with an hour of improv that tells a single story.

It's the tale of an artist whose paintings are blurry ruins because his model won't sit still. It's the story of his client, the wealthy Glenroy, whose chauffeur can't eat until Glenroy is happy, and Glenroy won't be happy until his mother is happy, and his domineering mother is never happy. Well, unless she's talking to Glenroy's brother Trevor, because Trevor is just so cool.

There are stolen hats, leading to a heartbroken milliner, onward to a science project and a dodgy dad who pretends to be dead to find out if his son loves him. It ends with Glenroy and his chauffeur finally getting a meal. Or nearly, anyway.

It's mad, it's unexpected, it's hilarious and unpredictable; yet strangely coherent. God knows what story you'll get when you take a ride with Small Car. Judging by their camaraderie and energy this night, the scenery will be great along the way.

[Find details and buy tix for this show here]

2. Songs in the Key of Awesomesauce
Reviewed by Tim Richards

With his clean-cut, bespectacled appearance, Matt Kilpa looks more like an accountant than a comedian - something he happily admits to. He's a talented guy with a guitar, however, and his show is a stream of comic songs on a variety of topics: including TV shows, sex, naturopathy and science.

It's amusing stuff, though there's nothing groundbreaking in the material; which in the case of Captain Planet, has to be explained to half the audience. However, Kilpa is confident and amusing and well-suited to his 6pm slot; he'll warm you up for the rest of your comedy evening.

[Find details and buy tix for this show here]

3. Just Like Buddha
Reviewed by Narrelle Harris

Life can be difficult if you're trying to develop an easy-going Buddhist approach to life, but you have anxiety issues and work in advertising.

Anthony Jeannot explains how he navigates these tricky hazards, explaining what to do when the girl you're dating springs a surprise that doesn't end how either of you expect, and the unhelpful things that go through your mind when meditating. He also conducts an audience poll on whether certain insights he's had are the result of meditation or magic mushrooms.

Jeannot is nervy but likeable. His material and approach feel fresh, though more confident, crisp delivery would give the material extra oomph.

[Find details and buy tix for this show here]

That's our final coverage for this year's festival. Hope you had some laughs! Back to the regular schedule of travel-related posts next week.

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