Friday 5 April 2019

Reviews: Melbourne International Comedy Festival 2019 (Part 2)

Narrelle Harris and I have seen more shows at the 2019 Melbourne International Comedy Festival. Here are three new reviews...

1. Masterclass
Reviewed by Narrelle Harris

If you’ve ever wondered about the truth path to comedy, Stuart Daulman has got the lecture for you. His masterclass guides you through the stages of Initiate, Perpetuate and Inflate to a successful comedic career and possibly the loss of everything and everyone you love. But hey, that’s comedy!

Masterclass is very meta, with its references to the comedy scene and how comedians interact with each other, but there are plenty of recognisable tropes too: the standard Comedian Greeting to the crowd, banter to maintain control (much more important than comedy), and shows that are more like awkward public therapy for the performer than entertainment for the audience.

Daulman’s knowing lecture, accompanied by oddly endearing overhead projector illustrations, only stumbles at the end, when he dons his flannel shirt and sneakers to deliver a slightly too-long set that would showcase his theories more effectively if it hit those points more rapidly. Comedy aficionados or people already in The Scene may get the most out of it, but Masterclass is a confidently performed and funny inside view of the comedian’s Hard Knock Life.

[Find details and buy tix for this show here]

2. Stickin' Together
Reviewed by Tim Richards

Two friends in colourful jumpers share a flat... in space! Yes, Luis and Luelin of Lessons With Luis play John and Robby, two guys who live in a space station with an invisible cat. It's a sitcom, basically, and not of a modern kind - canned laughter follows every cheesy joke, and the story is plotted out to lead to a happy conclusion of the "I've learned something today" type.

However, the sitcom does not go to plan. At the next meta level up, Luis and Luelin descend into awkward bickering between each scene, as Luis - so lovely and charming with us - treats his brother with an increasingly bullying tone. Luelin, who entertainingly only speaks with the pre-recorded dulcet tones of TV announcer Pete Smith, finally mutinies, and Luis has to overcome this challenge if the happy end is to be attained for both the duo and their characters.

It's a fun, light-hearted romp, with lots of naff gags and low-pressure audience involvement, and easy laughter over the increasingly shambolic antics. The songs are silly, the rapport between Luis and Luelin is full of energy, and the sitcom concept is amusingly ludicrous. Staged at 6pm, it's good fun for any age and a nice starter to an evening of comedy.

[Find details and buy tix for this show here]

3. Busting a Nut
Reviewed by Narrelle Harris

Felicity Ward lives in London now, and she’s very excited to have finally experienced a hot English summer ("It’s like one of your days in winter, Melbourne!") though it’s making British people behave in peculiar ways.

Thus Ward springboards into an hour of confident, fabulous comedy, dismantling and reconfiguring ideas like unconditional love, the Black Dog, a holiday in Italy with her mother, and more realistic inspirational (or rather, "unspirational") quotes. We revisit the highlights and lowlights of her relationship and recent wedding, her in-laws who feed her constantly, and the problem some people have with champagne glasses.

In short, Ward is a first-class stand up comic, flitting from topic to topic with oodles of confidence, gleefully owning her bad behaviour and being hilarious from start to finish.

[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.

1 comment:

  1. Your readers might like to know that they can actually perform at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival. It's not 'that' difficult (just costs around $500 - $700 all up).

    Here's how: