Sunday, 13 April 2014

(Theatre) MICF

There are 7 days left of the Melbourne International Comedy Festival. So here's 7 shows I loved that you can love too!

1. Steen Raskopoulos - I'm wearing two suits because I mean business.
I was in love with this show from the title alone. Then along came a beep test related skit and I lost     my shit.

2. Alasdair Tremblay-Birchall - Success Arms
 A Canadian guy from Brunswick, super likable, super funny and super relevant to my life (if I was 30, male and lived in Brunswick).

3. Dr. Proffessor Neal Portenza - Performs his own autopsy live on stage (one night only obviously)
Whenever I see this guy I spend 50 minutes teetering on the precipice between bliss and pure terror. Really insane, really clever, I really sat next to Alex Dyson (and his date). The one lesson I learnt from this fest is I love clowning. 

Hence... 4. The Boy with Tape on his face - More Tape
This came highly recommended and with good cause, a show which genuinely appealed to everyone. Nice mix of humour, pathos and high skill at audience participation (which I greatly admire after 2 men in a row have out-played me in my show).

5. Lessons with Luis - By Myself
Some viewers have been shocked by the level of sadness in this show but I adored it. If we just laughed all the time we'd never want to listen Leonard Cohen and what a sad world that would be. Clever comedy/theatre throws you from one extreme to another which Luis and Luelin acheived with great skill.

6. Adam Richards - Gaypocalpse
One of these comedians I like is not like the others. I've had a soft spot for Adam Richards since listening to the Top 40 countdown every Sunday night in Grade 6. Even when he bombed for 20 minutes last year at the Speigal Tent I cheered him on. This show is surprisingly sincere and sophisticated. A bit too much Lesbian-hating for my liking but ah well.

7. Trygve Wakenshaw - Kraken
The first 5 minutes of this show were pure brilliance, finally I know what the identical pairs of tiny black underpants hanging up in the Tuxedo Cat dressing room are all about. Slick, talented, a little bit creepy and a great moustache.

And of course my show, Permanent Part-time Irregular Hours on 6pm nightly (no Weds) at the Tuxedo Cat.

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

(Acting) Upcoming Performance

 Image: Marty King

Tickets for Permanent Part-time Irregular Hours, my new MICF cabaret are now on sale.
If reading about my Triple Threat life isn't enough, book tickets and come and see me talk and sing about it!

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

(Library) "Oh my God, it's my turn to pick a book for Book Club..."

Something quick (AGH, Book Club is next week and I haven’t read the book yet!)
Walks with menAnn Beattie
What’s in it? – New York, older men, sexcapades.

Something about L.O.V.E
One DayDavid Nicolls
What’s in it? – 1960s London, a bad Mexican restaurant, having friend's who you don't really like.

Something a bit Old School (Which you pretend to have already read at dinner parties). (Also, because these are old, you can read them for free! Free stuff is cool!)
Cranford - Elizabeth Cleghorn Gaskell
What's in it? -  Small towns, railways, cows wearing pyjamas.
The Forsyte SagaJohn Galsworthy
What's in it? - Society, Love, Family, War.

Something with a bit of history is it
Remarkable Creatures – Tracy Chevalier
What's in it? - Fossils, ye olde days, independent women.
The ReaderBernhard Schlink
What’s in it? – Berlin, WW2, sex with minors.

Something Non-Fiction but unput-downable
Eating AnimalsJohnathan Safran Foer
What's in it? - Ethical eating, factory farming, environmental issues.

Something Non- Fictiony about Religion
The Good Man Jesus and the Scoundrel Christ – Philip Pullman
What’s in it?- The Bible as a novel.

Something a little bit quirky
Everything is IlluminatedJohnathan Safran Foer
Subjects: War, the Ukraine, a deranged seeing-eye bitch.
The Wild ThingsDavid Eggers
What’s in it? – An adult imagining of ‘Where the Wild Things are’ by Maurice Sendak.

Something a bit short storyish/essayish  and hilarious
When you are engulfed in flames David Sedaris
What’s in it? – France, America, Family, Baby Skeletons.
Get Well Soon! My (Un)Brilliant Career as a Nurse -Kristy Chambers 
What’s in it? – Nursing, gross, gross bodily fluids.

Something a bit mumsie
What’s in it? Guernsey, books, pie.

Something for gals AND guys
Gold- Chris Cleave
What’s in it?- The Olympics, friends as rivals, heart shattering tragedy.

Something about Family
Two LivesVikram SethWhat’s in it?-  India/England/Germany, Dentistry
Her Father’s DaughterAlice PungWhat’s in it?- Growing up Asian in Australia, Writing, Cambodia

Something Autobiographical
Unbearable LightnessPortia De RossiWhat’s in it?- Eating Disorders, acting, Ellen Degeneres.
Julie and JuliaJulia PowellWhat’s in it?- France, Cooking, Lobsters loose in the kitchen.

Something about The Issues (but not too much of a downer)
And The Mountains EchoedKhaled HosseiniWhat’s in it?- Afghanistan/France, war, family.
IncendiaryChris Cleave
What’s in it? – Terroism, London, Mother-Son relationships.

Something about The Issues (that’s still funny and heartwarming)
The Happiest Refuge- Ahn DoWhat’s in it?- Refugees, growing up Asian in Australia, Vietnam.
How to be a Woman Caitlin MoranWhat’s in it?-  Feminism, England, Leopard Print as a neutral.
GaysiaBenjamin LawWhat’s in it?-  Gay rights and behaviour in Asia.
Extremely Loud and Incredibly CloseJohnathan Safran FoerWhat’s in it?-  9/11, autism, keys.
Little Bee (The Other Hand)Chris Cleave
What’s in it?- Asylum seekers, England, adoption.

Something about travel
Mr Snack and the Lady Water -  Brendan Shanahan
What’s in it?-  Travel horror stories, something to read whilst you're waiting for the next Benjamin Law release.

Something a bit fantasy
The Ocean at the End of the LaneNeil GaimanWhat’s in it?-  Childhood, Crones, Wind Monsters.

Something True Crime
Mississippi Burning - John Safran
What's in it? - True Crime for those who don't like/read True Crime. White Supremacists, Segregation, Murder.

Something Local
The Rosie Project - Graeme SimsionWhat’s in it?- Autism, love, formulas.
The Convent - Maureen McCarthyWhat’s in it?- The Abbotsford Convent, accidental pregnancy, baristas.

Something that makes you remember what it was like to be young(er)
How is feelsBrendan Cowell
What’s in it? – Drama School, Partying, Sydney.
Various Positions- Martha Scabas
What’s in it? – Ballet School, parent’s dropping you off to dance class, affairs with older men.
Why We Broke Up – Daniel Handler (Lemony Snicket shh)
What’s in it – “Oh my god, I remember feeling that way moments”.





Thursday, 11 July 2013

Library (Review): 'And The Mountains Echoed' by Khaled Hosseini


I can't read David Sedaris on the train because people think I am insane when I laugh out loud. I can't read Khaled Hosseini coz they think I'm a lunatic for quietly weeping.
The structure of ‘And the Mountains Echoed’ isn't new to literature, but it is new to Khaled Hosseini’s published works. Each chapter is one character’s own story which contributes to one shared inter-generational, multi-country epic. Each character contributes a few more puzzle pieces to the one hundredish-year-long story. This resulted in ‘And the Mountains Echoed’ making me feel like my year 7 self, anxiously waiting to see how Friday’s Home and Away cliff-hanger would be resolved on Monday. But unlike Home and Away this story has heart, twists and turns to make your soul and brain ache. The stakes in this story make finding out whether Gypsy is a lesbian entirely inconsequential. I thoroughly enjoyed Hosseini’s last two books (as did the rest of the world, including the thousands of VCE students with The Kite Runner on their reading list). But I’d be hard pressed to recall the narrative to you today. However due to the detective work required to hunt after detail in this new book I feel confident I will be able to remember just what happened to Abdullah, Pari and Nabi for many years.Hosseini’s stories are true to life. There are no fairy-tale endings, but neither is everything 100% dire. The realities facing the characters are harsh but because nothing is unrealistically tidied away tiny joys are magnified. Tragedy after tragedy may occur yet humans press on. (How very Chekhovian).
5 out of 5 Peacock Feathers

Sunday, 30 June 2013

(Personal Training) Early Risers

What they do at 6 am is anyone’s guess. I only know that they’re incredibly self-righteous about it, and talk about the dawn as if it’s a personal reward, bestowed on account of their great virtue.
– David Sedaris


When my alarm went off at 4:50 am this morning I immediately regretted every decision in my life that had led me to that moment. Then I poured myself out of bed, put on my Personal Trainer uniform and headed off to work. ‘Oh, Woe is me!’ I thought to myself. Usually I ride my bike to early gym shifts, it’s free, quick and impresses my manager. However after 5 weeks away overseas flat tyres and cold winds led me to take the train. When I ride I take back streets and rarely see another person. I can quite easily convince myself that I am the only person in the city forced to wake at this ungodly hour. I simultaneously congratulate myself and feel terrible at the same time.  Taking the train is an entirely different story. When I get to the main road I don’t even think to ‘Look to the right, look to the left, then look to the right again’ because no one’s gonna be on the roads at this time right? I am nearly killed flat by a Toyota Corolla. As I approach the shopping centre through the dark morning, a panel van slowly pulls up beside me... ‘Oh my God’ my brain screams ‘that man’s going to blow up the ATM’ (This has happened in my suburb before and presumably the perpetrators prefer the cover of darkness). Then the man gets out of his van and starts to unpack newspapers in front of the newsagent - proving my suspicious mind wrong, teaching me that darkness is not just for criminals. As I climb the stairs to the train station I expect to be the sole shivering person waiting for the 5:19 am. Once again, I am proved wrong as the platform is packed: Who are these people - and what are they doing? The men in fluoro vests are easy, but the two teenagers huddled together in a corner away from the wind? The boy wearing Adidas shorts with a raincoat? The 80 year old woman with neatly permed hair? WHERE ARE THEY GOING? The train arrives (no chance for delays this early!) and although it is only the second train of the day it is difficult to get a seat.

We are a mixed bunch: Tradies, cleaners, environmental engineers, baristas, man doing his tax with pages spread out on four seats around him (?!). But we have one thing in common... We all look entirely unenthusiastic. Yet despite the scowls and gentle snores surrounding me, I feel oddly comforted. Contrary to my self-pity 29 minutes earlier, I am not the only person in Melbourne forced to endure this insane wake-up call. Feeling a spark brighter than before, I wedge myself between two seats, close my eyes and enjoy the 4 minutes of napping I can steal before Melbourne Central.

Sunday, 14 April 2013

(Acting) MICF Weeks 2 & 3 Roundup


Ali McGregor's Late-Nite Variety-Nite Night: When Ali McGregor sings she makes me want to dig a hole, curl up in it and never perform again. She is just so damn good I feel there is no point even trying anymore. But then eventually I climb out of my hole of despair, turn on my keyboard and keep practicing my scales.
I could go the Ali's Nite Nite Night every Night. She is sensational, her guests vary from insanely talented to hilarious and the house red at the Spiegeltent is quite good.

This is Siberian Husky The Misery Factory: This is the best show I have seen these boys do. In addition to neat physical work and hilarious sketches the premise of this show gave it a whole other level of quality. The Misery Factory made me laugh hysterically whilst simultaneously wanting to sob about the misfortune of strangers. Also jokes about OH&S always please me.

Daniel Oldaker Dandyman: Daniel Oldaker delivers some of the best clowning and physical comedy that I have ever seen. I have never been sexually attracted to a juggler before but Dandyman changed that. His costume is lovely, on and off.

Hannah Gadsby Happiness Is A Bedside Table: I don't like women comics and I don't like self-deprecating comedy where the comic mocks their own weight, but I love Hannah Gadsby. She manages to make us laugh at her incredibly embarrassing, depressing stories whilst still feeling a glimmer of happiness.

Josh Thomas Douchebag: I love Josh Thomas. When he started following me on Instagram was one of the highlights of my online life. But perhaps miss this show. Wait until he's calmed down from the work he poured into 'Please Like Me' and has time left over to write a stand-up show. And join me in praying he doesn't click on any links on my facebook page (because we are friends!) which lead him to this review.

Sam Simmons Shitty Trivia: 'Mysterious shoe, mysterious shoe...'. Last night I wore a Ralph Lauren Cashmere sweater over a pinstripe shirt handmade in the 30s. I sat next to 3 boys wearing a combination of Beer Bintang shirts and flannelette drinking VB. Sam Simmons has the unusual ability to make these two polar opposite demographics cack ourselves laughing and knock over our stubbies/wine glass. Great use of slideshow.

Tuesday, 2 April 2013

(Acting) MICF Week 1 Roundup

Although comedy doesn't necessarily fall into any of the 'Threat' categories my acting skills are at work during my cabaret 'Twinkle Twinkle: the Confessions of a Child-Hating Children's Librarian' which is currently showing as part of the Melbourne International Comedy Festival (www.trybooking.com/chft).
With that reasoning, here's my thoughts on the shows I saw in week 1.




Lawrence Leung's Part-Time Detective Agency: Lawrence is super cute and super hilarious. As are his parents who feature in this show. Sherlock Holmes, awkward revelations and punctuation all feature, guaranteeing a successful comedy show in my mind. 

David Quirk Shaking Hands with Danger: I loved how David discussed his downfallings in such an open, truthful way. Most people who cheat on their girlfriends keep quiet, defend themselves or deny it. David does none of these. Plus he wrote a comedy show about it. To quote Jessica Phillips (EMA) 'It was really good. There weren't many jokes and at the end it was a bit depressing'. 

Jon Bennett Fire in the Meth Lab: (Disclosure: I know Jon. He is funny.) Jon is an engaging storyteller. His show is original, funny and amazingly, true. Lovely use of set and Jason Donovan material.

Charlie Ranger and Nicholas Waxman A Sunburnt History: (Disclosure: I know Charlie and Nick. They are funny.) In this show Charlie and Nick display their well honed skills in accent, slapstick and quick costume change. Great pace, lots of quirky jokes AND educational.