22 April 2012

MICF: The final weekend

With three nights left of the comedy festival, it's time for the die hards to see five shows a night and collapse at 3am in a pool of sweat and vomit in the festival club.

So, I joined a lot of other 40-somethings at a nice civilised 6.00 pm show, grabbed a late-night 7.15 and was a bit too happy to be home by 9.00. Yep, I'm hard core, I might even make a mug of hot chocolate.

There are only two shows left of these, and there's 25 minutes between the end of Tim's and the beginning of Kate's – which makes for an awesome (and early starting) double.

Homeward Bound
Kate McLennan
20 April 2012
Victoria Hotel
to 22 April
comedyfestival.com.au



I don't think it's possible to see Kate McLennan on stage and not adore her. She's one of the funniest people around and her honest writing proves that the difference between good writing and great writing is how much it comes from the heart.

This style of stand up is different from the character-based comedy seen in earlier festivals, but terrific writers make their lives far more interesting than fiction.

A while back, Kate's was in a relationship; they'd bought Global knives together, so it was serious. But it ended. Being a performer meant that Kate moved back to Geelong with her parents, but how could her broken heart compare to her dad's prostRate cancer and her younger sister's upcoming wedding?

Naturally on her first day back in her teenage bedroom, with her raw heart was pumping pain, her sister took her to a bridal expo, which isn't as painful as the advice from her extended family about how to deal with being 31 and on the shelf.

Using the gorgeous device of letters to her baby niece (nieces and nephews really are brilliant), Kate brings us her family with hilarious observation that's sharper than a Global knife with a love that's its own lifetime guarantee.

PS. Kate, I've never been a bridesmaid!

Carry a Big Stick
Tim Ferguson 
20 April 2012
Melbourne Town Hall
to 22 April
comedyfestival.com.au


Tim and I are happy to disagree about the role of review and feedback in live performance, but all I need to say is that it was bloody lovely to sit in a room full of people who remember the 80s and the Doug Anthony Allstars juggernaut.

I first say the DAAS in the mid-ish 80s at a drunken lunch time at Adelaide Uni bar (oh how tertiary education had changed). I can't think of anyone who could own a crowd like that now. By the time they were at the 1988 Adelaide Fringe, they were in the biggest rooms and playing the Fringe club late at night. There hadn't been anything like them before. In their ripped military uniforms, they were loud, crude and treated their audience with the kind of disrespect that we wanted more of.

And more we got. Tim, Paul and Richard went on to own the biggest festivals, to fill stadiums and created cult TV with The Big Gig. I adored them, my friends adored them and everyone we knew couldn't get enough of them and we haven't seen comedy rock gods like them since.

Carry a Big Stick is Tim (the tall one) telling his story about this time and what happened after they broke up and why he wishes everyone would stop asking about his MS. If you were a DAAS fan, you don't need the likes of me to tell you that you'll love this hour with Tim.

The last two shows are pretty close to being sold out, but don't let that stop you from trying to get in.

PS. I'm now back in tertiary education and Tim is one of my teachers.


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