EVEN MORE MICF MADNESS! You should most definitely see these shows.

The following letter is entirely fictional, but let’s pretend that I’m popular enough to get fanmail…

Dear Britt,
You are awesome
[why thank-you!], but you haven’t given any comedy recommendations in over a week! How am I supposed to know what shows to see? I need more jokes in my life and am completely incapable of making my own decisions. Help!
Signed,
A Confused And Lonely Comedy-Lover

You want jokes? I’ve got jokes!

What kind of animal says “Queck”?
A duck from New Zealand!

What is black and white and red all over?
This penguin that I stabbed to death.

What? You want better jokes than that? You want jokes from “professional comedians”? Fine.

I’ll begin with some shows that you’ve missed out on [because they've already finished their MICF runs], but that you should definitely keep in mind for the future.

400_cropped_730x4122.1385000306If you enjoy sketch comedy: Andy Matthews & Alasdair Tremblay Birchall – Two in the Think Tank
For a show that was on at 11:15pm, Two in the Think tank was very energetic. A combination of quick skits and longer sketches, Andy and Alasdair were clearly having just as much fun as the audience. The final sketch, which I shall not describe for fear of spoiling it, was the absolute highlight. link

333_cropped_730x4122.1385003026If you wanted to see a very funny play that makes reference to a certain British actor: The Consumption Presents – The Voyage of the Alan Rickman
I wish I’d found the time to see this show earlier, so that I could have recommended it to people – and I’m not just saying that because I know a couple of the performers. But I went to the closing night, and it was marvellous. Telling the story of a space crew whose mission is to execute a sentient breakfast bar, The Voyage of the Alan Rickman was funny and clever, and I hope that they put on some encore performances at some point in the future so that more people get to see it. link

23_cropped_730x4122.1384341273If you liked the television series “Letters and Numbers”: Late Night Letters and Numbers
I’ve written about LNL&N on this blog before. It’s essentially a staged version of the game, but with added funny. The audience are encouraged to play along – and can even win prizes! Well, they could. Unfortunately last night’s show was the final performance of the festival, but I’m sure it’ll be back in he future. link

And now for some shows that you can still see. Catch them while you can!

show_page_display.1397096412If you like your stand-up to be a little bit depressing, but still leave you feeling good in the end: Roland Hoffman
Roland had his heart broken, lost his job and had to say goodbye to his dad over a fairly short period of time. Instead of seeking therapy, he wrote a comedy show. It’s quite funny, and cheap! link

398_cropped_730x4122.1384940531If you’ve ever been “the weird girl”: Sonia Di Iorio
Sonia’s comedy festival show is called “Don’t kiss the weird girl”, and for an awkward person like me it was every bit as relatable as you can imagine. link

268_cropped_730x4122.1385003425If you want to see a show at The Imperial at 8pm on any day of the week (can you tell that I’m running out of things to say?): Bart Freebairn
I’ve seen so many comedy shows over the past few weeks, and to be quite honest I’m running out of different ways to say “this person stands at the front of the room and says things and those things make you laugh”.  It’s stand-up, and it’s good. link

94_cropped_730x4122.1384997500If you want to see some more stand-up that, like everything else in this blog post, will make you laugh: Simon Taylor
Simon Taylor’s show is called “Funny”, so he’s lucky that it actually is.  Otherwise the reviewers would have a field day. link

457_cropped_730x4122.1385013569If you’ve ever wondered what it would feel like to be taken hostage: Timothy Clark and Sam Petersen
It’s not as scary as you would imagine.  In fact, there’s something rather jovial about it all. link

293_cropped_730x4122.1385012933If you enjoy stand-up comedy that discusses rather deep things, like how you are going to be remembered after your inevitable death: Adam Knox
The title is explained during the course of the show.  Also, there may be some dancing.  Sort-of. link

291_cropped_730x4122.1384953455If you’re uncool: Ben McKenzie
Nerdy t-shirts!  Dinosaurs!  Facts!  Board games!  You get the picture… link

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The Same But Different.

5yearsfratellis

I first met The Fratellis five years ago, outside the Queensbridge Hotel.  They were here for The Big O Festival [an O-Week celebration tour thing that was never repeated], and my friend Steph and I walked past them on the way to the gig.  They were having a smoke outside the venue, and in an attempt to appear cool in front of both Steph and the band, I struck up a conversation about the weather and tried to act as if it was no big deal; that I often hung out with Scottish rock stars.  I think I had them fooled.

Fast forward to Friday night, backstage at the Prince of Wales.  In the time that has passed since 2009, there are many things that have changed:
The Queensbridge Hotel is no longer there.  I wear make-up now.  My hair is red.  I no longer support the [bizarre] made-up theory that bands will only think you’re cool if you’re in the third row of a gig [because the first two rows are "too eager", but any further back and you're not enough of a fan - I have no idea where I picked up this nonsense].  Jon has much better hair.  And he looks happier, although that may just be because he’s not squinting into the sun like we all were back in 2009.  Baz has got a pretty swanky look going on.  And while I’m still a fan of The Fratellis, I’m not quite as starstruck by them as I was when I was nineteen.

But while there are differences, some things have stayed the same:
My favourite Fratellis song is still “For the Girl” [which they unfortunately didn't play this time], and I still know the words to every track off Costello Music.  Jon still skips a lot of words when playing songs live.  Baz likes black t-shirts, and he’s still my favourite.  Mince gives a thumbs up in photos.  The crowd still go absolutely mental when the band play “Chelsea Dagger”.  And the song that plays over the PA when the gig ends is still “Sweet Caroline”.

Also, a fun fact for you: Alan Fletcher [Karl Kennedy on Neighbours] was at Friday’s gig [here's proof]!

photo-8In the mirror behind Jon’s head, you can see the reflection of the man taking our photo.

I should probably thank Soundwave Touring for letting me hang out backstage.  That was a pretty cool thing for them to do.  So, uh, thanks.  I might make it up to you one day… but probably not.

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TableTop Day – 5th April 2014

tabletopday_logo

My original idea for TableTop Day was to have a massive game of Cards Against Humanity.  While I would have loved to spend the entire day playing all sorts of games with a large group of friends, MICF and other commitments meant that it wouldn’t really be possible.  Not to mention that quite a few of my friends aren’t really open to the idea of trying any “nerdy” new games.  This is because they are cooler than me.

I chose Cards Against Humanity because it’s accessible, and because I’m friends with a lot of writers who enjoy cracking jokes.  It was a guaranteed hit… except that unforseen circumstances prevailed, and my TableTop gathering ended up as a party of three.  While it is possible to play CAH with only three people, it’s not very good.  So in the end we played a game of Trivial Pursuit instead, which was fun.  Also, I won.

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The moral of this story is that sometimes it’s okay when things don’t go to plan, because you may still win in the end.  Or something like that.

Still, next year I’ll probably try to do something that involves more ["nerdier"] games.  My cool friends can just get over it.

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EXTRA FUNNY: More MICF 2014 picks!

I have seen many more shows since my last Melbourne International Comedy Festival recommendations post [which was only two days ago - what can I say? I've been very busy], and therefore have some more recommendations for you.  As with my previous post, these are all shows that I have seen at this year’s festival, and I stand behind each and every one of these recommendations.  I have now used the word “recommendations” too many times in this paragraph, but am too sleep-deprived to go back and rewrite it.  YAY COMEDY!

Tom LangIf you want to learn things about animals: Tom Lang.
Love, Factually is an educational comedy show taught/presented by a science teacher.  There’s a slideshow and props and enough jokes to keep you laughing for pretty much the entire show. [link]

Noise Adventure!If you like absurd electro-pop music: Kate Dehnert.
At the start of her show on Tuesday night, Kate warned the crowd that we weren’t in for a typical comedy show.  Apparently one of her earlier performances had completely baffled the crowd, so she now felt it better to offer a disclaimer at the start.  For someone who has only been dabbling in the musical side of comedy for less than a year, Kate has carved her own niche, creating hilarious songs that never fail to surprise you. [link]

Genevieve FrickerIf you like your musical comedy with a side of cynicism: Gen Fricker.
Do you remember this ad for McCain super juicy corn?  If not, maybe watch it for a bit of a refresher before seeing this show.  And then go and see the show before it finishes its run on the 7th of April (next Monday).  Quick!  Go! [link]

Colin LaneIf you like Colin Lane: Colin Lane.
Lano is doing a fairly small show in the Regent Room at the Melbourne Town Hall, and it is exactly what you would expect from him: couple of musical performances, some dad jokes and a bunch of references to a Gwen Stefani lyric. [link]

We Heart ComedyAnd finally, if you ❤ comedy: Victoria Healy’s We ❤ Comedy.
I know I’ve already told you to see Vic Healy’s solo show, but this one is also worth a look.  These showcase-style gigs can vary from night to night, but aside from the Festival Club, this is the best one that I’ve seen so far.  Last night’s show featured Rebecca De Unamuno, Bart Freebairn and the Lords of Luxury.  It was very good.  Hopefully future shows will also be very good, but as I said, it does very much depend on the calibre of guest.  At least with this one, you can guarantee that the host will always be good.  Have I used the word “good” enough in describing this show?  Yes?  Good. [link]

Images from the MICF website.

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LAUGH, YOU IDIOTS! – My top picks for the Melbourne International Comedy Festival so far…

The following are just some of the shows that I have seen in the last week. I wanted to write about all of the shows, but I have seen seven so far, and I’m seeing another four tonight and it’s just not possible to see this much comedy and work and sleep and somehow rock up to uni and breathe… but damn it, I’m going to make it work somehow.

Anyway, here are some recommendations.

Milton Jones
If you like your comedy full of puns with a side of the absurd: Milton Jones.
You may recognise him as one of the weirder regulars on Mock the Week, always wearing a hideously colourful shirt to accompany his crazy hair. Milton is brilliant at delivering deadpan one-liners, firing one joke after another without missing a beat (except for when he ‘skips a bit’). I was in fits of laughter at his first show last week, and I implore you to go see him right now. This very second. I don’t care if his show isn’t on for another twelve hours – JUST GO, GODDAMN YOU! [link]

Victoria Healy jpg
If you want to hear jokes about Tinder and other ‘young person’ things: Victoria Healy.
When I saw Vic at the Imperial on Saturday, a decent portion of her crowd was in the over-60s demographic. But despite a lot of her material going way over their heads, she still managed to charm them. Lots of laughs for under $20. How could you go wrong? [link]

fancy crab
If you are a comedian/dating a comedian/friends with a comedian/stalking a comedian/someone who goes to a lot of local comedy nights: The Fancy Boy Variety Show.
This image has nothing to do with the show; I just really wanted to post a photo of a crab with a top hat. So fancy! Anyway, the less you know before seeing the Fancy Boy Variety Show, the better. I wouldn’t want to spoil a thing in this review. All I will say, however, is that it’s a show for people who go to a lot of comedy nights. Last night, the audience was made up of probably 75% comedy performers (with some fairly big names in the crowd), and they were all absolutely pissing themselves. But if you tend to only see shows at festival time, then this probably is not the show for you. Also, there are no refunds. [link]

Images from the MICF website, except for Fancy Crab, which I found on imgur.

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MICF 2014: Flyer5 #1

20140328-003718.jpg

Normally when someone thrusts a piece of paper into my hand and says, “I need you to come to this,” I assume they’re taking me to some sort of intervention.

“Britt, we’re all here because we love you, and we want to help you.” They pause, as a tear trickles down their cheek. “You need to stop watching Degrassi. It’s a kids show. You’re an adult. It’s not healthy!”

Ahem.

During the Melbourne International Comedy Festival, however, it’s bizarre to walk past certain venues and not have papers thrown at you. The people frantically trying to convince you to see a show are the flyer-ers. There are two distinct breeds of flyer-ers: those paid to be there (handing out flyers for people whose shows don’t really need the publicity because they’re already famous enough), and those desperately trying to get people to come along to their own show. You can spot the latter by checking to see if the face of the flyer-er is the same as the one on the flyer. If it’s a match, then PLEASE PLEASE FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THINGS HOLY BE NICE TO THEM. MAYBE EVEN GO SEE THEIR SHOW (chances are you can get a free/cheap ticket if you have a bit of a chat). Comedians are fragile beings, particularly around festival season. All they want to do is make you laugh!

Every year, I really enjoy chatting to comedians about their shows, so when Blake Mitchell approached me on my way to see Jason Byrne last night, I came up with a little “challenge”/thing.  Whenever I come across somebody flyering for their own show, I’m going to ask them to describe the show in exactly 5 words.  Because things like this need a name, and I love alliteration, I’m calling this “Flyer5″.

Blake has the honour of being first up, as he is the only person so far to have looked directly into my eyes and begged me to see his performance.  (Okay, that’s a little mean – he didn’t beg, he just kind of demanded.  His exact words were as above: “I need you to come to this”).

When I asked him to describe the show in 5 words, he gave me the following:

“Help me.  Dad broke me.”

So there you have it.  Is the show worth seeing?  I don’t know.  But I shall report back soon on the shows that I have actually attended so far.

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Look Over There →

I’ve not been blogging much lately.  Between settling into [yet another] new job, going back to uni, and trying to find cheap flights to Hobart, updating this here blog hasn’t been my top priority.

That said, however, I’ve been feeling really inspired lately.  My drafts folder is full of half-written posts and lists of ideas.  If only I had the time/energy/motivation to finish them all!  Or at least a couple of them.

In the meantime, here is a very overt hint as to another thing that has been taking up more than a little bit of my time lately:

Yeah.  Life, eh?

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How to Survive Mars Retrograde in Just Three Easy Steps

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Thought you were in the clear now that Mercury Retrograde has ended? No such luck! It’s now Mars’ turn. Mars is in retrograde from the 1st of March until the 19th May, and is set to wreak havoc over many aspects of your life.

But never fear – I have a foolproof guide to surviving these next few months. All you have to do is follow three easy steps:

1. Don’t let astrology dictate your life.
Seems fairly self-explanatory, doesn’t it?

2. Act normal, and deal with everything as you normally would.
See above.

3. Eat nachos.
Because they are [arguably] the best food in the world.

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