Tag Archives: 2019

MICF 2019: Fringe Wives Club – Glittergrass

Featuring Tessa Waters, Victoria Falconer, Laura Frew, Sharnema Nougar, Lucy Evans
Melbourne International Comedy Festival 2019
The Malthouse, Friday 19th April 2019

I have had an experience with feminist cabaret before and come off second best, but I wanted to give this show a chance as I have enjoyed seeing Tessa Waters perform in the past and heard a lot about the Fringe Wives Club but have never had the chance to see them.

I did try and get permission to take photos of the show, but they did not know me plus I don’t think the venue allows it. Was good to just see them and Andrew McLelland straight before them also.

As the saying goes “you catch more flies with honey than you do with vinegar” I was actually more interested in this show from the musical style as I already follow a lot of bluegrass style music and bands in general. Having good songs and comedy does help deliver the message.

Every member of the group plays multiple instruments and they all have radio microphones, which led to some fun situations like climbing onto the audience and sitting on someone’s lap.

Due to scheduling conflicts one of the cast members finished another show 15 minutes before this one starts and turns up a bit after show starts in the audience to start her part of the show.

I did enjoy the music and think they should also play at music festivals alongside fringe and comedy festival appearances. Barry Morgan had one of his first appearances down at the Queenscliff Music Festival when he was first working out his act and the Vue Grand would be perfect for them.

The “privilege bucket” was passed around stage to every member of the band. Kind of a moot point when just living in Australia makes everyone better off than 95% of the world’s population as it is.

There were some strong original songs and covers in the show and a great medley at the start. Lots of dancing and Rowena does some great high kicks and the splits at one point.

I enjoyed the songs enough to ask in the foyer if they had an album for sale. They said they will hopefully record some of them later and that they have an album for sale on their Bandcamp – https://fringewivesclub.bandcamp.com/

This show has nearly finished its’ run but will hopefully be going over to Edinburgh and other shows after that. I will try and keep up with the group and the performers to see what they get up to in the future.

MICF 2019: Isabella Valette – How Far I’ll Go

Melbourne International Comedy Festival 2019

Tuesday 16th April 2019, Tasma Place

I have known Isabella for 10 years now and when I first met her she was getting fake blood poured over her head for a photo shoot to promote a Lee Gambin horror movie musical where she played Carrie. She seemed remarkably cheerful about it considering how cold the blood was and having to walk home barefoot with bits of glass on the ground. From what I remember of that show it had a whole of musical theatre performers in it I had not heard of before.

Isabella has a funny face that makes it hard to take her seriously even when she is doing something dramatic like on her promo reels. It always looks like she wants to smile. No, there is no critical distance in this review but I never said there would be. I am kicking myself I did not do those promo shoots like she asked now but I was busy at the time.

Over the years I have tried to see her shows but I always have gigs on and comedy festival time always falls when I am out of contract so I miss everything.

I had seen photos of Isabella in her clown makeup but didn’t think much of it as I know a lot of people in the entertainment industry who have all sorts of jobs. The show’s ethos can be summed up by the famous letter from Teller to an aspiring musician about working in the entertainment industry (https://www.themodernrogue.com/articles/2018/3/21/the-letter-from-teller-that-changed-my-life) that in order to make it you have to take any job and don’t give up.

The show starts with Isabella appearing on stage just having performed at a kids’ party as a mermaid and then off to another one as Penny the Clown *smacks butt*. We follow her preparing for the party and go into the backstory of how she became a clown. Everything is going fine until she accepts one last job for the day and we know what that means…

A fun and family friendly show for people who like a good story to go along with their jokes. I have been looking for something more than the usual stand up and am a big fan of shows like Snap Judgement and did used to take photos at a poetry competition over several years.

Isabella is also doing other stand up during the festival and features in the group Impromptunes who have their own run at the festival. The last time I saw her it was for an improvised puppet musical. She has lots of energy and enthusiasm in her show and does several songs and dancing.

I did like the screen with the props and costumes behind it where she gets changed and then eventually drops all pretence and gets changed on the stage in front of the audience by the end as you know her well enough by then.

The show still has a few more nights left and I was glad to have seen Isabella perform this time and wish her well into the future.

MICF 2019: Friendlyjordies presents John Howard Really Sucked

Melbourne International Comedy Festival 2019

Lithuanian Club, Friday 12th April 2019 (Late show)

Jordan Shanks stated in his show he does not really care about reviews and seeing as the show’s run sold out (this was a bonus show), but I just wanted to say a few words about it. The last thing I saw in the venue was the After Hours Cabaret Club which feature Memphis Mae pouring McDonalds nuggets all over herself.

As he said himself he is preaching to the choir in his show as he knows which end of the political spectrum he is delivering his message to. It was a very young audience and it is a fallacy that young people these days do not care about anything. They care about too much and having grown up with social media as a part of their lives they are right across important social and political issues as are discussed in the show.

One of the jokes in the show was that it is not just a stand up show. It is a long form version of one of Friendlyjordies’ YouTube videos where he gets to expand on one of the topics that he would usually do in a video.

The main premise of the show is exposing what at poor economic manager John Howard was of the economy with many twists and turns that go into explaining this. There was a detour back to the 1940s which I would have liked to see as a show of its’ own but I’m just weird.

The $1.3 Trillion figure that the Howard government cost Australia can’t have just come out of his arse, he must have gotten it somewhere. I can’t say I have heard it mentioned anywhere else, but then again I don’t really read the Financial Review or pay that much attention to financial advice.

Having the show on the day after the 2019 Federal Election was called added an extra something. Friendlyjordies knows his audience and also says he is not aligned with one side or the other.

What he does do is encourage the audience to get their apathetic friends to register to vote as the electoral roles close the day before Good Friday (18th April) and you have no business in complaining if you couldn’t be bothered to vote.

There were a lot of laughs in the show mixed in with the factoids. Some people laughed at oddly specific things, like the two women sitting next to me who laughed at the brand of make up in one slide.

The show was filmed by Luke their photographer/videographer and Sandi says they always use him. Not sure if they are going to release a DVD or it will just be used for promotion like the last time they were in Melbourne for a show.

He did take the opportunity to do some edge lord bullshit like the school shootings joke which amused him greatly as the audience took about a minute to decide if it was funny or not. Using dead soldiers at Kokoda as a punchline was pretty low also. I am sure he will not get any blowback for using ANZAC as a joke as he is not Muslim, a person or colour or female.

Cheap shots abound in this show, but they come and go so quickly they kind of blur into each other. A bit rich piling onto Yumi Stynes when everyone else in the mainstream media he claims to hate has done so too.

When I was looking to get into university the most popular course was Journalism at RMIT, to the point they made 4000 people a year sit the Journalism Entrance Test. I made it through to the interview stage that was for about 20 first year places. These days why would you even bother as there are many other ways to get your opinion out to the masses even if nobody reads it.

I do know some people in the media but mainly the good ones such as community radio or people I have known for a long time. I do sympathise with people from the Age who had to go work at the Australian. There are good people working at ABC 774 Melbourne as they used to be on RRR FM in Melbourne.

I would like to see Friendlyjordies do a guest spot on Biggsy’s show on RRR FM as they could have an informed chat on several topics of note.

He has done a video on Melbourne vs. Sydney since doing his show down here. I would like to see more of it outside of the usual tropes.

If you have missed the show’s Melbourne run then you are too late since it has already sold out. Other state hopefully in the future.

In all a good economics lecture and political history lesson with the “cool teacher” from your high school who let you swear in class and call him by his first name.