Yay Sydney comedy festival is finally here. Yay cheers all around. So I’m a little late on the up take and the festival kicked off a week ago but in that time I have managed to see THREE gigs.
Last Thursday was Rhys Nickolson’s Almost a Person. This gig was everything I’ve come to love about Rhys. His shocking one liners mixed with his life lesson anecdotes kept the audience laughing throughout the show. Although an audience well acquainted with Rhys’s comedy would have seen the punch lines early it was still a great show and new audiences were reduced to tears.
Next on SCF agenda was Matt Okine. This new show of Matt’s drew from the very best bits of previous shows as well as so much new material that worked fantastically. I took a group of my friends who aren’t very well versed in comedy because I can always rely on Matt to bring the best and leave every one with sore cheeks from laughing.
Highlight: brains on computer screens (you definitely had to be there)
From Matt I ran to the nearest cab to get to Michael Hing’s SOLD OUT opening night of An open letter to rich white people concerning their role in the downfall of civilisation. This show blew my mind. I am well versed in Michael’s work and often feel that when I see his shows in seeing the same thing that is loosing its funny in a different order. TONIGHT WAS NOT LIKE THAT. Sure it had its ups and downs but definitely more ups then downs and was incredibly fun.
You know when you laugh you have stages; the first kinda funny easy to force laugh, the second quite funny did I really just make that noise laugh and the third that almost silent painful in stitches laugh that you have no hope of controlling. It’s that third type that I experienced through a lot of Michael’s gig tonight. The only real down fall is when Michael stops in the middle of a joke to say away from mic how stupid it is or when his train of thought obviously jumps tracks and he forgets to return.
All the shows I’ve seen so far have been outstanding and if you can definitely support this awesome local talent.
Once again sorry about not posting hyperlinks in this yet. I will get around to it. Maybe after all my uni assignments are done
Every Wednesday, at Hermann’s Bar Sydney Uni, there is a great comedy show, known as Project 52. If you are free on Wednesday’s I urge you to go down to the cosy little bar and support all the amazing things that happen there. My only issue with this room is that it happens on Wednesday nights, the only night of the week I very rarely free on. But last night I was, for once, able to attend and I am so glad I didn’t miss that gig. On the rare occasion I do get the chance to attend project52 I tend not to review it, but last night was brilliantly amazing that I had to write about it, and I need to start polishing my skills for the up coming Sydney Comedy Festival.
So Project 52 started by four of Sydney uni’s greatest rotates 4 different types of comedy nights, Story Club, impro den, Make way for Ducklings (a sketch show) and the one that was last night, a stand up night known as Hermann’s Heroes.
The best this about this room is that most of the audience knows each other as well as whoever is performing and being a university crowd, young, educated and interested, the topic of material that can be used is extremely broad and hilariously dynamic.
Last night the host was Ben Jenkins (filling in for Michael Hing who is smashing it at MICF) professionally warming the audience with his well known hilarity returning later to boost morale with superb anecdotes. Highlights include his story telling skills and Carlo Ritchie’s frequent interjections from the sound desk.
The first of the scheduled comedians was Ian Ferrington. Recently Ian climbed many of the rungs of the Raw Comedy Ladder and his set was a taster as to why he climbed so high. His comedy was clean cut and very nicely executed and I can see him going places with his comedy.
Tom Walker, who also did good things with Raw Comedy this year, was next on this stage. I hadn’t seen Tom perform stand up in over a year, and comparing last night to the Tom I remember I feel that he has definitely grown up and matured his stand up style, no longer telling almost ‘in jokes’ to his friends from the stage he has extended his comedy from just talking about pugs and it was really interesting and relevant.
Cyrus Bezyan was up next and in my notes from his set I’ve written “less obscure than normal” apart from this reflecting the number of glasses of wine I had had by this stage I feel it is quite true, or perhaps I have grown into a state where I can now understand. His set was smart and very funny, you never really knew where or when the punch line would catch you. This keeps the audience on the edge of their seats and is extremely entertaining.
Rounding out the traditional stand up for the evening was James Colley, recently returned from Adeliade Fringe Festival. James’ comedy was thrilling with impressive segues tackled some (classically) difficult topics with great success. If this was (as he claimed) him trying out new material there is no doubt that James will be a huge name in Australian comedy. (like the sound of this? Grab tickets to his very fast selling Sydney Comedy Festival show here http://m.ticketek.com.au/shows/show.aspx?sh=JAMESCOL12 but be quick as this will sell out)
The last act of the night was a well known gentleman, being 1/3 of The Axis of Awesome. Benny Davis, The Human Jukebox, was experimenting a new project of his where he astonishing his audience with his uncanny ability to play nearly every request on the melodica. While he did wow the audience with his ability I felt the space wasn’t quite right. Watching someone play melodica isn’t as fun as dancing and singing to someone playing melodica but this is my same argument about (most) musical comedy.
Over all the entire night was extremely enjoyable and just made me feel slightly melancholy because I can’t be there every week. But learning theory tells me that I appreciate it even more when I do get to go because I can’t see it every week.
P.S I will add hyperlinks later it’s just I’m on my iPad and I’m afraid I’ll loose all I’ve written if I go searching for all the links I want to add now.
Last night I opened my umbrella and strolled down the road to the Pilot night of Alfred Comedy. This is the Newest comedy room in Sydney and is being looked after by funny man James Colley. Even though it was hideous weather outside and being a Thursday night was competing with the Mic In Hand just around the corner in Glebe and the diehard comedy audiences that spend their Thursday Nights at The Comedy Store there was a rather impressive audience, (with an obvious divide of the Locals of The Alfred Hotel and friends [read fans] of the guys holding the mic).
The comics were great, starting the night off with Nick Kraegan, telling stories of his life and why he doesnt like old people, at which stage an elderly couple left the pub throwing Nick unpleasant glances. Following Nick was David Cunningham, another Project 52 regular and performed brilliantly. following a short intermission the head liner, Dave Jory, took to the non existent stage. His performance used the room well and this encouraged the audience to enjoy themselves more.
The problem with this gig last night was the space. There was no stage, no lights, no mic stand, only a mic that is used for trivia and calling last drinks. The comic stood behind a pool table, next to the front door facing the backs of the locals sitting at the bar. This pub isnt fitted out to be a venue which made it harder for the comedians to engage the audience. If this venue wants to commit to a comedy night (there will at least be a second) some serious thought needs to go into figuring out how to best use the space.
This room has potential to be a great starting place for some new comedians or a stepping stone from project 52 into the real world of stand up. With James Colley’s excellent taste and talent, and a bit of room tinkering, this could be a great place to enjoy a cheap beer with some laughs on a Thursday night.
Sorry its been a while since ive bothered to type anything here, mostly because Ive been remarkably boring with my life and hadnt actually been at any gigs (except maybe a project 52) since Sydney Fringe Festival. But all this changed when I returned to the Factory Theatre on Friday Night for Axis of Awesome’s 5 Year Anniversay Sow* [sic].
When I went to this gig I thought that a large proportion of the crowd would be friends, family and the current university comedians. But although each of these groups were represented there was a much larger proportion of true fans and a bunch of first timers (you can always tell the first timers as they laugh at the right moment, not at the start of the song or just before the punchline). I am very familiar with AoA’s material and have seen them live many times, to the point that I found myself going to their gigs just to hang out with the guys and the other people who frequent their gigs. But as this was the first time they’ve played in Sydney for about a year (theyve been overseas working hard) I found my self really excited to go to the gig and had more fun than I had expected, not that i hadnt expected to have fun i was just a bit surprised at how great i found it.
Michael Hing supported and warmed the crowd very well. Relying on older material whilst throwing in a couple of new bits he impressed the audience and was greeted warmly afterwards.
The Axis gig was brilliant, although there were a few missed lines and a technical difficulty. The audience was definitely enjoying themselves; laughing and bobbing along to the increasingly more dancey numbers. The rhetoric between the lads complimenting their hilarious songs lifts the room giving the audience exactly what it wants.
Highlight:New floppy man song, with a hilariously timed reprise
Lowlight: Sitting through the increasingly very long too well known more clever than funny everyones seen it on YouTube 4 chords song. No comedian is still doing the same material as 5 years ago, but i hear you say they are a band and bands repeat their hits from 5 years ago, but in these circumstances the audience is dancing and singing along not sitting politely waiting for it to end so they can applaud. Sorry rant done.
As the week rolled around again I found myself once again at the Factory.
The first show of the evening was Cyrus Bezyan: I like being conscious. Cyrus’ is not your typical comedian, his comedy is highly intelligent and would have had many audience members laughing on their way home as the joke finally clicked in their head. His performance included some illustrations which were remarkable as well as highly thought out sound grabs.
The second show for my evening was Nice Kicks, by Steen Raskopoulos and Susie Youssef. An amazing sketch show which will the show everyone talks about from The Sydney Fringe. Perfectly suited music and lighting as well as brilliant original sketches made the hour feel extremely short. You didnt want this show to ever finish. I would advise not missing this one especially as it wont happen again as Steen leaves the country at the end of the year.
Both these shows close tonight at the factory and you should get down and see them both. What else are you doing with your saturday night? sitting at home doing nothing? thought so, get to the factory. Cyrus is on at 7 and Nice Kicks at 10.
Also my sister turned 18 which is why this post is both late and dodgier then normal.
Again my evening plans changed as I headed out for my third day of my Sydney Fringe Festival. Before heading to the Factory theatre tonight I detoured via The Sidetrack Theatre for Romeo and Juliet in 10min with Two.
This cute street theatre performance was very impressive. Particularly perfect if you want to be cultured with some Shakespeare but don’t have the time or attention span to watch a Bell Production (or otherwise). This was a perfectly timed performance and included all the best bits of the bard.
Highlights: every time James and Liam were in perfectly sync. So well practised.
Lowlights: this was meant to be a street theatre performance and probably would have been better suited to the street instead of a theatre’s courtyard.
From here I ducked around the corner to The Factory Theatre for Genevieve Fricker has too many feelings. This show had been sold out for many days and because of this the standard had probably been set unfairly high. The show had many hilarious moments and Gen proved that she will be one to watch. Her show involved some straight stand up, some songs with her guitar and an audience Q and A session. Pat Magee also had a very funny cameo role plugging his own show.
Highlights: All of her songs are brilliant and when she picked on her mum during the Q and A. During the Q and A, Gen was seemed most comfortable talking completely off the cuff and was very hilarious.
Lowlights: Technical difficulties, later solved by an audience member.
After an exhausting 7 SHOWS (Did I mention 7 FUCKING SHOWS IN THREE DAYS) I’ve definitely defeated my previous comedy viewing record and am looking forward to going to bed early tomorrow night before I do it all again next weekend. YAY!
Tonight I dragged my housemate along to the Factory Theatre. The last time I dragged her to a comedy show she a) fell in love with one of the guys from Dead Cat Bounce (who wouldnt those boys are adorable) and b) dragged me to a rugby game as repayment (i dont understand sport).
We had only planned on seeing two shows tonight but soon after arriving Pat Magee convinced us to see his brilliant little show again.
We started the night with Matt Okine: Bullets and Bear suits which had many funny moments, but seemed unpolished and not quite 100%. We were also informed early on that his girl friend was in the audience and her over zealous laughter a second or two before the punch line was off putting. This show definitely has potential, and I’m contemplating seeing it again late next week to see how it has developed.
Highlights: ”Maximus Povonius” The entire Jube jelly fish conceit and the crumpet guy, ill never look at crumpets without having flashbacks.
Lowlights: Trying to make horrible murder funny
Rhys Nicholson: Social Liability left me in stitches. As is always expected from Rhys. Nothing starts a show better than glitter and finishes it better with a life lesson (?). With Rhys no topic is off limits and the audience he now attracts knows this and can find what he does hilarious. My housemate (did I mention she hadnt heard of Rhys Nicholson before and I may have failed to mention just how much he talks about gay sex) still loved the show although she felt slightly confronted and left feeling a little less pristine. This show oozed with confidence and was nicely polished.
Highlights: the spark and spangle of the entire show. flawless.
Lowlights: Dabbling into politics lost a chunk of the audience for a moment
From Rhys’ show we moved straight into Pat Magee’s Do Not Trust The Following Animals. Tonight this show had been moved to a dramatically bigger venue that had less character. Despite this Pat still proved that he has chosen the correct career path. James Colley opened the show with many funny lines about spiders, looking forwarded to an hour of Colley, hint hint nudge nudge (i doubt he will ever read this). The show was as fabulous as last night. The only real difference I noticed was that the lack of segues had dimished, both good and bad.
Seeing Matt and Rhys tonight perform for an hour each was a fantastic experience because normally you are lucky to catch 5 minutes as they perform (normally along side Hing and Gen) as a warm up for another name. All four of these comics will very soon be the head liners they currently support.
SHUDDUP I KNOW THAT DIDNT MAKE MUCH SENSE, ITS LATE, IVE SEEN 5 COMEDY SHOWS IN 2 DAYS AND IM SEEING ANOTHER TOMORROW NIGHT AND I HAVE A BREAKFAST DATE TOMORROW AND WORK. SO SHHHHUSH