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Melbourne International Comedy Festival Reviews Part Two

Nick Caddaye: He Didn’t Make It

By Christian Blackwell

Caddaye was dramatic from the beginning,he opened the affair looking like a principal ready to hand down a slap on the wrist. Yet Caddaye portrayed himself in a seriously humorous manner, descending from the top of a flight of winding stairs with a set of dead mackerel eyes. It was clear that Caddaye took himself as a no-nonsense comedian, and it seemed like his show was finely and definitively crafted in advance.

Caddaye reflects on modern society in a journalistic way, he has a certain gumption towards philosophical characters. He ponders deep into political ideas, and shows the audience an emotional yet witty side to himself. His reflection is eruditely commentated; he is simply quite clever and entertaining in his discussions of famous people.

Caddaye often struggled to find a thematic filament and his transitions from joke to joke was not great. The performance thrived on moments and segments of sheer passion, and plateaued in others.

The functionality of the performance was a little misunderstood due to some technical difficulties, but overall his amorous character and irritating habit of drinking helped him through it.

Caddaye was dry in some aspects of his delivery, and it could even be perceived as a bother or a bore to some. Maybe to others in the audience the performance was undeniably gaiety. The biggest thing holding Caddaye back is his use of tone and his mundane manner.

Caddaye is a comedian whose voice is worth listening to, ultimately witty and crafty. However it’s more of a matter of whether he can get a greater audience to listen to him. The 36 Year old is definitely worth 50 minutes to go see.

3.5/5

Nick Caddaye is performing at the Belleville (Globe Valley) off little Bourke St.

The Comedy Zone 

The odd bunch of Australian Talent.

By Roan Johnson

The Comedy Zone, as rightfully titled, is the centre for upcoming comedic talent. Having a multitude of extremely diverse acts from all around Australia, with incredibly different backgrounds, this event is great for all different types of comedy lovers to enjoy. In just the space of 60 minutes, we watch the 4 comedians, Nat Damena, Tim Hewitt, Rohan Ganju and Danielle Walker, plus MC for the night Tom Cashman each have their turn on the mic to share some stories, show some illustrations, and crack up some hilariously awkward puns.

Jam-packed into a fairly squished room, this intimate setting is first introduced by Sydney-based Tom Cashman. Being the MC for the night, we see Cashman’s anxiety driven observations throughout the night, taking a laugh on his own existential crisis. Being one of the better constants, he was definitely a reliable laugh, and a great filler in-between acts, having just enough energy to kickstart the night but never taking the spotlight from the others.

Next in this spotlight is the up and coming Nat Damena. Coming all the way from the WA, his chilled and relaxed attitude contrasts the conflicting content he discusses such as immigration and terrorism. It is then all neatly resolved with the final hilarious personal and highly relatable stories on life in Perth suburbs. Damena’s highly conversational act was a definite favourite and a certain star in the group.

Following up was the now Melbourne-based Tim Hewitt, who retells the brutal reality of what it’s like to visit the rents. Despite at times feeling as if he were venting to the audience, his loud remarks on his old golden coast life credibly represents him as the embodiment of the classic Aussie bloke from the Golden Coast.

Another classic for the night was Rohan Ganju’s very obscure and dark comedy. Ganju aims in the most uncomfortable way possible to shed light on a range of usually unspoken topics. In telling his stories of racism and sexism, his horribly crude one-liners are what makes his comedy so starkly unforgettable. Ganju’s fantastic final puns illustrated him as the next Napoleon dynamite with Pedro vibes.

And lastly bringing it home was Danielle Walker. Being both an artist and a comedian, we see the two intertwine with her visual representations of her mythical recreation of the Loch Ness monster. Although it’s unlike a comedian to laugh at their own jokes, her chipmunk-esc laugh ends every vulgar phrase. Luckily her laughs are never alone, as her unthinkable topics are a hilarious hit.

The Comedy Zone 2017 has really set the bar on group shows, as its diverse contributors are what make it an overall great show. Individually, each person stands out, but as a collective, we can view this event as an odd bunch of great Australian talent.

Rating 3.8/5

Steve Meagher: The Bonkers Show

The Worst in Show

Dylan Marshall

Steve Meagher’s ‘The Bonkers Show’ lives up to its name; it is completely, off-the-wall, bat shit crazy. Does Meagher’s madness make sense? Of course not. Is it funny? Not really, in fact, it seems like a show that was just quickly thrown together through random items Meagher could find at Kmart. For example, the piece ends with Meagher hitting Ping-Pong balls at his audience with plastic golf clubs… and that’s all. It’s senseless and unfunny, and I’m not just talking about the last part of the show.

It should be noted that Meagher’s show isn’t terrible, there is hardly a dull moment, and there are some excellent comedic elements thrown in, however these parts barely redeem the rest of the performance. Meagher uses his 45 minutes to slip between three different narratives periodically. The first the audience is introduced to is Meagher himself, as he takes a seat amongst the crowd in his blue singlet and orange swimming cap, complaining about the cancellation of the show and the lack of a refund. Fed up with the absence of a performer, the swim-ready ‘patron’ steps onto stage to entertain the anxious onlookers. These segments involve unimpressive magic, lacklustre stand-up and the aforementioned golfing. The opening of the ‘The Bonkers Show’ and some of Meagher’s initial interactions with the audience are promising and provide consistent laughs, but sadly the quality drops from there. Secondly, Meagher performs a three act, three people, three word tragedy by himself, accounting for what is probably the most underwhelming aspect of the show. These scenes are far too long, hard to follow and left the audience sharing weird glances with one another. Thankfully, the inclusion of the two-part narrative, involving the character ‘Steve the Dancing Guy’, was more well received, although the punch lines still felt far too obscure and lost all comprehension through the poor delivery. Neither of these parts could sustain a show on their own and felt like poor improvised comedy with a soundtrack. In contrast to other performances, it is obvious that not enough time was taken in improving and experimenting with the show, as the current version feels more like an initial brainstorm in one’s apartment then something that is actually part of the Melbourne International Comedy Festival.

Meagher’s act is nothing exciting, it may keep you engaged with constant movement and popular music, but it does little more then that; it draws your attention, but then completely takes that for granted. ‘The Bonkers Show’ is obviously targeting a niche market, yet it is still incredibly difficult to recommend to anyone, even those within that niche, especially with far superior comics, such as Tom Walker, experimenting with similar comedy, but doing it well.

1/5

Steve Meagher’s ‘The Bonkers Show’ is on at the Tasma Terrace until the 22nd of April, tickets are available through Try Booking.

Alex Williamson’s Make the World a Banter Place 

By Caitlin Rodrigues

Famous (or notorious) for his viral videos, Australian YouTube personality Alex Williamson has high expectations to meet in his latest comedy gig.

Alex Williamson performs his stand-up comedy show “Make the World a Banter Place” at the Athenaeum Theatre as part of Melbourne’s International Comedy festival.

It is 9:30 pm on a Wednesday night and the theatre is buzzing with a youthful, excited and mostly drunk audience. Williamson’s online popularity has undoubtedly translated into ticket sales, as no seat is left unoccupied.

Williamson begins chatting with the audience like he is chatting with a group of close mates. It is less than 30 seconds before he whips out the c-word, immediately setting an offensive tone for the show. Williamson speaks of his horror Tinder stories, his hatred for small children and his encounters with obsessive fans. It is clear that he has a natural flair for story-telling, and an ability to turn mundane personal anecdotes into comical humour. Williamson establishes a playful bond with the audience by singling out audience members and producing clever retorts, he has a quick wit and a sharp tongue.

Williamson knows where the line of moral and political correctness lies, and deliberately decides to go way beyond that line. He enters a whole new realm of comedy where no topic is off limits – not even rape, paedophilia, or the trivialization of war. Williamson’s wicked sense of humour is an acquired taste, but his cheeky wit and nonchalant persona will have you laughing at things that you know you shouldn’t laugh at.

“Make the World a Banter Place” targets a certain type of person. The show is not for the easily-offended. The audience should be prepared for incorrectness, and willing to endure it for an hour. Despite a few “too far” moments, Williamson does a good job at pleasing his crowd.

If you’re not afraid of going to hell, go see Alex Williamson.

If you laugh, it’s nothing a few Hail Mary’s can’t fix.

3/5

Alex Williamson’s Make a World a Banter Place shows at the Athenaeum Theatre until 23 April. 

Debbie Zukerman: The Gonzo Hour

45 Minutes Too Long

Dylan Marshall

The fact that a show titled ‘The Gonzo Hour’ is only 45 minutes long should provide you with a clear warning of the type of humour you’d expect from Debbie Zukerman. Throughout the festival, many of the performances I’ve seen have been absurd, pointless and even downright insane, but Zukerman’s comedy was simply nonsensical.

‘The Gonzo Hour’ has its fair share of laughs, but the amount of filler and gaps in-between make even a 45-minute show seem too long. Starting her show in a yellow rain coat and making use of a European accent, Zukerman acts as a gleeful, upbeat individual, smiling joyously as she puts on different hats and personalities, leads her audience in playful chants and plays an enthusiastic game of pass the parcel. It’s the type of humour that if you are prepared to experience might garner a chuckle, but overall isn’t overly innovative, poignant or different. After this prolonged intro, Zukerman transforms into a yoga-enthused professor for the rest of the show, again starting simple chants and presenting moments of levity in her physicality and repetitive musical flair. Yet the show still struggles here. Jokes are not clear, with much of the humour presumably arising from Zukerman’s ridiculous stances and line delivery, as the lines themselves are not funny enough to trigger a laugh. In fact, many of the biggest laughs come from the unplanned moments, but simultaneously these incidents only contribute to proving that Zukerman’s show was not refined, polished or professional. Even though she concluded the show with a bright, colourful finale, it still fealt as if ‘The Gonzo Hour’ had long since outstayed its welcome. Like most of the show, the jokes were too vague and scattered for any comical value to be to found in Zukerman’s madness, unless she was performing to, what I presume was her intended audience, four-year-olds.

Compared to the other offerings at this year’s comedy festival, ‘The Gonzo Hour’ simply does not compete, lacking originality, consistency and potency. Zukerman obviously has a love for her work, but it is not a love most people will be able to share.

1.5/5

Debbie Zukerman’s ‘The Gonzo Hour’ is on at the Tasma Terrace until the 22nd of April, tickets are available through Trybooking.

 

Dylan Marshall

The author Dylan Marshall

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