Small Tales of Little Mercy: A MICF Review

I took one of my best friends / housemate on a long overdue date night (the girl works too damn hard) to the Butterfly Club, which you can find at the end of an alleyway just off little Collins (you know, one of the classically Melbourne ones that somehow manages to be both bougie and creepy at the same time). We saw a Melbourne International Comedy Festival one-man show, Small Tales of Little Mercy by Martin Dunlop.

You know you’re going to have a good night when you walk into a lounge-styled bar that’s decked out, let’s be honest, very similarly to your own house – complete with book-lined walls, stacks of weird board games that nobody has ever heard of, and mulled wine (yep, we have that at home too, thanks to the gods at Aldi who supply poor uni students with shitty red wine for $2.99!).

We were told to wait in the weird bar/lounge area for a while, and we spent a fair amount of time debating whether or not to splurge on a drink we could make at home ourselves for a quarter of the price (and double the quantity!), before we were then called in to a small room that housed a dozen seats and a small stage. Nick Cave and the Bad Seed’s Red Right Hand was playing quietly in the background and we sat down on rickety foldout chairs that were tightly packed under the staircase we had just walked down.

Fairly promptly, “the Great Reverend” Martin Dunlop appeared from behind a white sheet that had a Christian cross painted haphazardly in the middle, almost knocking it down in the process, and told us (in a fairly believable south-American accent) four tales to pull the crowd from our lives of sin. The show was hilariously weird, endearingly charming, and seamlessly broke the forth wall when, after struggling to get a sentence out, he reminded himself “Martin if you’re going to write these things you’ve got to fucking say them”, or, when the projector stopped working mid show and he had to vamp a little until his girlfriend who was controlling the slides fixed it.

Albeit not particularly technologically advanced, the show was a very entertaining Sunday night activity, and provided a good breakup from the standard stand-up routines you usually find at the festival.

Small Tales of Little Mercy is playing at The Butterfly Club as part of the Melbourne International Comedy Festival until Sunday 21st April.

Anna McShane-Potts

The author Anna McShane-Potts

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