MICF 2015: Reviews #1 – by Julian Callinan
Lawrence Mooney is one of Australia’s most well-established comedic presences, and this comes through loud and clear in his new show Surely Not. While not always the most cohesive of narratives, Mooney excels at getting the audience to laugh at things that might otherwise offend, exploring the humour in some fraught topics while flashing an impish grin. Light on his feet and liable to break into an expertly observed impression to illustrate his points, what initially starts as a personal story expands into a look at the much bigger picture while still evoking delighted laughs of specific recognition. There’s not much connective tissue and the subject matter is on the mature side, if that’s an issue, but he controls the crowd with the ease and flair of someone who knows exactly what he’s doing.
Not for Tony Abbott supporters or those overly reliant on euphemisms to get through life.
Lawrence Mooney is on at the Forum Theatre from the 26th March to 5th April, Tuesday to Saturday at 7 pm and Sunday at6pm, and at the Melbourne Town Hall from the 14th to the 19th of April, Tuesday to Saturday at 9.45 pm and Sunday at 8.45 pm.
Show runs for 60 minutes.
DeAnne Smith, Get Into It
DeAnne Smith’s exuberance lights up the stage as soon as she steps onto it. And while she’s had a tumultuous couple of months, her show isn’t about the big things, but instead her very funny way of relating how she goes through life. She also expertly handled an audience that included a couple of more vocal fans, incorporating and managing their contributions hilariously without losing either the interruptors or the rest of the audience. On point and vibrant, she held the audience in the palm of her hand as it felt like she was taking the room into her confidence. It’s a talent that earns devoted fans, especially her expected lesbian fanbase, and helped make the show feel too short. Indeed, when she said she’d been talking for forty-five minutes it felt more like fifteen. You kind of want to hug her when the show is over, which is great because she offers that chance later.
Not for lovers of small talk or those desperately clinging to the idea that scissoring is a thing.
DeAnne Smith is on at the Greek Centre from the 26th of March to the 19th of April, Tuesdays to Saturdays at 8.30 pm, Sundays at 7.30 pm.
Show runs for 60 minutes.
Hosted by Jon Bennett in a red cape and a pair of sparkly devil horns, Sinful Stories will feature three different comedians each night telling a story related to that night’s assigned deadly sin. So future audiences won’t be treated to Nicholas J Johnson on bingo, Robert Mond on bullies and Victoria Healy on Hanson. The interest came from hearing how three different comedians interpreted their topic, in this case envy, and how they related stories which felt like actual anecdotes rather than honed ‘bits’. As that suggests, it was more a show of amusement rather than guffaws – though Mond drew the most humour out of his search for popularity and the 70s educational video that betrayed him – but of course each night will be different, and some sins will certainly lend themselves to hilarity more than others. As lucky dip shows go, it has potential as a late-night palate cleanser.
Not for the saintly or those who believe in a literal Satan.
Sinful Stories is on at the Portland Hotel, Thursdays to Saturdays from the 26th of March to the 18th of April at 11 pm.
Show runs for 50 minutes.