MICF 2015: Reviews #4 – by Lucy Watson
Wow. There really is something in the water this year. Walking out of a Sunburnt Country, I had to catch my breath – it’s a big show, with a big message and even bigger performances. I stumbled across these two guys a couple of years ago, because I love history and they were doing a show about the First Fleet. What they do is such a refreshing change to straight stand up that it’s a great antidote mid season. Their fast paced, multi character work is impressive, and their energetic physicality is a sea breeze in a hot field of static mic wielders. This year, it seems as though the guys felt restricted by their pure historical format, and have broken free – and boy have they broken free! From beginning to end this show is blistering in pace and energy, while they bounce from scene to scene, character to character, idea to idea. They wear their big lefty heart on their sleeve in this one too, and they really have something political to say. I imagine in years to come they will hone their message, make it more subtle, and perhaps tone down some of the more undergrad elements of their material, but their talent and charm is undeniable. They’re very good sketch writers, with almost all their sketches getting laughs (which is impressive in an hour long show) and they’re exceptional comedic actors. Their physical commitment is breathtaking. At one point I literally, audibly gasped for air! I’ll leave you to work out which part… This show is definitely worth checking out if you have a strong constitution (as some of it is… challenging), and/or a strong dislike for Tony Abbott and cohorts. They are certainly one to watch.
…and his Amazing Disappearing Enthusiasm.
Tucked away in a tiny room at The Forum, Alasdair ambles on stage, all unassuming in glasses, and button-up shirt. He is softly spoken, and takes his time, effortlessly harnessing a slight awkwardness to create an endearing vibe from the outset. He draws you in, the whole room listening, waiting, trusting he will take them somewhere. And quietly, and seemingly without trying, he does. It’s straight stand up, but where with some comedians you can see the strings, you know the techniques, with Alasdair you don’t really know how he’s doing it, but everyone is laughing. At points I was giggling hysterically, my face aching from smiling, and I couldn’t even tell you his jokes. It’s all in the delivery, his even-keeled charm. His disarming honesty and insight. His absolute likeability. I’ve seen some big performances this year, but Alasdair and his subdued style made me laugh more than any show I’ve seen yet. He just has a way of making us feel like we’re all in on the joke. And we love it. The show as a whole could use a little more crafting, but it has a narrative, and carries the audience along with ease. When he can hone a show to perfectly fit the hour-long format, and take those moments where he has the audience in hysterics, and run with them, he will truly be a force to be reckoned with.