And here they are, all ranked. Love that nearly all of them were free. Mmm, specialness.
I also saw The Comedy Zone. The brilliant Dave Callan MCed (I wonder why he didn't do a show? Apparently he did one at Adelaide. Hopefully next year). Standout was Michael Workman, Warren Milera also had tremendous energy. Charles Barrington (Andy Rodger) is one to look out for, Emma Zammit and Shayne Hunter are still quite green. Tricky to slot the show anywhere, as the comedians should be rated separately.
-------------------Amazing, Wonderful Shows---------------
1. ASHER TRELEAVEN - SECRET DOOR I must admit, his poster for last year’s show annoyed me to such an extent that I didn’t see him (like Melinda Buttle this year, with her ironic gang signs). I gave him a chance after a few glowing reviews and was so, so glad. Weird, impeccably dressed and directed, the man is a master of movement. And campness.
2. THE AXIS OF AWESOME - INFINITY ROCK EXPLOSION! Love them. What’s more, Ben, the keyboardist, is one of the loveliest guys I’ve met. The other two, a little standoffish. Anyway, their show. I think I reviewed them before. They’re brill, and tight as fuck.
3. ANDREW O'NEILL - OCCULT COMEDIAN A metalhead, hetero trannie? It could have gone very badly. But he’s a pro, utterly skilled, immensely likable and a joy to watch. I'd love to have a (platonic) drink with him.
4. SAM SIMMONS - FAIL One of the best working comedians in Australia. Not random, just bizarre.
5. CARDINAL BURNS Very English, sketch goodness.
6. SAM SIMMONS & DAVID QUIRK - THE INCIDENT Have you ever been touched inappropriately in a shop?
7. ANDREW MCCLELLAND'S SOMEWHAT ACCURATE HISTORY OF THE FALL OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE More classic stuff from someone who should have much more work/fame than he does. It’s odd that he doesn’t and Peter Helliar does.
8. TOM GREEN - WORLD STANDUP COMEDY TOUR Could have gone either way. He paced like a tiger in a tiny cage. Very candid. Worth a whole extra star just because it was such a kick seeing someone I was so obsessed with when I was 18, 19.
9. HENRY ROLLINS - FREQUENT FLYER TOUR 2.5 hours without taking a drink or changing position. How dies his mic arm not get tired?!
10. F+CK, A LOVE STORY: OR WHY EMMA WILL NEVER GET LAID IN THIS TOWN AGAIN! Emma Sachsse is beautiful. And she has a lovely speaking voice. It was difficult to focus on her material, as I kept getting sucked into her gorgeousness. Which was annoying, since her stuff was funny, well written and honest. She talks about sex in parameters she’s comfortable with, and as such wisely only touches briefly on kink and not at all on queerness. Though I agreed with the majority of what she said, in a perfect world there wouldn’t be a need for her show (and I’m sure she agrees!)
11. TALKING POOFY SCOTT BRENNAN, ADAM RICHARD & TOBY SULLIVAN What you’d expect. Three fags talkin’ poofy. I’ve never seen Scott Brennan before, in future I’ll watch out for him. Adam was, as always, Adam. Love him.
12. CLAUDIA O'DOHERTY - MONSTER OF THE DEEP 3D As reviewed below, when I thought I’d have time to review the shows I saw. Oops.
13. TIM KEY - THE SLUTCRACKER As above.
-------------------Still Recommended Shows---------------
14. JOSH EARL VS. THE AUSTRALIAN WOMEN'S WEEKLY CHILDREN'S BIRTHDAY CAKE BOOK I’d never seen anything of his. He had songs! A little twee (though, come on Desci, it was a show about birthday cakes), and I could do without the hiphop (an overused convention in comedy, I think). But still very funny.
15. NICK SUN - JOYMEAT Initially I thought, ‘fuck, this man is a genius’. He tended to lose me throughout, but I still love him, Frangipani.
16. FELICITY WARD READS FROM THE BOOK OF MORON Funny, loved the addition of her ‘dog’.
17. CELIA PACQUOLA IN FLYING SOLOS Her star shines brightly. Well-written second show. She will be dominating the world in five years.
18. GOOD EVENING: THE SKETCHES OF PETER COOK & DUDLEY MOORE STARRING SHAUN MICALLEF & STEPHEN CURRY The set. My god, the set. So classy and lovely. Comforting comedy, nostalgic but not stale.
19. KALE BOGDANOVS - SYMPATHY FOR THE DEVIL Serendipitous find. Though he needs a hairband and a shave. Tiny audience but consistent laughs and an absolute corker of an ending.
20. LIN DONG FU MADE IN CHINA (OR, HOW SHANGHAI SLIM FOUND JAZZ) Broad, but he was utterly charming and immensely likeable. And his white linen pinstripe suit was just cunty fierce. Best dressed person of the festival (second was Emma, third was Asher. Fourth, Kelly Fastuca)
21. MATT ELSBURY - ADVICE YOU SHOULDN'T NEED A little ‘samey’ from his last year show, but still super solid and recommended.
22. ROBOT VS. WORLD Costumes/puppetry that was both slick and charmingly homemade-looking. Worth it for the foul-mouthed Dalek.
23. RICH FULCHER - AN EVENING WITH ELEANOR: THE TOUR WHORE Disappointing. Could have been amazing, but I wanted more. Boyfriend and I saw her for SHEaster (when one sees a drag queen on Easter Sunday). He hated it, I thought it was mostly bland punctuated with shards of genius. Having said that, the audience laughed uproariously throughout.
24. LOU SANZ - PLEASE DON'T USE MY FLANNEL FOR THAT: A MEMOIR A hugely engaging stage presence. Nearly unnerving. In that way, she’s one of the best at the festival. The show was tightly written and intriguing. The only setback was that throughout her story, parts felt obviously made up or exaggerated. All I needed was a ‘this entire story is true’ or similar at the start, and I wouldn’t have been distracted the whole time thinking about what was true and what wasn’t. (Just never read her blog. The typos, misspellings and gross crimes against grammar and punctuation make this one look utterly faultless!)
25. PIP COMIC ILLUSIONIST - THE FUNNY SIDE OF PRESTIDIGITATION One to watch as he gets older and even more polished. Can’t wait to see his next show.
26. THE BIRDMANN - BIRDMANNIA I had an overwhelming feeling that he should have been in one of those channel 2 fringe variety shows in the 90s (The Big Gig, Glynn Nichols, etc). This is not to say his material was dated or stale. It just had that very specific ‘feeling’, a la Flacco. I’m doing a bad job of articulating it. A surprisingly sexy ending (I’m saying that knowing I’m a freak).
27. KELLY FASTUCA - TAKE ME OUT TO THE LOGIES She has the most beautiful singing voice. Professional and tight as all get out.
28. POET LAUREATE TELIA NEVILE - WHILE I'M AWAY Something different. The highlight was the poem about skiing. Highly watchable.
29. DAVE THORNTON - A DIFFERENT TYPE OF NORMAL Desci FAIL! I went to this thinking he was Dave Bloustien (who it appears didn’t do a show this year – wah!) It was no Bloustien, but entertaining enough. Broad-based appeal, I’d never heard of him but apparently he’s on Nova. Teary ending.
30. FESTIVAL CLUB First time, can you believe it? I’ve always wanted to, and only went once despite wanting to many other times.
31. SILENT DISCO It would have been brill if the music wasn’t so woeful.
-------------------The Line of No Longer Recommended Shows---------------
32. ROD QUANTOCK - THE PEOPLE WE SHOULD EAT FIRST (AND HOW TO COOK THEM) I love him, but I just didn’t feel it this year. I know that’s a bit of a sin. (He’s so accomplished, talking about such important stuff…)
33. COLOUR IN STEREO Will be brilliant in two years or so.
34. MIKEY MILEOS - THESE ARE MY JOKES Predictable jokes, but he’s still green. Just not my type of humour really: more suited to regular Aussie blokes who think they’re alternative (not that he himself fits that stereotype, I don’t think. That’s just who would like him. Much like how, for example, the members of DAAS aren’t fat chicks).
35. ALL IN THE SAME BOAT: A SHIP LOAD OF LAUGHS My first foray into a full show of impro. Maybe it’s just not my bag. Frenetic pace and the team looked like pros. Rest of the audience liked it. If you like impro I’d recommend it, just watch out for one cast member who slips into an uneven American ‘acting’ accent now and again.
36. CHIP & MOO IN MR NATURAL: A BODYBUILDING ODYSSEY likable guys, but I didn’t laugh once. It was a shame. Again, though, to be fair, I was hungover. I went with two others, who were similarly unimpressed.
Zero Fucking Stars
37. TALKING DIRTY IN THE DARK I’ve already wasted enough time on them, below.
That's it. There were several dozen other shows I was dying to see, but didn't have the time.
Now you. What'd you see? Thoughts, comments?
16 minutes ago