Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Review: Andrew McClelland - We Really Must Do This Again Sometime

Andrew is one of the happiest and most energetic comedians going around. He gives it all on stage. His show is a mix of fantastic word play, sharp observations all punctuated by some singing and dancing.

Performing in a “room” at the Forum Theatre. I say room because it feels like a converted closet, furnished with church pews., despite the ever increasing heat in the room everyone of the more than sold out audience enthusiastically joined in the final song.

Melbourne loves its comedy, but not enough to respect the start time. More than 50% of McClelland’s audience arrived more than 10 minutes into the show.  Whilst it disrupted the flow of his prepared material it did not halt the laughs. In Andrew’s words “I loved the show the best part was the logistics.”

Actually the best part was the drinking song. It is difficult to pick just one highlight in such a constantly funny show.

Review: The Mighty Little Puppet Show

This show lives up to its name, it is definitely mighty, contains puppets and is without doubt a show, unfortunately performing to a small crowd.

This may be due, at least in part, that it is a show that is difficult to define. It is a little bit Muppets, a little bit musical, a little bit drama and a lot of improv. Whatever it is it is entertaining and funny.

This show is just plain silly, in the best possible way.

Each show will include a special guest , from a line up of some of the most experienced improve performers in Australia. The guest carries a big chunk of the workload along with accompanying pianist Matthew Hadgraft who does not stop playing throughout the entire show.

I was sitting next to Denise Scott, queen of Australian comedy and Barry Award winner, and she giggled throughout the show (so did everyone else).

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Review: Tripod - 101 Hits

Tripod are celebrating 20 years of performing together having started on Hey Hey It’s Saturday: Red Faces. Now easily one of Australia’s  if not the world’s greatest music comedy acts.

To celebrate their two decades together they are performing 101 hits. Each show contains approximately 10-12 songs but the list of songs will be different each night. To select the songs  there are 101 numbered balls in a bingo spinner. Each number links to a specific song, so if the number is selected they sing the song. Simple.

Although the songs themselves are unpredictable the show guarantees laughs, even better harmonies, word play and musicianship.. The repartee between the boys is smooth and refined, as expected of a group who have performed for so long together. Every now and again they surprise and genuinely amuse each other.

For people who argue that Tripod found an easy way out of writing material for a show I say this may be the hardest most ambitious show any act is performing in this year’s festival.  In an hour long music comedy show there is normally 8-12 songs. Scod, Yon and Gatesy have rehearsed and memorised 101 songs to a level that is stage ready and can sing any of them with only a moment’s notice.

Stick around after the show to grab an autograph,  photograph or to by the song book. All three of the guys are very generous and warm towards their fans taking the time to chat to all of them.

Here’s to another 20 years!

Photography: Vignette
A lot of photography articles and manuals will talk about Vignetting without really describing what it is. Vignetting is light fall off and it is common. It means that the corners and edges of an image are darker than the centre of the frame.

Vignette is either caused by optics, or in photography it can be added during post-production editing.

To learn more about vignetting and other free photography lessons visit 

Monday, March 28, 2016

Review: Silent Comedy Festival

Like with the silent disco the audience are all wearing headphones. To make the concept come alive the audience is situated in a public space so that people without a ticket can see but not hear what is going on. For this show it is in the outside bar at Arbory on the banks of the Yarra (bring a jacket). Although listening in a rather private manner – headphones on – it is a uniquely bonding experience as the audience are like an exclusive club.

The show consists of an emcee and three comedians each doing approximately 15 minutes of material. The line up will change every night.

Tonight I had the great pleasure of hearing Yianni Agislaou who completely smashed it, including some great jokes for the PSA officers at Flinders Street Station who were handed headphones to listen in for a few minutes.

Returning for his second festival is Sam Taunton performing in this years Comedy Zone. It is easy to see why he was a finalist in Raw Comedy in 2015.

The final performer for my show was Umit Bali performing in “Aussie at Last” in this year’s festival. He makes some very entertaining observations about being a Bali born Indian with a Turkish name living in Australia.