Friday, 25 October 2013

Always More Room For Comedy

The already packed Melbourne entertainment scene has just been joined by a great new comedy room at The Wilde on Gertrude Street.
Organised by the 'Charmingly Useless'(TM) Neil Sinclair, Comedy Fight Club provides nigh-on two hours of fresh stand-up for the discerning comedy aficionado - or a tonne of laughs for a fiver, if you prefer.
As I have already been labelled a 'comedy whore' by none other than Australia's Honest Conman Nicholas J. Johnson I felt duty-bound to attend this first night.
The upstairs room of The Wilde would make an excellent setting for a Victorian period ghost story with its dark wooden surrounds, eldritch ornamentation, ancient leather upholstered furniture and - bizarrely - iron bars across the windows. As the setting for an evening of new comedy it works perfectly, providing inspiration for lines through its creepy décor and ornamentation.
Any comedy room stands or falls on the strength of the compère. Fortunately, Sinclair had secured the services of a true professional. Lawrence Mooney is a veteran of the Melbourne comedy scene who keeps the crowd laughing and enthusiastic throughout without stealing the thunder of his lesser-known colleagues.
The evening was split into two brackets each featuring an equal number of comedians from places as exotic as Somalia and Adelaide and the laughs never faltered.
The first rule of Comedy Fight Club is - LAUGH YOU BASTARDS! And laugh we most certainly did.
We were treated to eight acts in total, aside from our MC. The two headliners - Tegan Higginbotham and Jimmy James Eaton - both had the audience laughing from the moment each took to the floor.
Tegan's material covered such topics as ageing (c'mon - she's still in her twenties!), trying to be sexy and her love of sports. All delivered with her characteristic bright and perky demeanour.
Eaton's material is very free form and all the more hilarious for it. In amongst his prepared material he happily prowls the space, picking-up various objects and creating some truly bizarre ideas which simultaneously baffle and amuse.
The six less seasoned comedians on the bill each had their bright moments to shine.
For the first bracket Taco started things off and kept the audience laughing throughout his five minutes (ten - nobody stuck to time) with some very polished material.
He was followed by Mo Mann - a South African/Somalian comedian living in Australia - who rattled through his material at breakneck speed leaving the audience dazed and confused yet laughing in his wake.
To round out the first set there was the wonderfully surreal Colin Bronze (Dean Watson) a seemingly quiet, nervous nerd in a tanktop reading surreal lists of - well - stuff.
Following a break for refreshments the second bracket commenced with the delightful Claire Sullivan who gave a short, punchy set touching on break-ups, pick-ups and vomiting on shoes.
She was followed by Angus Hodge whom I had last seen appearing in 'Wolf Creek - The Musical' who mused on the difficulties of maintaining a macho front in the face of shampoo.
Our final young comedian was Tom McMahon whose style foreshadowed that of Eaton whereby he made various observations about the venue, riffing off the decor and positing a hilariously ludicrous scenario for there being bars across all of the first-floor windows.
Comedy Fight-Club has got to a great start and should be well worth a visit during what will be a series of weekly shows.
The after-show orgy organised by Lawrence Mooney was a disappointment, though.

No comments:

Post a Comment