Monday, October 02, 2006

Melbourne Fringe Festival Recommendations from Mr Angry

Here in Melbourne, the city that fancies itself as Australia's arts capital, it's Fringe Festival time. There are quite a few events here during the year that allow for much entertainment to be had, the Fringe is one where you can often find up-and-comers who will one day be world famous. Or at least be on TV. And then you can tell everyone how cool you are because you saw them before they were famous.

As I mentioned in a previous post, I was lucky enough to see some previews a few weeks ago of shows that are in the Fringe. They were all really good, so here are the details I promised to provide:

What... Me Worry (Dave Thornton). Of the shows I saw, this was the only one I'd classify as a "traditional" standup performance - one man spending an hour telling you funny stories. This bloke is pure Oz; a laid back, entertaining storyteller with a great sense of timing and his own view of the world. Dave covers everything from dealing with stress by entering the running of the bulls in Pamplona to why he wants to be a Jedi. He's performing at the Terminus Hotel in Abbotsford each night with ticket prices ranging from $10 to $16.

The Universe is Parmigiana (Tommy Dassalo). You know you're in for an interesting time when your host wants to relate a philosophy that revolves around Chicken Parmagiana. With Tommy, the humble "Parma" is not just Australia's quintessential pub food, it's possibly the most significant achievement of the human race. Plus I'm an instant fan of anybody who can work Wikipedia jokes into their show. Tommy is performing at the North Melbourne Town Hall with ticket prices from $13.50 - $16.50.

I Can't Help Myself (Dave Bushell). Dave brings us American celebrity self-help guru Dr. Alex McFarlane. In an hour that promises to help us kick a goal on the Field of Life, Dr Alex will tell you five things that will change your life. Despite the fact that the good doctor may need a little more work on his own personal life. Dave is performing at the North Melbourne Town Hall with ticket prices from $12 - $15.

Dave Bushell and Tommy Dassalo got a lot of attention and the Special Commendation award for Best Comedy when performing as a duo in their show "I Heart Racism" at last year's Fringe Festival. I saw that show earlier this year at the Melbourne Comedy Festival and it was really good and a crowd favourite. The good news is that both of their solo shows for this year's fringe are even better.

Which pretty much brings me to my "angry" angle for this piece (in case anybody was wondering what made me angry about these shows). Watching a couple of smartarse 20-year-olds doing so well totally pisses me off. I feel like a chronic under-achiever.

As I've mentioned before, these shows are all directed by my old college mate, Adrian Calear. I also saw a preview of a two-person play he's directing; a dramatic piece also well worth watching. I don't have the details of this show handy but I'll update this post when I know the details. Adrian also provided invaluable help and support to me when I had my little foray into live stand-up recently. Incidentally, I'm trying my luck again next Tuesday night so feel free to throw in more suggestions as to what material I should use this time. I'll be doing something completely different to last time, at the moment I'm leaning towards one of my traffic rants.

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