Thursday, April 17, 2008

It's all over bar the pouting

Comedy, comedy, comedy. When the blazing sun /crisp winds of late March / early April come knocking on my bonce, I steady myself for the festival onslaught and hurriedly remind myself to immediately start storing sleep reserves (although I never do - I'm a fool). Then come the waves of laughter, the late night shenanigans and the liver bursting guzzling that would make Oliver Reed weep in his cups. So many acts, friends and strangers to see.

But....This year something was different.

I was exhausted. I simply couldn't handle the pace, let alone the comic demands and the imbalance of reality and fantasy ("Come to the Laugh Side Luke...") left me reeling.


That's not to say I didn't give it a red hot go...

The Lads: Jamie Robertson, Jon Williams, Jason Geary and Me c/o Buckley Photos

Late Nite Impro - because I directed this season the overwhelming sense of responsibility was huge (if somewhat unwarranted - I mean, c'mon, the show is so freaking simple...). The opening weekend was great, the cast hilarious and Rebecca De Unamuno and Deborah Frances White were perfect guests. And so it went for the rest of the run. We (Impro Melbourne) are lucky that the show has been around for quite some time now and has built up a strong following in Melb - hey, we never get reviewed by the major papers but we consistently sold out our houses which (in this fest) is an amazing feat in itself.

Paul McCarthy and I during Celebrity Theatresports - C/O the amazing Belinda at artsphotography.net.au

So much blue around the lack of audience members this year, it was a hot topic of conversation
for quite awhile... "did you hear - last year at this time they had sold 400, 000 tickets - this year only 160, 000.........groan..."

My heart goes out to all the poor buggers who did it tough this year and I thank my lucky stars that the Trades ended up passing on the show Rik Brown and I had proposed. It would have been a financial nightmare.

The Hi Fi was rocking the first night of Patton Oswalt's set - although severely jetlagged he held the crowd in the palm of his hand and treated us to a solid set of no-frills stand up that had me doubled up in laughter. I enjoyed the unabashed silliness of the boys in Pappy's Fun Club (god-how refreshing it was to just relax and laugh with impunity), Scratch had me shaking my head in awe at their improvised prowess and narrative logic, Comicide was in turns: laugh out loud and (happy) groan inducing (yeah baby- you know who you are), Blank the Musical knocked my socks off - with a spine-bruising finale to die for, iMPro3 Shuffle had me in stitches onstage and off, Kristen Schaal was a horse and I looked at her dance, looked at her move etc etc... House of Anomalous was back in a tighter package and deserved bigger audiences..... and a whole lot more.....

And...who could forget standing in a laneway at 4am in the morning with Amanda, Susie,
Arlen Konopaki, Kevin Gillese and Al Pitcher discussing the latest Mickey D misadventure, while two munted guys took a leak up against the opposite wall...

But the one stand-out-I'm-not-going-to-forget-this-in-a-hurry memory was when Rik broke his wrist during Celebrity Theatresports. I'll say this for him - when he does a pratfall - he COMMITS.
Celebrity Warm Up led by yours truly L-R Kevin Harrington, Derek Guille, Simon Dowling, John Chaplin-Fleming, Me, Daniel Cordeaux - artsphotography.net.au

It was wonderful to see so many friends again. I'm suffering from Post-Fest syndrome (feeling grey, wandering around the city streets at 3am looking for a venue and scratching at the door of the Trades Hall) and deeply envious of the guys in Sydney who are keeping the flag flying at the Cracker fest....

I need a comedy hit - and I need it now...



1 comment:

Amanda said...

.............sob. sigh. sniff. I know how you feel - and I am IN Sydney at Cracker - but I also have to work, which, for me, is unheard of in a comedy festival - and oh yeah, there are no such things as participant passes up here....what? Pay for comedy???? I don't think so ;)