All posts filed under: Reviews

The stars of the Melbourne Cabaret Festival 2017

For fans of the fun, frivolity and straight out pure talent enjoyment that comes with quality cabaret, this years’ Melbourne Cabaret Festival, now in its eighth year promises to be one that fans of the genre will love. We recently caught up with one of our besties, the fabulous Dolly Diamond, who is this year’s Artistic Director, Jon Jackson from “Queen of Broadway – The Ethel Merman Story” and Danielle O’Malley, star of “You’re my world – the Cilla Black Story” But first, darling Dolly: Dolly, how did you feel when you were appointed artistic director of the 2017 Melbourne Cabaret Festival? When they first mentioned (it) I think a little bit of wee left me… (It happens) and normally I jump in where angels fear to tread, but this time I actually took a bit of time to think about it. I wanted to be sure I could commit to it and do a good job… but once I said yes I was thrilled. How are you going to make your mark on this …

Review: 1984

Where are you now, Winston? An audience of a certain age will have been introduced to 1984 by the way of a forced Year 10 curriculum reading – not the most inspiring start, and definitely ironic given the themes of a story about dissent and questioning a system. For me, 1984 was a novel that made you consider the Powers That Be, contemplate dystopia as a far off concept, and get an A- on your essay about it. Over a decade later, sitting in the Comedy Theatre, Melbourne (irony, once more) Dystopia was made front and centre. Produced by UK theatrical innovators Headlong along with Nottingham Playhouse and the Almeida Theatre, this retelling of the story of Winston Smith does not for one moment let the audience catch a breath, and fully captures the sense of unease that George Orwell attempts to express, as we watch Winston fight, struggle and question everything – including his own sanity. While the use of set and props was fantastic, the experience, in my opinion, has to be completely …

No Ifs, just Putts – Melbourne’s new indoor mini golf is teeing off

There is a graph somewhere in the universe that places all people in Melbourne on a spectrum. At one end of the spectrum is people who love the city for a lazy lunch, cheeky drink or just generally doing very little while consuming delicious calories to their hearts content. At the other end is the people who love to move and explore. Probably wearing sensible shoes with arch support, these people adore bubble soccer, know to the block the nearest rock climbing centre, and always book a hotel with a gym. If, like me, you sit somewhere in the middle, Melbourne has blessed us with the perfect spot to have a cocktail in one hand, and some kind of sporting accessory in the other – enter Holey Moley Mini Golf Bar. After gleefully donning your visor, enter a clash of pop culture and twee knick knacks and enjoy 27 themed courses, such as Game of Thrones and The Simpsons, while replacing your hard earned calorie deficit (Golf is a sport, right?) on cocktails like Happy Gilmoreo (Chambord …

Review: RENT

Last night I climbed the stairs to the Athenaeum 2 theatre to check out the Federation University student performance of RENT. Don’t judge, but for someone who adores musical theatre, I’d never seen this iconic show, so it was fairly safe to say that, I was pretty excited to be seeing it for the first time. Most people are familiar with the premise of RENT. Set in the late 1980’s, in the colorful Alphabet City precinct of New York’s bohemian East Village, a group of struggling, penniless artists live, love and try to survive. Ahead of its time, RENT looks at the fear, horror and loss associated with the AIDS epidemic of the time, and lightheartedly tackles topics like sexuality, drug addiction, homelessness and corporate greed. Performed in a relatively intimate space, the set was super funky, with the audience members sitting right up close to the action, allowing the cast to interact with them on a more personal level. The cast was nothing short of brilliant, each performer perfectly matched to their character, and …

MICF Review: Burn the Witch

Last week we checked out Melbourne International Comedy Festival show Burn the Witch on it’s opening night at the Butterfly Club, a tale set in a small English Village in the 1650’s, a village which keeps experiencing the mysterious disappearance of their children. Witchhunter General Dunlop and his comical, cockney assistant, Jennifer are engaged to get to the bottom of the conundrum and take the audience on a whodunnit style journey to get there. Written by and starring Martin Dunlop and Bec Petraitis, Burn the Witch has a great story to tell, a story that unfolds naturally for the audience with intelligent jokes, ironic humor and energy in abundance. The acting was brilliant, both Martin and Bec really engaged with the audience, and continued to hit the mark with their constant, sometimes dark, humour. For us, the speed of the execution was the only let down, particularly at the 10pm timeslot, the narrative moved from scene to scene at lightening fast pace, which made it a little hard to follow. And did they end up …

MICF Review: Songs in the Key of Awesomesause

Matt Kilpa’s Melbourne International Comedy Festival show starts with an introduction song which instantly makes us think of the Mighty Boosh, and it’s a great way to describe Songs in the Key of Awesomesauce, sort of inspired by Flight of the Conchords, throw in a touch of the Boosh-style quirky delivery – and mix it with some cool, original material, for 45 minutes of laughs. One man, a guitar, and a bunch of funny songs. Matt’s debut solo show show is pretty fast paced, the songs are nice and short, just long enough to be punchy, but not too long that the audience drifts off, as he very easily moves to the next subject matter. Our personal favourites were the initial workings of his ‘Captain Planet the Musical’ project, where everyone knows that Planeteer Ma’Ti has the lamest power – the power of heart, a topic that any kid that grew up in the 90’s knows about, a parody set to the Dolly Parton classic, Jolene (about a certain red-haired politician), and a song about …

MICF Review: No Tips For Keith Cheng?

Guest reviewer: Shannon Murphy On Wednesday night, we were invited to check out Keith Cheng’s debut Melbourne International Comedy Festival show “No Tips For Keith Cheng?”. This culturally diverse show was MC’d by Melbourne’s own Damian Cosgriff, whose punny goodness and one liners warmed up the crowd, before support act, Singaporean import, Wei got the show rolling. Our introduction to our main act advises that Hong Kong born Keith, has been a regular on the Brisbane comedy scene and his talents have previously seen him as a Finalist (2012) and Runner Up (2013) in the Queensland division of Australian’s biggest open mic comedy competition, Triple J’s Raw Comedy.  Keith’s arrival to the stage was facilitated via a fist bump with the MC, with Cheng confessing it’ll be the only time he gets to successfully punch a white guy. Cheng pushes the envelope on taste with his self proclaimed “Terrible Jokes of The Night”, a title that says it all and garners gasps, chuckles and full out laughter from the audience.  A walk out at this …