I caught up with Cal Wilson in the middle of her season in the Melbourne International Comedy Festival about the show that she’ll be bringing to NZ in a few weeks.
I’ll be there on opening night, and I hope to see you there too..
An interesting night of RAW this week, after I missed it last week, I was excited to hear that the fantastic Jesse Griffin was MCing, though more than a little disappointed his cowboy hat wearing, guitar playing friend wasn’t going to make an appearance. Jesse came out to a two-thirds empty room that was mostly full by the half-time break. He showed off his experience at TV filmings by using his hands to conduct various levels of applause, and he’d have made the “Aggressive Researcher” for 7Days proud.
Covering topics, such as how he can tell his career’s on the way down, and cracking on to some of the more semitic members of the audience, most of the reactions came from a largely quiet room giving little more than polite laughs.
The first of the act of the evening was a comedian who seemed (from his introduction) very well travelled, but for someone of that experience, it doesn’t seem he gets out very much. Covering topics of his stagefright, and lavatory conversation, it became clear that his stagefright didn’t extend to the stage. This comedian started slow but by the end of the show was getting some very good laughs from a previously very cold crowd.
The next act was a semi-self-depreciating comic who was kicking arse from his first gags. This comic knew how to put himself down enough to get laughs, but clearly knew when to stop, so he didn’t just look desperate. Some of this comic’s material was very topical which gave the impression that while the lines were very tight, and well polished, they hadn’t been sitting in a notebook for five years getting looked at once a moth. A very dry comic who has a helluva lot of potential. I’ve not seen this man on stage before, and if this was indeed his first time, I want to know where he’s been hiding before now, and why.
Our burlesque comedienne was back for her first heat this week. This “Gindian” comic was rolling out clearly new gear, as I’d not heard any of it from the last time I saw her perform a few weeks ago, which is very impressive, as some people find it very hard to write six minutes of new material, have it that well rehearsed, and then not revert to the “old stuff” as soon as the first punchline doesn’t go down as well as planned. This set was fantastic, though it needs to be polished, I have a feeling some of the lines coming out could get some massive laughs down the track. Though I wouldn’t recommend she quit her dayjob to become a human beatbox.
I saw my first musical act of the RAW contest. Perhaps next time I’d recommend putting them as the first act of the second half, as half of their six minutes was spent setting up. I don’t think the room was prepared for what come forth, as for the most part, they were recieved with stunned silence. Some well versed somgs expressing their love for their hometown of Hamilton, that may have gone down better at a bar, but certainly showed a lot of potential.
The first comic of the second half started out with a safety warning, then proceeded to express some empathy for smokers. Judging from the reactions of this act, and the amount of “yessss” and “fuuuck yesss” coming from this comic, I suspect she picks only one activity to smoke after, but her set was well recieved by both smokers in the room, and most of the rest of the room.
I honestly didn’t know what to write about Scene Two Act Two, who was possibly the estranged/deranged sibling of a well known NZ Comedian of the same surname, making “funny noises” and rantings that would fail to entertain a three year old, but seemed to keep the “beer enthusiasts” in the room well amused. Some basic stripping followed by somewhat delusion, and mass confusion from the audience when he announced he’d spent three months rehearsing for this show. I’m wondering why.
The next act delivered a very tight set which covered a wide range of well segued topics. Lichtenstein got an early mention for the Raw Quest, and by “Early Mention” I point out that it was mentioned at all. Delivering an accurate portrayal of Auckland Drivers, this comic delivered his own take on the new road rules, and reinforced my lifestyle choice of being a permanent pedestrian.
This was quickly followed by a self claimed Mummy’s Boy, who, if he’s looking to break that bond, and get a little distance, could take some card-writing lessons from our first female performer of the evening. A little confounding when accents disappeared completely during a set, to return later, stronger than ever. I can honesly say it was the first time I’ve ever seen a performer serenade a Marmite Jar, and I’d be a little caucious if I purchased it from him over trademe, for the possibility that it may have been rendered “Cheesymite 2.0”. Though I must say, this comic’s interpretations of dirty-talking transformers could finally provide a good career option for Megan Fox, as an internet based webcam user.
The last act of the evening used travel stories to “fluff” the audience, the second comedian of this quest that I’ve seen “burn” a few of his precious six minutes talking about what other comedians have done during their sets. After that, once he’d settled into his rhythmn, we managed to hear how this comedian pumps himself up in the shower, and about his KFC fandom and gastro difficulties.
Overall a well-varied night of performances, with some very strong acts, and I look forward to seeing who out of the comedians I’ve seen, make it through to the Semi Finals.
Some tips I picked up on:
I caught up with @GordonSouthern in the Green Room at The Classic after his last show here in Auckland in February. Read below to find out about this year’s show, and his experiences as a full-time comedian for the last 16 years.
Andy Clay is bringing his second play to the NZ International Comedy Festival this year. Produced by the Tonacious Toni Tippett, and directed by the fantastic Jeremy Elwood this show is already looking really good.
Have a read below for my chat with Andy and keep an eye on this blog, for I’m going to be having a chat with the wonderful First-Time producer for the Comedy Fest, to see what bringing a show like this to the festival is like, for a first timer.
Raw This week, heat three was showing a fantastic amount of potential before I even got to The Classic. The front bar was close to full, and there were substantially sized knots of people outside. I figured this was going to be a great show. The unfortunate lack of Stella Graham, due to an unfortunate weather based flight diversion to Wellington, meant that our host was the very talented Vaughan King.
In the front bar, I noticed the heckler from TJ McDonald’s show “Glen”, who did remain surprisingly quiet this week. I must admit, this wasn’t a bad thing from the performer’s point of view, but I’ve never seen Vaughan King take on a heckler before, so I was a teeny bit disappointed.
I had a chat with Jeremy Elwood about his Comedy history, and what He’s bringing to the festival this year.
The links and details of his show are below, and if you’re not sure (though be careful, these may sell out very quickly), I’ll be seeing Jeremy’s show on the 28th of April, and you can expect a blog about it, so you can make the decision to go, after that!
The FanFiction Comedy gang are heading to Melbourne, AUSTRALIA for the famous Melbourne International Comedy Festival!
This is very exciting! But also very expensive :-(
So we are holding a FUNDRAISER POP QUIZ!
I’m really excited this morning! Two shows going on Pre-Sale!
The 5 Star Comedy Preview 2012 http://drake.net.nz/x2k5k3
The Comedy Gala http://buytickets.co.nz
These are available from 9:00AM this morning!
I caught up with the fantastic Steve Wrigley and the wonderful Justine Smith at The Classic after the first Raw Comedy night of 2012. Below are the transcripts of the conversation. The audio for this (despite the hilarity that ensued) probably won’t be made available, due to the amount of stuff I’d have to censor, due to incriminating stories told, poor jokes on my part, and inside information mentioned.
Don’t forget, you can find Jussi and Steve, with Dai Henwood’s podcast HERE.
Tonight’s MC, Billy T award nominee Guy Williams comes down onto the stage to a rather quiet, and vacant room at the classic. His energy reflecting that which he’d like to see from the crowd, rather than the response he was receiving. An interesting heckler (possibly on his first night, much like many of the comedians present), by the name of Kase, or Kane, bought himself to the attention of the room with heckles probably pulled from a third former’s guidebook.
The first two acts were absolutely fantastic, certainly showing a lot of potential. I can honestly say the first time I’ve ever seen someone literally steal the show from the MC. A fantastic example of two people with a lot of comedic potential, which were quickly followed by the first (and by no means last) poo jokes of the evening, bought to us by a lovely comedienne who’d done a few sets a while back, but this was her first stage time in a long time, and her experience, and understanding of the formulation of the joke was blatantly obvious. Her mothering experience bought back painful memories of how many wooden spoons were broken over my arse in my younger days.
Later in the evening came a budding comedian who bought out stories from his life, and for the first time I’ve ever seen, bought a story to the stage, that was something that happened to him when he was at another comedian’s show, in the audience.
Eventually, just before the end of the first half, the room seemed to warm up, and began responding to the seventh comedian of the night, who managed to illicit some of the best laughs of the night.
After the break we had another six two comedians. The first two had difficulty getting much reaction from the audience, including one who managed to bring material outlining the differences between cats and dogs, which didn’t manage to get much of a response from the assembled crowd.
Then came on a comedian who managed to bring an energy that immediately made me think of Jan Maree, a comedian who grabbed the audience’s attention with a trick, or a tactic that caught them off guard. I didn’t get a chance to speak to this guy after the show, to find out if it was intentional or not. If this gentleman intentionally bought this to the table to grab the audience’s attention, very well done on his part. If it was a fluke, I hope he runs with it, and learns the power of it.
Overall a very interesting night of RAW comedy:
Bring on next week!
Note: You can find the details on this year’s RAW Comedy’s final here: http://www.facebook.com/events/372774586075721/
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