MICF Review: “I’m not Harry Potter” performed by Gabriel Francis

I will admit, I’m a big fan of the Harry Potter franchise (Slytherins, represent!) so you can imagine my delight when I run into a young man outside the Melbourne Town Hall who has been gifted with the Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe) looks. He mentions the name of his show and adds that there are not many Harry Potter related jokes in his show. Not to be discouraged, I make a time to attend and grab a ticket and remember to bring my cloak and wand for the evening (seriously).

Fast forward almost a week and despite the show name, I find myself down a dark laneway in the city faced with a number of unmarked doors – no one is around and I speculate whether I should start knocking on doors and find out which one I should enter….for a show not intending to reference Harry Potter, it is starting with a very mysterious set of circumstances! In no time, the assortment of audience members are led into an intimate theatre, with a bar set into a bank vault – we may as well have been in the basement of Gringotts (the wizarding bank from Harry Potter)! Okay, okay enough with the Harry Potter references – I hear you.

On the stage is a paparazzi photo of Daniel Radcliffe from a movie premiere, propped up on a chair. Gabriel appears and warmly greets the audience, pointing out that he is not Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe), but asks the audience if they see a resemblance (a resounding YES!). Gabriel goes on to tell us stories about his time and adventures in Melbourne, and trips to places in Europe (Paris) and Japan. No topic seems to be off limits in this show, with Gabriel conjuring plenty of laughs as he recounts various drinking, dating and travel adventures (among other stories). Gabriel has a friendly personality, and at points during the show he would ask questions of various audience members (which I’m unaccustomed to). When some audience members sent a couple of one liners / jokes Gabriel’s way, he was able to laugh along or ‘disarm’ them in a relaxed fashion. Gabriel is able to lead the audience away with him during his stories, so the audience feels like they go on the same adventures with him.

I was sad when it was time to leave as I was enjoying Gabriel’s stories so much – everything seems a little more intriguing when the person looks like one of the most famous wizards in literary history! Coupled with the secretive location and stories from faraway places, I forgot that I was in Melbourne (my hometown) until it was time to leave. Gabriel was happy to hang around after the show and meet his audience and share an extra few laughs which was lovely.

VERDICT: Gabriel’s resemblance to Daniel Radcliffe, his engaging personality and surprising stories amount to him charming his audience with ease. An enjoyable show, just don’t tell him that ‘you know who’ sent you!

Tickets: https://www.comedyfestival.com.au/2017/shows/i-m-not-harry-potter#

MICF Review: “RanDOM” performed by Dom Chambers

You may think it’s a bit strange to be attending a magic show during a comedy festival, but let me assure you that “RanDOM” conjures up plenty of laughs amongst the amazing magic. It was a full house on the night I attended and the audience was eagerly awaiting the start of the show. I never really know what to expect during a magic show, and the audience was feeling the same way and buzzing with excitement.

People expecting a ‘stock standard’ classic magic show featuring perhaps some linking rings and some rope / card tricks will be surprised to learn that this show contains none of those items. “RanDOM” does away with many of the expectations and assumptions people may have about magic shows and vanishes them. Billed as ‘modern comedy magic’, the show delivers that in spades with Dom referencing certain well known YouTube videos featuring blenders, and touching on subjects like internet dating throughout the show. Dom himself is self depreciating, aware that magicians have some challenges in life (like being distrusted, and being seen as not having a ‘real’ job) however it is clear to all that Dom is superbly talented at magic. He often had the audience in the palm of his hand with his relaxed and witty banter. Being a magic show, this show has plenty of audience participation (but not of the ‘scary’ kind) – often audience members could be helping out from their seat. Dom comes across as larrikin – the guy at the bar that everyone wants to be friends with (just more magical!).

After the show, plenty of audience members were seen to be talking amongst themselves of all the wonder they’d just experienced. This is an exciting show, it will leave you leaning on the edge of your seat wanting more. The show is called “RanDOM” but I assure you that the laughs and enjoyable levels can’t be described as such.

VERDICT: perfect show for people who are unsure about magic shows, people who want something special and memorable alongside their comedy, or perhaps people who’ve “seen it all”. This show appeals to so many people and it was so enjoyable – see it before it disappears (last show is at 6:30pm on April 9th)!

Tickets: https://events.ticketbooth.com.au/event/random

MICF Review: “Nanette” performed by Hannah Gadsby

I will admit that I generally do not frequent the larger theatres or the more famous headline acts at the Comedy Festival – I prefer to watch the small, intimate shows of the ‘up-and-comers’ and shows in the smaller venues. This year, a friend of mine mentioned that her Comedy Festival tradition was to see Hannah Gadsby’s show. I thought I’d go along – I didn’t know too much about Hannah (aside from what you’d find on Wikipedia and social media) but I was keen to attend.

Hannah’s show is called “Nanette” – I do love a vague title as I was curious to find out what this refers to. As expected, Hannah’s show was peppered with anecdotes and personal stories (including one referencing the show title). These personal stories were fascinating, and often quite raw. There were laughs during this show and couple of snappy one liners that I heartily enjoyed, however this show is full of deeper emotions. Hannah cares about a lot of topics close to her (politics, art, community, identity) and these are discussed at length during her show. The audience clearly cared about Hannah’s topics, for they were shared topics many could relate to – many times I heard murmurs of “here here!” and “YES!” from audience members, and even the glistening of eyes when topics hit home for some people.

There were points during the show where Hannah mentioned this would likely be her last show, and that she would be “moving on” from comedy (moving on where / to was not mentioned – it’s a mystery!), so if you’re thinking of attending I would recommend on doing so. This is a powerful show, and if you’re an existing Gadsby fan, I’d hate for you to miss out!

Upon leaving the theatre, I left quietly – I guess I was stunned a little. I was surprised that Hannah shared so much about her personal circumstances and upbringing with her audience. This show left me with a deeper feeling – that each one of us can get out there and make the change we want to see in the community. I like to think that everyone left the show feeling a little more connected to each other.

VERDICT: Please see this show if you’re already a Hannah Gadsby fan! This show is powerful and should be seen. If you’re a “first timer” attending a Hannah Gadsby show (like I was) I have it on good authority that this is unlike her ‘usual’ show so you may wish to keep that in mind. If you like your comedy with a side of political and social commentary then this show may appeal.

Tickets: https://www.comedyfestival.com.au/2017/shows/hannah-gadsby-nanette

2017 MICF Show Review: “Creepy Dummy” performed by Sarah Jones

I have seen Sarah Jones’ unique performances of ventriloquism before, so I was excited to hear about her solo show entitled “Creepy Dummy”. The show certainly lives up to its name, with Sarah introducing us to various “guests / friends” over the course of the evening. Each guest brought a different dimension and style of humour to the show, much to the delight of the audience. Some scenes had me on the verge of crying with laughter!

Whilst portions of the show teeter towards various shades of “creepy”, Sarah’s friendly smile and warm personality always manage to keep the audience (and show) on track and she keeps the laughs rolling! Regular checks are made for audience welfare, and to ensure the right levels of “creepy” were being maintained. I’m pleased to report that on the evening I attended all audience members were having a great time. This show has too many highlights to mention here, however special mentions go to the guest appearances from Sarah’s relatives and a certain friend of hers (you’ll know who I mean if you see the show!).

VERDICT: Another delightful show from Sarah Jones, perfect for weirdos / strangelings and lovers of comedy that is offbeat (while still being upbeat!).

Tickets: https://thebutterflyclub.com/show/creepy-dummy

MICF info: https://www.comedyfestival.com.au/2017/shows/creepy-dummy#

Tay Around Town is still seeing shows around town!

Hello lovely readers! Over the past 6 months you may have wondered such things as “Where has Tay Around Town gone?”….maybe she’s hasn’t had any adventures to write about? Maybe she has gone away? etc etc….WELL! I just thought I’d mention that I AM still seeing shows around town and having many adventures! The lack of posts has largely been due to my day job changing and becoming more demanding lately, and a couple of bouts of illness (which never fail to ‘keep me behind the 8 ball’).

Having said all this, it is Melbourne International Comedy Festival time in my hometown and I have been seeing shows so you will see some reviews posted up here shortly! I extend my thanks to readers and friends who have been ‘checking in’ on me. Onwards and upwards from here!