Doing Stuff – Tom Ballard

Give Tom Ballard a microphone and some attention and he will make you laugh. Lots. He’s a really, really funny guy, and that’s even when he’s complaining of a hangover after a big night without picking up. Ballard’s got stuff to say and some of it is a bit political and some is a bit shouty, but funny shouty, not scary shouty.
Then halfway through, the woman sitting in front of me suddenly gets the joke with a really weird and distracting laugh. It’s really, really annoying, to the point that Ballard gets off the stage to seek her. Just when we think it may not get much more uncomfortable, a woman a few rows behind me admits to it. I don’t think Ballard is convinced either, but after a brief chat, he returns to the stage to finish the show with one of the grossest stories I’ve ever heard and cannot unhear. Thanks, Tom.

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WATSON – Shakespeare Fight Club

At the offset, this seemed to start a little too high-brow for what I expect from Watson. Not that I am suggesting they are not high-brow – but when two actors who I was not familiar with started verbal jousting in Shakespearean prose, I began to worry a little. Thank god that Adam and Tegan burst in, with their hilarious banter and naughty sword fighting.

I laughed so much. I laughed at the slapstick, the potentially real injuries on stage, the clever scriptwriting and the fabulous improvisation. And then, something unexpected. I got a bit emotional. Not to give too much away, there is a moment of stillness that Tegan punctuates with a slight wobble in her voice and those big, pleading eyes and I must admit, I felt a little sad. Oh, you crazy kids.

This show’s one of the late shows, so there’s no excuse to miss it. By all means, go see a couple of other shows in the lead up to it, but finish your night with Watson. You’ll love it. Plus, they’ve just been nominated for a Golden Gibbo, so get in quick!

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Stubborn monkey Disorder – Bob Franklin & Steven Gates

It’s a dark night in an abandoned location after a failed comedy festival show, and Steven Gates is searching for his mate Bob Franklin, concerned about his disappearance. Post-modern? Yup, in just the way I love it. Theatrical? Yup, but not in a wanky way. Just enough to give the story structure and highlight the laughs. Audience interaction? Not exactly. Someone had to stand and be spoken of.  Insane? Yeah, but only as much as a travelling pillow salesman can be.

And macabre. I’ve been wanting to find a place to include that word from the start of this review. Macabre. Dark and funny and absurd and fabulous. And macabre. Go see it.

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