Colin Hay at Playhouse Theatre

The stage is carefully set  with four guitars in stands facing the audience, a wooden coat rake and wooden stool with three bottles of water to quench Colin’s cultivated thirst during his performance.

Regarding Colin Hay performing in the Playhouse Theatre at the Melbourne Art Centre as part of The Melbourne International Comedy Festival 2014.  ‘It doesn’t get better than this’ quotes Pixie Michael, Melbourne based sound and lighting maestro who did his part in creating acoustic magic that night.

The best way to describe the effect that Colin’s incredible vocal and acoustic guitar performance had on me is to say that it felt like I had arrived  home.  To my senses Colin is centred, living in a magical place where his music and songs have lives and personalities of their own. Stories in song conjuring images that transport one to far off destinations and tapping into memories and awarenesses through time and space. It felt as if the entire audience were inclusively flying through space simultaneously having the same emotional experiences.

All the usual greats were given the stage including Who Can it be now, Down by the Sea and Land Down Under.

Between songs Colin shared witty stories of his life on the road throughout his robust 40 year career and delightful and poignant memories of his loving family; keeping it real and compelling with his adorable Scottish accent and crystal clear delivery.

Colin Hay is a much loved Aussie icon. Not bad for a Scotsman who lives in LA.

Colin Hay part of the Melbourne International Comedy Festival 2014
Colin Hay part of the Melbourne International Comedy Festival 2014


Funny man Stephen K Amos

Stephen K Amos performing at Athenaeum Theatre as part of Melbourne International Comedy Festival 2014.

Stephen K Amos has huge funny bone action going on. From the start he had Thursday nights full house at Melbourne’s Anthenaeum Theatre in his pocket and he played with us like the seasoned international comedic professional he is.

Evenly paced, engaging, his timing didn’t miss a beat. He easily merged impromptu and very funny dialogue with people in the first couple of rows and hecklers in the stalls weaving their responses into his written script, breezing through the show like the comedic maestro he is with resounding  laughter and applauses with every punchline.

Actor and storyteller, the very cultured Stephen K took us on a hilarious, psychedelic ride from puberty and beyond. There is little better than great comedy.


Stephen K Amos performing at Athenaeum Theatre as part of Melbourne International Comedy Festival 2014.
images by Sam Tabone from



‘Hello there, we’ve been waiting for you’

Created by Samara Hersch and Louris van de Geer

Theatre production satirises US TV game shows in ACMI film studio

Inspired by a real-life town in New Mexcio, USA, that changed its name to that of a television game show called Truth or Consequences in the 1950’s, Hello there, we’re been waiting for you is a theatre production that investigates the politics of identity, history and happiness.

Presented at ACMI from Wednesday 30 April – Sunday 11 May, 2014, and utilising the centre’s camera technologies to create a game show feel, Hello There We’ve Been Waiting For You is written by Louris van de Geer and directed by Samara Hersch.

Set within the elusive confines of a television studio in the lead up to the town’s annual May Fiesta, Hello There examines one’s quest to stand out in the world. Through the use of a live video feed and television tricks, this work deconstructs the art of construction and asks how we universally seek to be significant and examines the ways in which we re-invent stories, play with truth and find happiness.

In May 2013, Louris van de Geer visited the town Truth or Consequences and participated in the May Fiesta. She has built strong connections with the community and believes passionately in sharing the intriguing and complex stories that have kept this town on the map.

“I was hooked on this project from the moment Louris casually described a remarkable and obscure town in New Mexico who have been caught in a pre-reality TV obsession for over half a century,” said Emily Sexton, Next Wave Artistic Director. “In Louris and Samara’s capable hands we’ve fallen in love with these townsfolk who have willingly chosen fantasy over the more mundane American reality. Sitting in the live studio audience at ACMI, the full colour vision of this super talented female duo comes to life through a terrific ensemble – including the totally hilarious Genevieve Giuffre.”

Collaborating artists include: Louris van de Geer, Samara Hersch, Aaron Orzech, Genevieve Giuffre, Susie Dee, Don BridgesLucy ThornettEugyeene Teh, James Paul and Amelia Lever-Davidson.

Comedy for Kids @ The Speigeltent

So this is the Spiegeltent’s day job, being mobbed with hundreds of kids for the April break school holidays.

The house is full and our M.C.s for the afternoon are the Wizard Sandwiches, who clown and warm the gathered mob of children and adults alike. The great thing is that you don’t have to over think kids comedy. The joy is in the joy of the wee ones.

First up is Jason Chong who delights us with  songs of slobbery labradors and Optimus Prime the overlord of the good guys  from Transformers if you didn’t already know), as well as a slew of stuff pinned both for smallies and biggies.

Mr Snot Bottom rails in second to the delight of all with rafts of fart and poop jokes.

Grandma takes it up the rear with her  pulling folks out of the audience to help her and forever getting everything a little wrong as she can’t quite hear.

Kids comedy? All ages comedy more like. Just joyful! “Get your farty pants along!” was my five year old son’s recommendation.

review byConor O’Neill

Ticketmaster 1300 660 013 or at the door

DATES & TIMES: 14 Shows 05 Apr – 20 Apr

VENUE: The Famous   at Federation Square



David Quirk “ Career, Suicide”

David Quirk’s show  ‘Career, Suicide’ should be noted, in the first instance, for the comma that separates the two words therein. It eluded everyone and is the hinge point of a dual themed show. David recounts his time at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and there is the unsaid that it nearly killed him financially. It was noted in the English newspaper The Guardian that the average comedian loses $14,000 by putting a show up at the Valhalla of comedy.

From Melbourne, his day-job is in a skateboard shop across the road from the venue where he plays. This is where his heartbeats: in the theatre cauldron of the drive for laughs and connection. He elevates the absurd beyond cringe to own it in divine camp. He explores his own ethics and his belief in the sanctity of life without ever coming across as sanctimonious. David’s show is a taut honed little beast with razored material which then lets go into looser territory before picking up its heels and dragging itself to an alluded end.

review by Conor O’Neill

Ticketmaster 1300 660 013 or at the door

DATES & TIMES 23 Shows 27 Mar – 20 Apr

VENUE: Melb Town Hall – Cloak Room

Melb Town Hall – Lunch Room

PRICES: $20 – $28.90


LET’S GET IT ON – The Life & Music of – Marvin Gay


Let’s Get It On’ opens on 13 May at The Athenaeum Theatre and celebrates the life and music of the multi-talented musician, singer and songwriter Marvin Gaye, whose records sold in the millions and who continues to influence a legion of artists the world over.

 April 1st 2014 marks the thirtieth anniversary of the tragic death of Marvin Gaye and this two-hour narrative concert explores Marvin’s humble beginnings, his troubled relationship with his father, the women in his life, his search for meaning and the music that defined a generation.

Starring Helpmann Award winning actor and singer Bert LaBonte and introducing singer, songwriter, pianist, Jude PerlLet’s Get It On will be backed by some of Australia’s finest and funkiest musicians and is presented by The Producers of The Man In Black – The Johnny Cash Story and At Last – The Etta James Story.

Let’s Get It On features some of Marvin’s most beloved songs including ‘I Heard It ThroughThe Grapevine’, ‘Ain’t No Mountain High Enough’, his stunning spiritual masterwork ‘What’sGoing On’, the Grammy Award winning ‘Sexual Healing’ and many many more of his classic hits.

Marvin Gaye is acknowledged as The Prince of Motown – The Prince of Soul with the magnitude of his influence on R&B and soul music recognized when he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987.

‘Let’s Get It On – The Life & Music of Marvin Gaye’ will have you Dancing In The Street!

Venue:                   The Clocktower, 750 Mt Alexander Rd, Moonee Ponds

Date                         9 to 11 May

Tickets           or 9243 9191

Price                        From $37

Venue:                   The Athenaeum Theatre, 188 Collins Street, Melbourne

Date:                       13 to 25 May

Tickets           or 13 2849

Price                        From $49



Having spent the last nine years playing Chopper in his other stand up comedy show, Heath Franklin breaks free of Chopper and gets to do observational comedy that he otherwise couldn’t use Chopper as a mouth piece for. In fact Heath Franklin’s “Chopper: Big F**Ken Late Show”  is running   at the Melbourne Comedy Festival.

Heath arrives on stage with the Chopper Aviator sunglasses, handlebar moustache and texta tattoos and after some initial banter sheds the Chopper character.  Part of the story is Heats relationship to the character of Chopper and one feels that there may be a bit of psychic divorce in the offing.

Heath is a brilliantly together, savvy, energetic comic who has that sublime ear for the audience. He gets to talk about his own relationships, being a Dad, his two boys and life in  multicultural western Sydney

The conceit behind the show comes from his comedian mates who hit crises in their lives and turn that around and use it to make a show. Heath grudgingly admires the turn of shite in life to gold comedy and uses audience experiences to improvise vignettes of comedy out of the tragedy of peoples lives to hilarious effect.

Review by Conor O’Neill

Ticketmaster 1300 660 013. At the door

DATES & TIMES21 Shows 27 Mar – 20 Apr

VENUE: Trades Hall – The Front Room

PRICES: $18 – $27.90


Jimmy McGhie is a plummy south eastern Englander who rambles through his set on  a highlight Saturday as if it were an two for one Monday, with a hangover as big as Greenland. I felt I needed to be really drunk to enjoy this… possibly in a state near blackout where the world swoons hilariously in front of you before you parma the pavement. There was as much cohesion and energy  to this as a half arsed wet fart. There was absolutely no reason why his show was called Artificial Intelligence. He made illusion that he no real through line in his show. Jimmy whines on about his mid 30s  and the real entertainment of the night is the lady in the audience who is up front honest and hilarious when he engages here about her relationship.The feeling one got is that Jimmy is on holiday in Australia and decided to do a ‘bit’ of comedy. How he blagged into a comedy festival beggars belief and further still one wonders how he got such a good room. Amateur hour in Skegness misses him (not).

review by Conor O’Neill

Ticketmaster 1300 660 013.  At the door

DATES & TIMES: 22 Shows 27 Mar – 20 Apr

VENUE: Melb Town Hall – Council Chambers

PRICES: $22 – $30

Shappi Korsandi at Melbourne Town Hall

Shappi’s show was like sitting down to a glass of wine with THAT friend who keeps you in fits of laughter the whole evening, with tales of single-parenthood, best-friends, her son’s childhood romance, being pregnant and horny, boob-flashing relatives, internet dating, being a victim of racism, and learning to stand up for herself. Shappi has a really warm and easy way of leading us through the stupidity of life, and poking fun at social mores and conservatism with a sharp and insightful wit.

review by Conor O’Neil

DATES & TIMES: 16 Shows 27 Mar – 13 Apr 

VENUE: Melb Town Hall – Lower Town Hall / Melb Town Hall – Mini Main

PRICES: $26 – $35

‘Every Grain of Sand’

Powerfully emotive, Every Grain of Sand is currently playing at Chapel off Chapel, but you better be quick as this season finishes next Sunday. 

My dear friend Emily Humphries who I know to be an exceptional and extraordinary poet, painter and thinker illuminated me to this play and it’s multi-faceted and talented playwright Neil Cole and director Don Bridges. Both have very rich pedigree careers in Australian theatre, film, television and politics. Both currently invest their time and energies, among other pursuits, in passing on their expertise and life experience as educators.

Even though my friend knew little of the theme of the play other than being staged around sports and politics she assured me that anything Don Bridges is working with has to be above and beyond good. Yet, again she was spot on…

This story is about life on life’s terms when four hardworking citizens unite for a common cause. We witness the rise of political ambition morphing into addictive desire for the spot light and the need to win; combined with unabated capitalism, manipulation and socialist ideology. But most compelling and emotionally charged is the deep support and compassion that carries these individuals through their daily trials and tributions. I was literally brought to tears by the authentic and often diverting performances by this amazing cast.

Presented by Melbourne Jewish Theatre Trust

Written by Neil Cole
Directed by Don Bridges

Starring Chris BroadstockClare PickeringCameron McKenzie and Kirsten Snowden

Composer Warren Wills Lighting Design Boyd Gordon 


6 March – 23 March
Times: Tuesday – Saturday 8pm, Sunday 6:30pm
Tickets: $35 (+ Transaction Fee)
Seating: General Admission. Please make sure you arrive a minimum of 15 minutes prior to the performance start time.Latecomers will not be permitted.
Please Note: If you require wheelchair access please call our Box Office on 03 8290 7000.
Duration: 90 mins (no interval)

By Kerrie Pacholli aka Pation Pics