Tag Archives: MICF 2019

Arj Barker Opening Night – The Athenaeum Theatre

Review and images by Kerrie Pacholli 

Arj Barker MICF 2019 at The Athenaeum Theatre

Arj Barker MICF 2019 at The Athenaeum Theatre

Not only did I get the opportunity to experience  Arj Barker’s ‘We Need To Talk’ show live at the beautiful Athenaeum Theatre on his Opening Night. I also get the honour of writing this review. Wow I say. This was the very first time in my life that I got to enjoy the very talented Mr Arj Barker.

One of our other very talented writers, who specifically requested to review Arj Barker because Arj, is his favourite comedian in the whole world, happened to arrive just after half time, due to unforeseen and extreme circumstances.

Arj Barker MICF 2019 at The Athenaeum Theatre

Arj Barker MICF 2019 at The Athenaeum Theatre

Opening night can often be a pain for not only the international artists, who could presumably be suffering a little jet lag; but when the show starts at 7pm, in Melbourne, on a Friday night, it can be a real challenge for the audience to not only arrive on time but also relax into it.

I’m pretty sure Arj, a stalwart professional and a working Comedian since he left school in 1989 picked up on these challenging set of circumstances.

Arj Barker MICF 2019 © PationPics_5149

Arj Barker MICF 2019 at The Athenaeum Theatre

Regardless, he did not miss a beat with his delivery of detailed comedic story telling in unison with animated body language. I’m telling you, it was a hard arsed Melbourne audience full of fans that wanted blood, his blood and by god he delivered.

Arj Barker MICF 2019 at The Athenaeum Theatre

Arj Barker MICF 2019 at The Athenaeum Theatre

My job was to capture the images. The man moved so consistently fast it was pretty hard to get the clarity that I so much want in a pic. Yet they say a picture says a thousand words so feel free to read the longer version of this review.  The best picture of Arj Barler was taken by Arj, after the show, at his merchandise table, in the back alley on my iPhone, which for some reason decided to incorporate a 10 second delay. So, by that stage I looked like an embarrassed, recoiling version of myself. He was very patient and generous and even thanked me for giving him my business card…

Arj Barker MICF 2019 at The Athenaeum Theatre ©

Arj Barker MICF 2019 at The Athenaeum Theatre with myself.

Aliya Kanani at Coopers Inn MICF 2019

Review by Tommy Langra

It was late the night before when my editor, Kerrie Pacholli asked if I could take two tickets and write a short review for Aliya Kanani show at Coopers Inn which is part of the Melbourne International Comedy Festival 2019. As I am never one to turn down tickets to a free show, I happily said yes. Without any knowledge of who i may be seeing, or what may be involved, i approached the show with no small amount of trepidation, worried that the title ‘So where are you from, from?’ may leave me in a lurch about some deep political ‘comedy’.

Aliya Kanani performing at Coopers Inn as part of MICF 2019

Arriving at the Coopers Inn didn’t inspire an overt amount of hope, as after work city people crowded the blue stone sports bar which had on its main screen the American baseball, which, if nothing else, let everyone know they were in for something a bit different.

Aliya, however, was exuberant and… well… funny. A fresh view on the world through – what she termed – a feminine, slightly narcissistic, chronic liar’s interpretation which left scope for a large amount of audience interaction. Those from the passenger seating that volunteered.

The show covers everything from high school to travels in Indonesia, touching on the importance of spirituality for some local tribal members, yet doesn’t avert from some important message of the interconnectedness of people, no matter their race or creed. Aliya stated after the show that she was “concerned with the value of the question of where we are from, instead of asking ‘who’ we are?”

This coupled with the message in the show of rising above challenges, through the use of comedy, and a spare dose of secondary trauma.

Yet don’t despair if you think this sounds like too much material from foreign escapades, exotic places, and the one time Brazilian Aliya, she quite seamlessly approaches the local climate and context of Melbourne itself, and the value of learning Australian as a second language (in her case, seventh).

An important part of the show and something not to overlook is the improvisation of audience participation, an excellent display of Aliya’s capacity to think quickly on her feet, proving her capacity to talk herself out of any situation… leaving us smiling as she does so.

Aliya Kanani at Coopers Inn, 282 Exhibition Street, Melbourne

‘UgLeigh’ at The Alex Theatre St Kilda

Reviewed by Baroness Madeleine von Hohenfels

Alex Theatre, St Kilda
Doors Open: 7.30pm
Act One: 8.00pm
Approx. Finish Time: 9.10pm

PERFORMANCE DATESWed 10th, Thurs. 11th, Fri 12th Sat.13th & Sunday 14th April.

Tickets: Adults $36.85, Concession $34.40.  Artist Passes welcome

The Melbourne International Comedy Festival 2019 has tapped into our Australian larakin laughter mechanism once again, by that I am referring to Australian’s ability to laugh at themselves.

Nicolette Nespeca & Maia Absburg © PationPics_5205 copy

Nicolette Nespeca & Maia Absburg

And for those of you who love a little theatre with their laughs then look no further, as the production of UgLeigh at The Alex Theatre (Fitzroy Street, St. Kilda) is sure to shock and entertain you.

UgLeigh is a humorous and confronting look at the added pressures we all contend with in current life; brought about by the seemingly never ending technology allowing us to change ourselves physically to suit the fashion of the day, to be enhanced, and more appealing to ourselves, and our perception of what other’s may want to see in us – at least on the outside.

Ben Lindsay & Maia Absburg © PationPics_5222 copy

Ben Lindsay & Maia Absburg

UgLeigh sets a good pace from the outset and, for the most part, continues this throughout the production with laughter attained within the first few lines.

The ensemble cast deliver Charlotte Watson and Shamita Sivabalan collaborative work ‘UgLeigh’; not only did these two capable women write UgLeigh, they also produced and directed its’ production.

Ben Lindsay & Maia Absburg © PationPics_5228 copy

Ben Lindsay & Maia Absburg

The lead actor, Maia Absberg’s portrayal of the ugly duckling ‘Leigh’ was passionate; humorous; confronting; and believable, right down to genuine tears, snot, and dribble. And Ben Lindsay, Nikki Nespeca, and Andrew Burns all delivered hilariously and animated characters husband, boss and surgeon of Beauty respectively.

This multimedia production of clever design, wit and craft is minimalist and punchy and performed to a Full-House at The Alex Theatre last night, which was the opening night for UgLeigh.

Andrew Burns © PationPics_5175 copy

Andrew Burns

I recommend you get in quickly for this production as there are only four nights left of it’s run ( Thu. 11th April through to Sun. 14th April ) at The Alex Theatre, St. Kilda, where this production takes bold strides on the intimate stage at 8:00pm .

UgLeigh is akin to ‘Selfies and Botox meets The Rocky Horror Show’…

The Alex Theatre, 135 Fitroy Street, St. Kilda is easily accessed by the Light Rail and Trams, with ample parking at the primary school car park and surrounds.

Images by Kerrie Pacholli © Pation Pics

Stephen K Amos – Athenaeum Theatre – MICF 2019

Review and images © Kerrie Pacholli

I was again privileged to be part of a very appreciative audience for the fabulous Stephen K Amos at one of my favourite venues The Athenaeum Theatre in Melbourne. Stephen is back in Melbourne, of course, as part of this year’s Melbourne International Comedy Festival 2019 or MICF 2019 which I prefer to scribe.

Stephen K Amos MICF 2019 Athenaeum Theatre © PationPics

Stephen K Amos MICF 2019 Athenaeum Theatre

Let’s face it, this man has charisma and stage presence that the Queen would envy.

From what I heard, he travels the world, communicating with audiences from many, many countries and cultures. I suppose the Queen does too…Yet, this man is truly funny. Just thinking about him on stage makes me laugh as I am writing this, this review.

Clearly, he has well oiled jokes up his sleeves for comfort, but the man comes across mostly as spontaneous.

Stephen K Amos MICF 2019 Athenaeum Theatre © PationPics

Stephen K Amos MICF 2019 Athenaeum Theatre 

Engaging with the energy of the audience, particularly probing a few special targets in the first rows. Nothing better in this world than natural quick wit and spontaneity. Except perhaps, very large sums of money to compensate for the lack there of.

Stephen is an artist, a true artist who shares his life’s stories on stage with us. Transforming soul wrenching experiences into bare able positives through humour and generosity. I was so chuffed to get a selfie with the man himself, in the alley, on the way out of the theatre, where he and this friends collected donations for palliative care organisations, inspired by his own family experiences.

It was a true pleasure to experience this man doing his thing. I predict a Knighthood in the not to distant future. But then I do carry on like an over intuitive oracle at times.

It makes all this hard work of creating a MICF 2019 Open Media Review Feature all the more worthwhile. And a special thanks to generosity of Alexis Lalios from Hatching Communications and artist manager  Mary Tobin

Stephen K Amos & Kerrie Pacholli 2019 MICF

Stephen K Amos & Kerrie Pacholli 2019 MICF

Akmal Salem performing The Palms at Crown

Review by JC Harvey for Open Media

Before yet another sell-out crowd, Akmal Saleh delivers quality entertainment with his own unique brand of ridicule, imitation and criticism.

Akmal Saleh performed at The Palms at Crown, during MICF 2019

With sarcastic wit wrapped in an annoying mock-bogan twang, Akmal’s show for this year’s festival revolves around identity and the irony of belonging, pointing out with humour and mockery the tribalism which plagues us all.

From petrol heads and politicians to surfer dudes, paranoid conspiracy theorists to violent alcoholic miners itching for vegan blood, Saleh spares none the whip.

His subtly extreme style attempts to reveal to the audience that the choices we make become the characters we are, and that clan mentality has become ridiculous in its quirky, cliquey divisiveness.

We all enjoy a good laugh at the stupid, crazy stuff people do, and Akmal shows he is just as stupid and judgemental as the best of them, with self-deprecating tales of bad judgement and missed opportunities.

With a career spanning decades, Akmal Saleh knows his audience and he can work the crowd. His excessive, zany bogan-bashing style has kept him off the dole since at least 2002.

His style has strength in considered, well rehearsed observational humour, tall tales, and practiced interactions with the front rows, but, as with his years on radio, improvisation can leave him grasping at straws.

Whether you are a fan or a critic, Akmal Saleh will not just make you laugh, he will give you pause to consider the role you’ve chosen to play, and maybe, just maybe, you’ll finally understand that you are a minority of one. Just like the rest of us.

UgLeigh – Alex Theatre – MICF 2019

Crowded Together Productions proudly presents this hilarious, offbeat, absurdist comedy inspired play by Marius von Mayenburg’s ‘The Ugly One’. for MICF 2019.

Alex Theatre, St Kilda
Doors Open: 7.30pm
Act One: 8.00pm
Approx. Finish Time: 9.10pm

PERFORMANCE DATESWed 10th, Thurs. 11th, Fri 12th Sat.13th & Sunday 14th April.

Tickets: Adults $36.85, Concession $34.40.  Artist Passes welcome

In a world where botox, implants and Instagram filters reign supreme, Leigh, finds out she’s a … not-so-aesthetically pleasing woman. In other words, she was hit with the ugly stick. several times. But Leigh is determined to get ahead no matter what the cost.

Shamita Siva (Co-director/Producer/Writer).  Shamita is a multifaceted performance artist and creative. Comfortable on stage or on screen, Shamita is a performer who enjoys a challenge. A trained dancer from an early age, she has performed professionally overseas as well as nationally. She developed an interest in physical theatre forms and has trained in Butoh alongside her acting. She holds a BA Performing Arts from Monash University, supplemented by training with Film & Television Studios International, Stella Adler AoA Los Angeles, and the Meisner Technique. Shamita is also a keen writer and often incorporates spoken word into her pieces and performances. She draws inspiration from everyday experiences, music and sound, and socio- political issues she is impassioned by.

Charlotte Rose Watson (Co-director/Producer/Writer): Charlotte caught the acting bug in high school and continued with private acting lessons before completing a Bachelor of Performance at University of Wollongong. After moving from Sydney, her first Melbourne theatre debut was performing in the 2016 Melbourne Fringe Festival in the production ‘Altar Girl’. This is where Sham and Charlotte met. Charlotte has recently undertaken the Producer Bootcamp mentored by Laura Milke Garner to expand her theatre-making and theatre producing skill set. She has a passion for producing and writing plays – especially comedy! She previously worked as a talent agent representing Melbourne actors and coaching acting classes. She now proudly works at the Alex Theatre where she is their theatre programmer and the executive assistant to the general manager.

Cast:

Andrew Burns, a whiz bang trivia host and actor who plays the famous surgeon Dr. David Wazinski.

Maia Absburg an incredibly powerful actor and physical theatre performer, plays on our heart strings as Leigh.

Ben Lindsay, a tradie by day, dynamite actor by night, Ben plays the well-meaning yet oblivious Hank- Leighs husband.

Nicolette Nespeca; who’s comic timing is brilliant in the roles Leigh’s boss Lucille and #Insta-Famous Yogini.

Contact: crowdedtogetherproductions@gmail.com

Event Page: https://www.comedyfestival.com.au/2019/shows/ugleigh

Website: https://www.crowdedtogetherproductions.com/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ugleigh_micf

Melbourne International Comedy Festival 2019 story

Text & Image by Kerrie Pacholli

Tommy Little Comedian & MC at the MICF 2019 launch

The team at Open Media is thrilled to be able to produce some unique highlights of the iconic Melbourne International Comedy Festival 2019 highlights. We will be reviewing a broad mix of homegrown and international talent for your viewing pleasure. So stay tuned…

Produced © Open Media

Filmed by Tim Barnett Edited by Simon Barnett

Comedy ALLSTARS Supershow Palais Theatre

Text & photo by Kerrie Pacholli

Palais MICF AllStars Comedy 2019

Now that I have recovered from that very powerful and punchy night at the ALL STARS I can give a brief rundown.

For a start, it was a KNOCKOUT!

All glam and giltz with 27 of the worlds top comedians giving their best in 5 minute stand ups.  Except for one or two glitches with sound. Or perhaps I am a little deaf these days. Not sure, that pic was taken from my seat.  Regardless, you will get the Full Monty broadcast quality no doubt.  It is a tremendous night and a treat to be welcomed to this ever growing and progressive thinking movement through comedy. Great to finally see the girls. Yes the GAY GIRLS on top.

Spiegeltent launch, Melbourne International Comedy Festival 2019

Story & Pics by Kerrie Pacholli

Well HELLOOOO,

Crowd at the MICF 2019 launch © PationPics_9774

Spiegeltent Art Centre at the MICF 2019 launch 

This year I got my (you know what together) and managed to successfully communication with the fine folk in the publicity department of this years MICF 2019. Needless to say Open Media has been warmly welcomed into the fold.

Special thanks to relatively new kid on the block Jodi Crocker Social Set Media, Public Relations, Marketing and Social Media, 5/34 Grey Street, St Kilda 318,+61 403 026 000 ,jodi@socialsetmedia.com.au

VIP's at the Spiegeltent, MICF 2019 launch © PationPics_9772

Big Wigs at the Spiegeltent, MICF 2019 launch 

The launch at The Famous Spiegeltent Art Centre was quite a treat, with all the big wigs graciously giving their utmost support. I suppose that has mostly always been the case, however this is the first time I witnesses it.

Hannah Gadsby at Spiegeltent, MICF 2019 launch © PationPics0006

Hannah Gadsby at Spiegeltent, MICF 2019 launch 

Poster girl Hannah Gadsby performing at Hamer Hall , a talented comedian that has worked her bootie off for years on the circuits was honour if not gobsmacked to be given this prestigious elevation. Well done I say.

Flo & Joan at the Spiegeltent, MICF 2019

Flo & Joan at the Spiegeltent, MICF 2019 launch.

Flo & Joan gigs at the Melbourne Town Hall. They’re the perfect mix of harmony and humour, with catchy tunes, sweet but sharp lyrics and enviable elocution skills.

‘These intricately crafted, flawlessly performed numbers will have you howling with laughter one minute, wiping away a tear the next. ★★★★’ The Telegraph (UK)

 the Spiegeltent, MICF 2019 launch © PationPics_0082

Captain Cauliflower & Marvin the Mischievous Mouse at the Spiegeltent, MICF 2019 launch

 Side-splitting, stiff-upper-lipped hilarity from critically-acclaimed UK comedy duo Dan Lees and Neil Frost. This is classic British absurdity at its best. Dressed in bowler hats and mismatching suits, these charming and eccentric English gents will bring the belly laughs with their trademark mix of physical comedy and quick-fired wit. The Establishment’s unique and infectiously funny style will plunge you into a world of the absurd and leave your ribs well and truly tickledMalthouse Theatre

Carla Wills & Urvi Majumdar from SASS ATTACK! Spiegeltent, MICF 2019 launch

Carla Wills & Urvi Majumdar from SASS ATTACK! Spiegeltent, MICF 2019 launch

SASS ATTACK , …dark, it’s sassy and it’s really funny. Who are we gonna sass? Our ex-boyfriends? The elderly in the supermarket? People that wear woollen headbands? Nothing is off limits!

Tommy Little Comedian & MC at the MICF 2019 launch

Last but not least maestro of the Melbourne International Comedy Festival launch at Melbourne’s Famous Spiegeltent, Tommy Little MC. at Art Centre Melbourne