Wild and live at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival
The Comedy Zone introduces five outstanding specimens of ‘wild, untamed, new talent’ from around Australia to the Melbourne International Comedy Festival 2014.
Under the direction of Heath McIvor, performers Geoffrey Windle (MC), Suren Jayemanne, Becky Lucas, Aaron Chen and Demi Lardner deliver polished and precocious stand-up, exploring the challenges posed by coming of age in post-millennial Australia.
From Queensland, the urbane and erudite Geoffrey Windle dissects troubling logical and grammatical absurdities as he introduces his colleagues, taking time to ponder the naïve spelling and spurious recipes of a found cookbook.
From Sri Lanka via Victoria, Suren Jayemanne demonstrates his mastery of the pun, with howling results. He confesses his bewilderment with the opposite gender and delectation of inappropriate rap titles.
Queensland’s Becky Lucas likewise takes a prod to gender tensions, contemplating the lack of charm among predators lurking in night-clubs and dark alleys. In self-flagellatory style she laments her failure to gain paternal approval of her career choices, and the paucity of reliable sex education to be gleaned from babushka dolls.
Aaron Chen from New South Wales projects a meek, social phobic persona and up-tilted question inflections, while navigating swiftly changing perspectives on intercultural dating, thwarted musical ambitions and illogical urban encounters. Aged just 18, Aaron is the youngest comedian of the set.
Last but not least, Demi Lardner from South Australia hops with elfin whimsy from frenetic anecdote to edgy one-liner to zany impersonation, as exemplified in her spluttering confrontation with a front-desk police officer, and her ‘impression of an insane comedian’ perpetrating audience participation. In 2013, Ms Lardner won the MICF Raw Comedy competition, propelling her to Edinburgh Fringe Festival, where she went on to become joint winner of the So You Think You’re Funny competition.
The five’s journey to the Melbourne International Comedy Festival 2014 is the subject of a documentary to be televised on C31 on Tuesday 8 April at 8.30pm and again on 12 April at 9.30pm.
Story by Marian Webb
The Comedy Zone runs Tuesday to Saturday 8.15pm, Sunday 7.15pm, to 20 April.
Venue: Old Council Chambers, Trades Hall, cnr Lygon & Victoria Streets, Carlton.
Running time: 60 minutes
Prices: $19.50 – $23.50