Saturday, July 23, 2016

Sarah Quinn, Luke & Cambo, Mathew Kenneally : MICF Reviews

April 7, 2011 by  
Filed under Comedy, Comedy Reviews

Sarah QuinnOther People’s Problems

Character comedy, and more to the point, one man (or in this case, woman) character stage shows are a very difficult set of balls to juggle. While you need to make the audience laugh, the theatrical side of the equation dictates you must also round out your characters into fully fledged people.

Rarely is it possible to successfully combine the two – resulting in one of two outcomes : Wacky catchphrase based laughs (think Little Britain, Ben Elton Live), or Pathos (think Year 12 Drama performances).

Sarah Quinn’s Other People’s Problems falls firmly in the latter department. Comprising of three character pieces (An unhinged motivational speaker, a teenage video blogger and an Uptight Plain Jane looking to release her inner sex-pot) the show is a wonderfully constructed piece of character work (co-written by Quinn, Samuel Booth and DeAnne Smith) thanks largely to a truly excellent performance from Quinn herself.

Sarah Quinn in Other People's Problems

Sarah Quinn in Other People's Problems

As an introspective theatre piece, it works a treat. However, as a comedy show attempting to fight for laughs against 300 + shows in a comedy festival – Other People’s Problems falls horribly short. Punters expecting giggles for their $20 will leave underwhelmed.

That said, Other People’s Problems serves as a wonderful performance showcase for Quinn’s chameleon-like acting abilities and one can only hope that the next skit show to hit Australian TV latches on to her talent.

WATCH OUT FOR | RATING : 2 out of 5

Luke & Cambo Get All the Bitches

As mentioned in our Late O’Clock with Rob Hunter review, red-haired fire cracker Luke McGregor has zoomed to the top of my “Must See” comedians list this year.

Along with some killer spots on Studio A, Tony Martin’s Nova podcasts and online sitcom The Problematic World of You he is fast becoming one of the most unique comics currently doing the rounds. He isn’t trying to “do comedy”, isn’t showcasing his “relatability” for GNW guest spots like so many seem to do these days – he is doing his own geeky thing in his own way and it’s brilliant and hilarious to watch it unfold.

In Luke & Cambo Get All the Bitches, McGregor teams up with fellow Studio A chum John ‘Cambo’ Campbell for a twist on the ol’ comedy duo routine. The constructs of the well-worn genre (manufacturing conflict) are satirised to great effect, with an infectious level of absurdity and charm…. and rubbish bin jokes.

There is also a disease that involves the Ghostbusters theme tune which, in my book, deserves a show all of it own.

Well worth seeking out – and I say seek, as you need to be Bear Grylls to be able to locate their Ra Bar venue (hell, the Town Hall doesn’t even list the show on the board) – as Luke & Cambo Get All the Bitches delivers the giggles from start to end.

WATCH OUT FOR | RATING : 4 out of 5

Mathew Kenneally and The Great Escape

Inside the Portland Room stands a man without a microphone – a rare sight at a Comedy Festival that seems to reward the power of the person on stage with the loudest voice. However, it’s this low-key approach that really seems to define Mat Kenneally.

There are no “What’s the deal with Peanuts on Planes?”, “Have you ever noticed women get moody before their periods” or “Hey I grew up in the 1990s like you, do you remember this reference” gags in this fantastically constructed satiric set. This is comedy, filled with information, tackling the often ignored topics, that is intelligent.

As the co-founder of Melbourne’s monthly news based comedy night Political Asylum (, and co-author of the popular satirical blog Diary Leaks (, Kenneally is no stranger to the often unpopular world of political satire and his experience shows. He crafts his tale of dealing with immigrants and detention centres with razor sharp wit, genuine warmth and acuity.

He also avoids the pitfalls of other political comedians wherein they assume that all a satirical punchline needs to land is “Well at least it’s better than (Insert Tony Abbot, Kevin Rudd, John Howard’s name here)”. What’s offered up here are funny stories with an actual point to them.

Sadly, in a world filled with TV comedians who need to fit certain criteria, Kenneally may never quite breakthrough as a “Name Brand”. However, we can only hope and pray that Kenneally’s writing skills are put to good use. If more folks like Kenneally were writing for TV, the world would be a hell of a smarter and more informed place.


WATCH OUT FOR | RATING : 3.5 out of 5


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