Tom Ballard, Andrew McClelland : 2012 MICF Reviews
First night of the 2012 Melbourne International Comedy Festival kicked off, and braving an unusual level of humidity WOF | COMEDY ventured out to see Triple J star Tom Ballard and The Circle’s own net nerd Andrew McClelland.
TOM BALLARD – DOING STUFF
Considering the level of success Tom Ballard has had to date, people often disregard how young this guy still is. So, taking that into consideration, it’s of little surprise that as Ballard enters his early twenties he has decided now is the time let his feelings about politics known.
Because if you’re ever going to feel passionate about politics – it’s the time in between finishing uni and the time when you realise you have to live in Caroline Springs in a cheap but incredibly large new house with your high school sweetheart for the next fourty years.
From the get go Ballard warns that Doing Stuff is political comedy (with a healthy smattering of dick jokes) which could be daunting as, for some, “Political Comedy” sets off warning bells of inevitable punchlines that end with a Judith Lucy type delivery of the phrase “Yeah… John HOW-ard!”.
Thankfully Ballard doesn’t get lost in this world of stereotypes as he ventures into the realms of the Gay Marriage issue. That said, it’s not all heavy handed opinions either, he also ventures into the realms of “any hole is a goal”. So it’s a nice mix.
While perhaps not as solid as last year’s excellent show, Ballard’s incredibly impressive stage presence and confidence (possibly one of the most well honed and natural on the scene today) keeps Doing Stuff ticking along and is proof- once again – that Tom Ballard has skills well beyond his years.
WATCH OUT FOR | RATING : 3.5 OUT OF 5
Andrew McClelland – One Man Stand
Andrew McClelland‘s One Man Stand is the epitomy of our current generation. It’s incredibly meta, it’s a little bit cynical and it’s held inside a venue that’s just perfect for some kind of SWAT team to make a dramatic entrance through the roof (ok, maybe that last bit is more specific to this one show).
A comedy night like many others, One Man Stand is an entire stand-up night in one show. Featuring a foreign superstar, absurdist, nerdy hipster, a first timer and an old school vegas act it isn’t unlike checking out a random week at Spleen – the twist, however : all of the acts are performed by Andrew McClelland.
For comedy nerds, One Man Stand is a perfect concept show. It’s essentially what an hour long conversation with other comedians is like : taking the piss out of the formats, formulas and genres which some comics use to achieve the heights of success and, more often than not, the lows of peer disrespect.
Each genre is lampooned short and sharply, some working better than others (an Aussie larakin whose catch-phrase “You’ve just been Spunked” and first timer Richard Dawkins are wonderful) but most impressive is that each character delivers well written sets within the genre within their own right (McClelland’s absurdist comedian – complete with Sam Simmons hat – would easily kill at most comedy nights).
While most of the meta references may go over the top of the heads of casual comedy festival goers (as well as the pot shots at specific comedians currently on the circuit), those who are used to sitting in small venues throughout the year will find plenty of laughs in McClelland’s cutting critisisms (in fact, the show nearly destroyed the experience of going to Festival Club because the charicatures were so clearly present there… albeit without the irony present in McClelland’s show).
Sure, One Man Stand shows up shitty comedians for what they are and the tricks that they use – but, in a strange way, it’s also a celebration of comedy no matter what genre.
Funny is funny, and McClelland displays that point to perfection.
WATCH OUT FOR | RATING : 3.5 OUT OF 5