MICF 2013

Here, have some lists:
Top four shows
I almost cried at the end of this show. I know that sounds like a bad thing to say about comedy but, trust me, it isn’t. Hannah’s show this year is life-affirming and a little bit world-view-altering. There’s not a lot I can say about this show, especially not without ruining the surprises, so just trust me and go see it. It. Is. Awesome.
No one does audience participation like Deanne Smith. During the course of this performance my brother was asked to make an embarrassing noise, my boyfriend was asked to take his shirt off on stage and we were all asked to slow dance with the person sitting next to us. By the end of the performance, far from feeling victimised and violated, I just wanted to hug DeAnne for being so utterly delightful. This was super fun.
I actually saw this show in Sydney last year, back when it was called ‘Childhood’ and they were reading the lyrics off a music-stand. Seeing the way it’s evolved and changed since then and still laughing madly at the songs the second time ‘round was a delight.
Another delight was seeing this duo (who were such a wonderful surprise in 2012) play to a FULL HOUSE. The two times I have seen them before the room was, well, let’s say “less than full” and leave it at that. It’s great that Smart Casual are starting to get the attention their talent deserves.
We went to see Sullivan and Bok primarily because Claire Sullivan is from Tasmania and therefore my boyfriend went to school with her (I am yet to see any evidence that everyone from Tasmania does not know everyone else from Tasmania). As far as value goes, this show is hard to beat. For $10, you get an hour of clever, funny and occasionally surreal comedy. We came away from this show with a party hat and a toy dinosaur and with glitter in our hair. Seriously good fun.
Highly recommended
Neither I nor my comedy companions could agree on a top five. So I gave you four and here’s the overflow:
I loved Dave Warnake’s show last year and this bonanza of festival talent is no different. If you’re after late night comedy fun-times, it’s definitely worth making the trek out to the Tuxedo Cat.
We saw the cake show and it was great but unfortunately the run is over. Beth saw Josh’s new show in Brisbane and said she’d definitely put it in her top five. That starts this weekend and is bound to be excellent
A tiny keyboard and an Irish accent, there is almost no way you could go wrong.
Part magic show, part whodunit, this show is so finely crafted it’s almost impossible to see the joins. It’s hard to say much else without giving the game away but I will say this: arrive early and sit at the front, it’s a strange room and you’ll need to see the screen.
Best venue
The Imperial was the closest venue to our hostel; this is the main reason we decided to spend our Sunday there (we had to run back to the hostel between shows to watch Doctor Who). This lovely little pub was a pleasant surprise. For $27 we saw These Kids are Good, Sullivan and Bok and Andy Matthews and Tony Besselink Achieve Nothing. It cost us $26 to see Sam Simmons and (just quietly) every single one of these shows was better than that one. Add to all that the fact that they sell THE BEST GELATO IN THE WORLD (see below) right next door and the Imperial is a great place to spend an evening.
Annual Award for Best Use of Shadow Puppetry in a Comedy Show
Considering I’ve now awarded this prize three years in a row, I thought it was about time I made it annual. Let’s hope 2014 can deliver or this is going to be awkward for everyone involved.
This was a great show, with clever use of narrative and the subtle implementation of puppets. Unfortunately it’s over now and you missed it so I won’t say too many things about how good it was or you’ll get jealous.
Top five not-comedy things to do in Melbourne when you have no money because you spent it all on comedy
While searching for desert after a night at the Imperial, we decided to take a chance on the gelato place next door. This was probably the best decision we have ever made ever. The Spring Street Grocer makes probably the best gelato and sorbet I have eaten in my life, and I who ate a lot of the stuff in actual Italy. It was cheap too, especially considering the seriously generous serves. There were different flavours every time we went back (quite a few times) and every single one of them was mind blowingly good. I think my favourite was lemon, honey and thyme. GO BUY GELATO FROM THIS PLACE FOR GODS SAKE IT IS AMAZING.
Late on Friday night we discovered that The Pancake Parlour does takeaway pancakes. Not just that, they have a deal where, for $40, you get twelve pancakes, 250mL of maple syrup and a litre of ice-cream. That works out at about $7 each for six people. Given the general confusion of the employees of Pancake Parlour, I don’t think people actually take them up on this offer very often. People are dumb because this offer is genius.
We ate our takeaway bargain-cakes on the concrete outside the State Library, using the cardboard box as a plate and ineffectively gouging ice-cream out of the tub with a plastic spoon. I’m not saying this is the best way to eat but it’s probably the most fun.
ACMI movies
Did you know they have a movie theatre at ACMI? And did you know you can see movies in it? Well you can. It’s actually a really great cinema too, with a high ceiling and comfy seats. We saw Up on Poppy Hill and because this was a kid’s movie it ONLY COST US $6. That’s a whole movie for $6, just because it didn’t contain any swearing. I can still not get over how good value this is.
Mad As Hell
We went to see a filming of the ABC show Mad As Hell because my friend Beth really likes Shaun Micallef and it was a surprise to pay her back for this. Trekking out to the Gordon Street studios was actually really fun and the filming was enjoyable and painless (TV filmings can be painful, trust me). Being part of a TV audience is totally free (lots of people don’t know that but it is), all you have to do is book in advance.
I love the National Gallery of Victoria. There’s something very relaxing about getting lost in the weird twisting maze of galleries. The Tearoom on the first floor is delightful and watching kids interact with the waterfall is still one of the most fun things to do in Melbourne. At the moment there’s an artwork in the contemporary section which involves two pieces of tape and some fans which is worth the visit all by itself. We sat in front of that thing for at least half an hour. It might have been a lot longer; we were slightly hypnotised and lost track of time.
Best thing I learnt at MICF 2013
Sit at the front
I’ve always been a timid comedy viewer and had a lot of strong opinions about where to seat oneself in the audience. These opinions were designed primarily to avoid being heckled or getting involved in that show at all. I’d just like to take that all back.
The combination of our party of five and a tendency to arrive at the venue early meant we ended up sitting in the front row for quite a lot of gigs. Pretty soon, we were doing it on purpose. Turns out that sitting at the front can actually be really fun. There’s something awfully nice about helping a show run smoothly, just by participating at the right moments. Plus, it’s nice for a comic to walk on stage and see a full front row, and it doesn’t take much to be the people who make that happen. There’s always going to be exceptions: there are still times when I would rather walk in heels for a week than sit in the front row, but I’ve learnt that a lot of times, being brave pays off. And sometimes you get free stuff, like toy dinosaurs.

Further reading

December – home

I spent the first minutes of 2018 on the beach. I’ve never actually spent New Year