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Thursday, April 3, 2008

Also in Melbourne ...

While in Melbourne, I bought a Guy Fawkes mask and wig (see V For Vendetta). They're currently sitting in on my desk beside some roses. I don't regret walking into a magic store to buy them. Even if I don't wear them, it looks cool.

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I also witnessed the new show by The Delusionists - the UNSW and USyd Revue guys who put on one of my favourite shows last year. This was their second show, with one or two casting shuffles and a well-rehearsed script that had been fine tuned in Sydney comedy venues before bringing it south.

It was in a MUCH smaller venue than last year - in contrast to the RMIT Kaleide theatre, this year they were in the rehearsal room of Town Hall, where noise from the outside hall echoed annoyingly and badly. The set was very minimalist - a table, chairs, curtains to the side. Very fast changeovers between scenes. The show was quickly paced for one hour - highlights for me were a pre-recorded interaction with Nostradamus (always a fascinating character to me to make fun of), the Spartans deal with Human Resources, the time travel effects of daylight savings, Jesus on a blind date that literally turns into a BLIND date and Dr. Seuss gets angry. Overall, not as consistent show as last year, but I still think these guys are talented writers and actors as a group, and it'll be good to see them keep doing shows.

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After much fussing around with the tickets, we all made it into the Festival Club at the HiFi Bar and Ballroom. Tonight was a special night. The Festival Club is always a treat - you can't pre-book tickets, you just have to turn up at the door before the show and it is ALWAYS sold out. Tonight was tough, but we luckily got in.

After waiting in our seats for forty-five minutes and after several eight dollar beers, the show finally started at midnight.

Adam Hills and Jason Byrne were emcee-ing and were very very funny. Tommy Dean and Josie Lang did solid sets. But the man of the night was Patton Oswalt - I wasn't familiar with his standup but I'd seen him in Reno 911 and of course as the main character from Ratatouille, but the Festival was making a damn big deal about him doing four shows only, so I had high hopes.

I wasn't disappointed.

The guy killed. He had a set list with him on stage, but that didn't detract from the funny. When prompted by a heckler, he launched into a hilarous bit about him and his brother drunkenly going to see Jerry Maguire on Christmas Eve 1996. He also had the joke of the night for me, likening Jon Voight's balls to the Star Wars prequels.

That ran until 2AM when we parted and I returned to the hotel.

If only I could have caught Tripod or Arj Barker again, it would have been a frigging perfect Comedy Festival In A Day for me. Alas, my flight left in several hours time and there were no more shows on that night/morning.

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