Reviews: Comedy on the Edge, A Mic in Hand, Cranston Cup

This post has been updated to add new performance photos

Peter Green Book Launch, Comedy on the Edge @ Hotel William Tues 11th
Jackie Loeb, Mic in Hand @ Friend in Hand Hotel, Thurs 13th
Theatresports Cranston Cup Semi Final #2 @ Belvoir, Sun 16th

  • Comedy on the Edge, upstairs at the Hotel William, is a big (big) comfortable space, filled with rows of sofas and a small stage. The audience for the book launch of Are Youse The Comoydians? were mellow and appreciative, anticipating a more laid-back night than your usual stand-up show, and so it proved. Fast-talking Jonas Holt and veteran Peter Meisel were delightful supports in the first half of the show, and then (proving room manager Mark Williamson’s maxim of “you just never know who may be dropping by the EDGE”) in the second half came the welcome surprise of “toughest woman in comedy” Julia Wilson doing a spot before Greeny came on to discuss his book with fellow cyclist-comedian Dominick O’Kieran (who also MC’ed the evening).

    Peter Green

    Peter Green

    The Last Legs tour was obviously different: two comedians cycled across Australia and wherever they stopped for the night they put on a comedy show. Their own mishaps and the varied reactions and characters they met along the way make for a string of highly entertaining anecdotes. Chase down Peter Green and buy his book to see for yourself!

    This week on Comedy on the Edge: “The Bad Boys of Comedy are back!! Featuring the Man, the myth the Legend Jeremy ‘Keasty’ Keast, Justin ‘D’ Lodge, all the way from Melbourne the Nelson Twins and your main attraction Barry ‘Hardcore’ Hamilton.”

  • A Mic In Hand: this room has built a strong reputation in the nearly six years it’s been open, offering crowd favourites as headliners and featured acts while providing a rising comics showcase as well. They always pull a good crowd, not least because top comedians often drop in unannounced to do a spot.

    On Thursday, veteran Rob McHugh was MC, mixing well-refined material with the topical to good effect. The rising comics showcase offered the varied styles of Thomas Russell, Duncan McConachie, Hugh Cameron, Mikey Mileos and John Cruickshank to a generally strong crowd reception. Some material was slightly uneven but all had great moments. Dave Jory (triple j) dropped by to do a surprise spot, most uncharacteristically not wearing a suit, telling us he was too depressed to bother due to his Movember hairiness and the domestic tyranny of his cat, amongst other things.

    Jackie Loeb at the Mic in Hand (photo by Liz Christie)

    Jackie Loeb at the Mic in Hand (photo by Liz Christie)

    The featured acts were both musical comedians, but their styles are quite different. Supporting act Shane Matheson flashes an engaging cheesy grin to present as an amiably energetic lunatic with a keyboard and a ukelele, offering songs that are sometimes only one phrase long, and covering a plethora of topics. Transitions are abrupt and the laughs roll on top of one another. He was very well received. Headliner Jackie Loeb‘s set, befitting her 14 years or so in comedy, was more structured and polished (especially in her use of audience banter), her absurdities and physical comedy sparkling amongst the trademark song parodies, most especially delighting the crowd by doing their requested Bassey song to end the show. [previous review]

    This week at Mic in Hand: Peter Eigner headlining with David Smiedt as MC, plus rising comics open mic.

  • Theatresports Cranston Cup Semi Final #2 was a rip-snorting show last night, ring-mastered by the outstanding Ewan Campbell and Jane Simmons.

    Ewan MacGregor & Jane Simmons

    Ewan Campbell & Jane Simmons

    It started off as a fairly typical show, with the requisite chuckles and occasional guffaw, but by the end of the night the players were on fire, taking enormous risks with the challenges they set themselves and each other with absolutely hilarious results, enhanced by musical accompanist Jason Rushton. Winners on the night were student team Arabian Disko Knights from Blue Mountains Grammar School, a triumph richly deserved and truly memorable: for certainly the first time that either I or Impro Australia‘s Geoff Bartlett can recall, the Schools contest winners have made it all the way through the heats to secure a place in the Grand Final: congratulations!
Arabian Disko Knights in action

Arabian Disko Knights in action

Teams now through to the Grand Final (at Enmore Theatre):
Man/Raven. Dave Bloustein, Marko Mustac and Steve Walsh.
North Sho’ Pimps. J Rex (Jon Williams), Lynch Pin (Steve Lynch) and Tao of Yao (Jeremy Yao).
Super Love Ultimate Team (defending Cranston Cup Champions). Lee Naimo, Jordan Raskopoulos, Steen Raskopoulos and Simon Greiner
Arabian Disko Knights (2008 Schools Contest Champions): Jimmy Tredinnick, Nadia Odlum, Ben Hunter, Lauren Moscovis

Teams in next week’s Repechage Playoff (at Belvoir Street):
Osama Bin Laden Blues Exposion. Rebecca DeUnamuno, Cameron Knight and Dave Williams
Obese People Can Be Healthy:Study. Grant Davies, Scott Hall-Watson, Matt Foster
Pyjama Party. Lisa Ricketts, Amanda Buckley and Susie Youssef
Unicorns Are Racists, Too. Alice Fraser, Tess McLellan, Mitchell Alistair and Carlo Ritchie

The Grand Final is on Saturday Dec 6th at the Enmore Theatre.

Image Credits for performance photos: all images used with permission. Jackie Loeb at A Mic in Hand courtesy of Liz Christie, Theatresports Semifinals photos courtesy of photographer and Impro Australia.

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