Just a quick round-up of shows I saw in preview (sometimes not in full) before the festival and haven’t got around to mentioning yet.
Tom Ballard – Is What He Is. Tom is a young comedian, 19, who has been making a mark in comedy for a few years now. This year he came out, and this show tells the story of growing up “a woolly woofter in Warrnambool” and coming to terms with it. I found Tom’s style warm, witty and sharp as a tack, and my gay friend who saw the show with me laughed dementedly through the first half and by the end was crying (in a good way).
Jarred Keane – The Call of the Mild. Jarred’s been doing the comedy rounds in Sydney for a while now, and this is his debut festival show. A bit of an overthinker, Jarred’s got a lot to say about what makes comedians tick and says it well. He stands out against the current crop of laid-back comics, prowling the stage and striking poses to punch home his points. “Not for fans of the Footy Show”.
Dave Jory – Is a Cat Person. Dave realised this year that his cats have taken over his life, and he has some complaints. One of Sydney’s favourites as feature act or MC, Dave takes this simple idea and wraps it in layers of social commentary and playful absurdities.
Dave Bloustien – The Social Contract (A David And Goliath Story). Don’t be fooled by that intense stare on the poster – Dave is one of the most likeable comedians out there, as well as one of the cleverest writers. This show tells the story of a pursuit of justice which ended with Dave having to prove that he is funny in a court of law, with a plethora of appealing digressions along the way. Part of the Moosehead program for 2009.
Christina Davis – Bite Me: The Bitch Experiment. The only comedian in the festival who posed with a leopard for the show poster, Christina looks like a very nice person. But she’s sick of being the nice one who’s always worked over, so she has entered a program of advanced bitchery and standing up for herself: is it working? The new spiky armour is hilarious, but it’s Christina’s vulnerability that makes the show work.