#MICF Sun 1st April: Five Foot Fingers, FanFiction Comedy, Carl-Einar Häckner, Paul Foot, Shakespeare Fight Club, DeAnne Smith Sits Down

Sunday 1st April

What a great day I had!

Five Foot Fingers
☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
I went back to Fed Square to catch the full hour long show, since I enjoyed their short set so much on Saturday’s afternoon showcase. If stalking French acrobats is wrong, I don’t want to be right. This is billed as “Kids Comedy” and kids do love it, but there’s much more going on for the rest of us too. Apart from the sheer skill level of their stunts and verve of their Buster Keatonesque buffoonery, I love how these deliciously hairy blokes play around with stereotypes of masculinity and sex appeal while still staying family-friendly. They’re only here for another week – don’t miss them.

FanFiction Comedy
☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
Marvelously nerdy pop-culture fun. A cult show in NZ, Wil Anderson has brought them to MICF to dazzle with new stories and special fest-guests every show. The format is terrific and the comics are almost having a better time than the audience (but not quite – howls and snorts were plentiful). This show will sell out – book tix quick.

Carl-Einar Häckner – Hand Luggage
☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
My entire notes for this show are “OMFG!!!” – I knew that he did magic tricks a la Tommy Cooper and that there was also much more to the show, but I had no idea what to expect. Häckner peels away one layer of schtick to reveal pathos then another layer of schtick until he just becomes more and more delightfully absurd. The harmonica routine was a disturbingly gut-busting highlight of a second half-hour which was rolling belly laughs. He also made us sing, which is why today I have no voice.

Paul Foot – Still Life
☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
This time I took copious notes but solely for my own benefit, because I couldn’t bear to ruin any surprises for you. Foot initially appears to be a comedian completely out of control while actually having a plan as cunning as a weasel in winklepickers all along (including the effect of his stage outfit which I just accurately described). Best crowd interaction of the festival, hands down. Don’t try and work out what he’s up to, just marvel at the audacity while you laugh yourself hoarse.

Watson presents Shakespeare Fight Club
☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
Somewhere in the first three minutes of this passionately irreverent tribute to the Bard, the fourth wall was treated with such disdain that it went into hiding for the next 50-odd minutes, and the player commentary on what was meant to be happening became the highlight of the performance. Every aspect of the off-stage lives of the players was fair game for a foul blow, with nods and winks coming so thick and fast that I can’t even think of an adequately cheesy simile, possibly because Melbourne’s monthly supply of such were all used up in this show. You don’t have to know Shakespeare to “get” SFC, you just have to love really big emotions and really cheeky performers.

After all that, the perfect closer for the night was Dom Romeo in conversation with DeAnne Smith for Stand Up Sit Down. Everyone was a bit tired beforehand, but we all perked up once the interview started and ended up having a great time with DeAnne interviewing audience members as well as answering their questions, and playing us a song from her show Livin’ the Sweet Life. Check out Dom’s guests for next week and come along to hear your favourite funny people lift the lid on what they do.
NB: I don’t give Dom’s show a star rating because I’m too closely involved behind the scenes, but you definitely should all be coming to see it.

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