TWO SHORT, FUNNY SETS THE HIGHLIGHTS
Dunedin Fringe 2012|
DUNEDIN’S ONE NIGHT STAND… UP
at Havana Lounge, cnr Moray Place and Filleul St, Auckland
21 Mar 2012
Reviewed by Patrick Davies, 22 Mar 2012
With the curious absence of any local stand up from usual stalwarts CIA, it's great to see Lockie Scott jumping head first into the gap with this one night only stand. It's been along time since I've been to the Havana Lounge at the back of the pool hall and the refurbished little cinema makes for a wonderfully intimate space.
Hosted by the always reliable Sam Irwin, ably assisted on sounds and slides by Lockie Scott (as his version of Lana Cockroft), Sam introduced us to his conspiracy theories about subliminal messages in print media. I won't divulge these important clues to our society but each and every one hit the mark and got a great laugh. His relaxed and assured manner was a great start to the evening and throughout he kept us rolling along.
I especially liked 'Quiet Time With Sam': a wistful wandering through puns accompanied by a soft guitar. Puns seem to be one of the markers of a lot of local comics who have the Capping Show as a background, and Irwin is very good at them.
Finn Sigglekow opened with a set very similar to the one he used at the Polson Higgs Comedy Club, with more success this time. In such an intimate space he was quite aggressive and both he and Malcolm Morrison need to stand still a bit more. Their relentless pacing to and fro weakens their delivery and several times punchlines were almost inaudible. With Sigglekow's puns this didn't help, but he got some great laughs and flops from his testicles. I'll leave you to use your imagination.
Morrison has been the MC at a number of the Improsaurus gigs and brings his slightly eclectic range of morals to the fore with forays into inner monologues and how to avoid being mugged. It's very funny to see his quick physical changes and he has a good ability to time his punchlines well.
His poem ‘The Real Casanova' is a real treat, coupleting his way through his story with some ingenious rhymes and a good dollop of cynicism. Though here his seemingly constant moving did make us think he had finished several times as he landed a punchline and faced upstage as though about to move onto another topic.
I really enjoyed his display of accents – some more dubious than others but all funny – and have never seen anyone make airline food go that far. Great.
Travis Monk is an Alaskan who had a great set reading from his journal relating his experiences playing cricket inNew Zealand: “How hard can it be?”. An example of very assured delivery, well paced, funny and also a great look at one of our national sports. With his wry style, timing and ability to grab a laugh from the audience with just a look made him a favourite.
Kate Han was a revelation. Not only was she performing stand up in her second language but it was very, very funny. Her take on our culture and why we should be nice to the Chinese had the audience in her hand. If you see her name on a poster for stand up, don't miss her.
Kate and Travis, with short, funny sets were the highlights of the evening.
Lockie Scott started us after the break, riffing on being an arts student and making outrageous milage with the story of his torn rectum with an attack of the puns. Lockie has an easy style and has the sense to be abashed when some of the puns garner him a groan-laugh. He has a kind positivity and a good rapport with the audience that is very easy to watch.
His song about the spider in his bedroom was just as much fun to watch as listen to; each verse adding an increasingly harder rhyme scheme. Here, along with Sigglekow and Morrison, his diction and mic technique almost made some punchlines inaudible.
Last up was the headliner, Dan Brader. Brader is a self confessed “horrible, horrible, human being” and some of his material certainly leaves him in a less than favourable light with anyone with morals. But he's unashamedly honest about it and his own proclivities, and with a very professional demeanour you feel like you've been warned. In fact he did test the waters of offensibility of the audience and received carte blanch, which he proceeded to take.
At times very rambling, he described his own life and circumstances with a raw intensity that verged on drama more than comedy, but he always had a line to pull the drama carpet from under us. Later in his set he sat and introduced new material that was less finished and has some way to go. Brader is a comic you will love or hate, but he's never dull.
Great to see local comedy well represented at the Fringe.
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