MICF: Rod, Hannah, Kate, and Andrew

With so many venues in an easy dash of each other in the city, it’s too easy to see more than one show a night. In fact, with an info board, an info booth, info staff and performers with flyers and offers of cheap tickets, it’s criminal to not choose a handful of shows. Last night I saw Rod, Hannah, Kate and Andrew.

Rod Quantock
Rod Quantock

In Peak-A-Boo Rod Quantok is as bloody wonderful as ever. He’s often described as intelligent and subversive, but what’s subversive about stating the obvious?

Blackboard 1 AprilNot too long ago, Rod’s shows had become more positive. It’s harder to joke about your government when they are undoing some damage. That didn’t last. It didn’t even last as long as one term. And now, well, now it’s just too easy and too depressing to even joke about.

But Rod still makes us laugh. If we can’t laugh at the regressive hell that we’re in…

Still greeting everyone at the door, he’s gone back to basics with a blackboard to help explain things like the blatant fiction in a piece shared by Bolt Head and to attempt to do the maths that could possibly make the East-West tunnel make any sense.

Rod doesn’t deserve anything as archaic and boring as a knighthood, so what can we award him? I’m going with an old suggestion of naming a Melbourne lane after him. Who wouldn’t want a latte and a rant in Quantock Place?

Hannah Gadsby
Hannah Gadsby

Hannah  Gadsby’s The Exhibitionist starts with Hannah having to choose the photo for this year’s show. She had a bad start to the year, so a dud pic that she had to see everywhere wasn’t an option.

What follows is a photo album of embarrassment, a look at what rich folk did before cameras and mirrors (mirrors are a relatively new invention; imagine how happy the world would be if we didn’t look in the mirror every day), how artists selfied before smart phones, and a lesson in learning to love those cameras.

This show isn’t as personal as last year’s, but it’s impossible not to adore Hannah; she’s honest and loving and jaw-aching funny

Kate McLennan
Kate McLennan

Kate McLennan in a fluffy yellow duck suit telling more stories about Pockets. What’s not to love!

Pockets is Kate’s dad. Along with the rest of her family, he’s been a part of Kate’s stand up since the beginning and her friends and fans adore him as much as they do Kate.

Kate’s 34 this year and she doesn’t have a Thermomix or a baby, which means awkward questions and quiet judging if she cooks for her friends. The Duck’s Nuts is about her ducks not lining up in neat rows, but still getting drunk, spewing and not checking the oil in a car that’s worth less than a Thermomix.

She nails mid-30s angst with the hilarious glee it deserves and, don’t worry Kate, I’m 45 and I don’t have a Thermomix.

Andrew Finegan
Andrew Finegan

Andrew Finegan is a librarian. A song-writing, ukulele-playing, apocalypse-obsessed, young-adult-literature-reading, cabaret-performing librarian. And that rocks!

At the ever-gorgeous Butterfly Club he sings his Songs about the End of World including a Pachelbel-inspired rap about Noah, the North Koren hit “Pyongyang style”, a ukulele ditty about bacteria, a song that tells The Hunger Games from go to spoiler-filled end (which is fine because you won’t know what he’s on about if you don’t know it anyway) and a Twilight horror moment.

As a new performer on the scene, he needs to work on his stage character and up his performance fitness, but none of it took away from the originality and authenticity of his work. With science, history and Harry Potter songs, his mix is nerd-perfect and unique and I’m looking forward to see what he does next.

Melbourne International Comedy Festival
Opening Date: 26 March 2014
Closing Date: 20 April 2014
Online: comedyfestival.com.au

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Anne-Marie spent many years working with amazing artists at arts festivals all over Australia. She's been a freelance arts writer for the last 10 years and teaches journalism at Monash University.

Anne-Marie has written 881 articles on AussieTheatre | Read more articles by

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