I'm trying to do as much writing as possible while performing this comedy festival. To that end, here are reviews of some shows I took in over the first weekend. Click the show titles for a link to tickets.
I really only went to see Josh Earl to see if he was talking about me from when we worked on Spicks and Specks together. He did, and that made me happy. The other 49 minutes of the show, however, were also thoroughly enjoyable.
Jearl, as we in the comedy fraternity affectionately refer to him, is articulating something we can all relate to; that feeling that we don't fit in. Whether it be in a solo sketch about what happens between two men during a handshake (featuring an auditory appearance by Josh's Lime Champions co-host from RRR, Damien Lawlor), a song about Joseph being sidelined by Jesus, or an elaborate anecdote about discovering the music of Nick Cave, the show celebrates the outsider in all of us.
Josh is personable, and in this show quite personal, revealing the joys and disappointments that have intertwined over the past year. Square Peg is a life-affirming show that will make you realise we, all of us, have things to cherish, and that feeling like you aren't part of the herd isn't such a bad thing.
Tommy asked me to come and see his show, and give him some notes, which was an entirely pointless exercise, because what I had to say could have fit on a post-it note.
If you know Tommy Dassalo, you know he is confident, and sure of his worldview, even though that usually means completely missing the point of what is going on, until far too late. There are a couple of hilarious anecdotes in this show that make you realise this has been the case since childhood.
Tommy's coming of age stories are illustrated, literally, by his own hand, his pictures projected on to a screen behind him. His artwork is adorable, and goes some way to explaining the show's title. Much hilarity is milked from the juxtaposition of his cute, cartoony drawings depicting some decidedly indecent subject matter, including one of the most infamous sex scenes in cinema history.
I wanted to riff on the pun of this being an hour of standup and 'sketches,' but Tommy's illustrations are far too polished to be dismissed as mere sketches. This is an engaging show, with lots of laughs, and the occasional self-refelctive insight.