2016 Perth Comedy Festival ShowcaseLeft – MC Ray Badran

The Perth Town Hall was full. This reviewer had never attended a live performance in the Town Hall before and it proved a workable concert space. There was an accessible 2nd storey tier which gave excellent viewing, the acoustics were fine and the ambience of the beautifully restored building delightful. The audience was on the younger end of the spectrum, whom I suspect, like me, had never darkened its doors before. It’s good news that the venue works well, sitting in another new hub for Perth, created by the fabulously renovated Treasury Building with its many bars and eateries and the equally attractive St George’s Square.

MC Ray Badran introduced the Showcase with a relaxed amusing rant covering food fads and dieting. He has lost weight and wants to “out” some diet foods for what they really are.

By contrast Tommy Little’s stint went completely to the other end of the spectrum. Indulgent eating, drinking and smoking were the themes in a life devoted to excess. Bacon sandwiches and “bakery porno” were funny highlights.

Larry Dean, a young Glaswegian, based his material on gay behaviour and his own efforts in presenting a camp manner to the world. He is a clever physical comedian and his impressions were outstanding.

I had seen senior American Dom Irrera previously in the Comedy Gala, but tonight he was too hasty in his initial delivery and the beginning was so quickly delivered as to be indecipherable. He really hit his straps however later with the customs set, finessing the “Did you pack this case yourself, sir?” into an hilarious “what if?” scenario.

I enjoyed Famous Sharon and felt that the audience was muted in its appreciation which in turn gave her little to work with. Her shtick is that she is as ordinary as she believes she is exceptional. Working lots of local references along with clever mispronunciations into her material she created a memorable and witty character act.

Craig Hill danced onto the stage clad in a denim kilt and sporting a large sporran. He is from Glasgow. He demonstrated his excellent vocal skills in sending up some popular songs with newly minted risqué gay lyrics. Hill interacted somewhat confrontationally with front row audience members, but all was well and they played along. He has a talent for accents and his South African and Welsh ones were particularly funny.

I would have loved a single sheet programme on the seats with the line-up for the hour, as was done with the Gala show, but it’s safe to bet that the comedians will vary as to who is in town and available at the time. Still well worth a punt for an hour of fun!

2016 Perth Comedy Festival Showcase

Venue: Perth Town Hall
Dates: 28 April – 14 May 2016
Tickets: $20 – $25
Bookings: perthcomedyfestival.com

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