Girls Night

Comedy, particularly in Adelaide, is heavily dominated by men. Therefore, when you see Girls Night on at the Howling Owl, you rock up to check it out.

Our MC for the evening was Diana Nguyen, an established actor, comedian, and speaker who ran the show with enthusiasm and wit. Nguyen’s material generally focused on the influence her heritage has had on her love life and career achievements. This engaging lady has just wrapped up her own Fringe show, titled Dirty Diana, which received some stellar reviews.

The three acts of the evening brought unique stories of female experiences and proved to be an absolute hoot. First up was Emily Grace who humoured us with stories from her recent marriage. Grace has her own show this Fringe season, performing Circle of Wife at the Rhino Room; her feature at Girls Night offered audiences a taste of her delightful insight to married life.

Next up was Sharon Mahoney, a comedian from Canada with an immense amount of energy. From the moment she took the stage we were intrigued, and she had us laughing from start to finish with her perceptions of Australian life and hilarious stories of how the strong, independent women in her life have shaped her experiences.

Finally, Rose Callaghan. Let me tell you, her set was sensational – incredibly funny and even more relatable. Callaghan made us laugh with stories of sex, travel, and relationships, all awkward and highly amusing coupled with her quirky perception of the world. Callaghan is also presenting her own show 12 Rules for Life which is essentially a revised version of Jordan Peterson’s sexist self-help book. Like Grace, Callaghan is performing at the Rhino Room and is a must see.

This night proves to be a whole bucket-load of fun in a refreshing comedic space run by women. It is an accessible show, which steers clear of ‘man-hating’, extremist or aggressive material, making for a light-hearted and feel-good evening. Get around the gals in the comedy scene and enjoy a chuckle from the female perspective.

4 stars


Words by Michelle Wakim

You can catch Girls Night at The Howling Owl on the 15th and 16th of March. Tickets here.

Ambispectrous

Eliza Thomas doesn’t even need to introduce herself for you to be able to see the eccentricity and uniqueness in her. You’ll feel immediately at home with the friendliness and relatability of the stories that she tells. Being on three different spectrums, Eliza Thomas is fully qualified to talk about all the things. She’ll tell you all about the great adventures of being autistic, having to encounter doctors who tell her that she isn’t narcoleptic (even though she is very narcoleptic), and if you’re lucky, she’ll tell you how she ‘caught’ the gay.

Ambispectrous caters for people of all mental shapes and sizes. Set in the Ballroom on North Terrace, there’s a choice of elegant seating or a pillow fort for those who would feel more comfortable amongst blankets. Eliza will introduce you to her thoughts, giving the audience a sneak peek into the deep, dark abyss that is the inner workings of her brain.


The show 
Ambispectrous is undoubtedly the best comedy performance that I’ve seen so far at the Fringe Festival, and if I could, I would see it again and again. The 6pm show time and 45-minute running time allows for an early night or the opportunity to see any other Fringe shows afterwards. For anyone who feels comfortable with sexual references and a bit a swearing, this show is a must see.

Absolutely amazing. Five stars from me!


Words by Sarah Ingham

You can find more information on Ambispectrous and buy tickets here.

 

Jon Bennett: How I Learned to Hug

Jon Bennett’s How I Learned to Hug is an exceptional fusion of comedy, music, multi-media and peculiar physical portrayals. Returning home to this year’s Fringe Festival, the award-winning comedian can be seen at Gluttony’s The Piglet. Such a venue offers a quaint space for Bennett to stand before audiences and discuss his experiences of love, sex, and intimacy. Bennett offers us a highly intelligent piece of work that is engaging in its writing and entertaining in its performance.

Comedy is often revealing and exposing, with How I Learned to Hug being no exception; I have never seen a performance quite so heart-warming and simultaneously confronting in its honesty. I will tell you straight up that this comedy is for the open-minded, as very few stones are left unturned in the discussion of sex and relationships. You will find yourself laughing because the artist in front of you – who looks very pretty in pink – gifts you with frank perceptions of human intimacy and sexual explorations. Half of the humour comes from the fact that Bennett’s thoughts and experiences are embarrassingly accurate, and his ideas hold a certain truth to them which is difficult to dispute and often awkward to discuss. Although you may relate to Bennett’s narratives, these stories can be told by Bennett alone, as his material and fast-paced, almost chaotic delivery suits the subject matter to a ‘T’.

At the beginning of this show, our vibrant storyteller anchors us at one point in time. However, expect to be led on an intricately structured journey, moving back and forth between this anchor and Bennett’s memories from the past. The progression keeps you on your toes as the show is ultimately Bennett telling us a story about how he told a memorable airport security guard, ‘Bey-Z’, the details of his relationship history.

To enhance the comedy, Bennett draws on common behavioural tropes that are shared by many of his audience members – ‘Forrest Gumping’ away your problems and being ‘wasted’ for many of your early intimate experiences are two notable examples. Such recurring moments, and the physicality Bennett applies to them, aren’t simply comical, but a perceptive reflection of the way we handle our relationship dilemmas.

What made this show have such an impact was Bennett’s transition between humour and sensitivity. As the majority of the show is delivered in a hyped and speedy fashion, Bennett’s contrast in tone and pace when discussing themes of deeper sentiment bring you to a halt. Bennett befriends his audience, drawing us in with his humour, before striking with a moment of emotional appeal – pathos as described so well by my friend – in order to persuade us to recognise the significance of the feelings behind each experience.

In summary, Bennett highlights the carnage that accompanies a broken heart, and how the people we love play an intrinsic role in shaping the people we become. He urges us to laugh at these moments and acknowledge their ridiculousness as a way of making them palatable. Shows such as How I Learned to Hug contribute to our wider understandings of our most important relationships, whether they be romantic, platonic or familial.

When seeing this show, I encourage you to approach it willing to embrace the obscurity that comes with Bennett’s storytelling. If you resist it or expect the conventional you will be closing yourself off to a spectacular and refreshing exploration of love.

Finally, see this piece of work with someone who will laugh with you. It will immediately make it all the more comfortable and enjoyable.


You can catch Jon Bennett: How I Learned to Hug until March 3rd. Details and tickets here.

Review by Michelle Wakim