Joel Creasy: The Hurricane
By Laura Foo
Joel Creasey is performing at MICF right now, and if you haven’t seen him yet and don’t already have tickets, you desperately need to reevaluate your life choices.
Not for the faint-hearted, Creasey’s The Hurricane is excruciatingly hilarious. Like, literally, excruciating. My cheeks were sore after the show.
Creasey whirls through anecdotes from his past year, including sharing behind-the-scenes gossip from his latest stint in the South African jungle on I’m A Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here!, and the laughs never fizzle. Covering all sorts of material, from homophobia amongst comedians, to that one time he got sunstroke in Las Vegas, the ‘Acid-Tongued Prince’ lives up to his title with his razor-sharp wit. At times, belly laughs will ensue, and during others, Creasey will leave you shocked with a “did he really just say that?!” kind of comment—the one that is so shady that it leaves you in utter disbelief, but is thoroughly side-splitting nonetheless.
His timing is impeccable and his expression, sublime, segueing seamlessly. Performing in front of a smallish crowd — about a hundred or so — he manages to create a space that feels like we’ve known each other for years, as if we are just having a casual catchup over a glass of red. Plus, he’s a total stud, and when has that ever been a bad thing?
Put simply, Joel Creasey is really funny, and you should definitely go watch him.
Magic Steven: World of Feelings
By Andy Hazel
The gentle chimes of a sitar fade as red curtains part to reveal a table draped in a red sheet. Magic Steven is not a magician in the traditional sense. The promotional poster of him relaxing on an invisible chair could suggest visual hijinks, but Steven’s magic comes in a very different form – his notebook. This small, worn, plain brown tome, full of daily observations of the mundane, absorbs his attention for the entire show. As he is hypnotised by it, his phlegmatic, even reading takes on a narcotic quality.
The crowd laughs loudly and listens intently as he draws scenes rich with details that modern urban living trains us to ignore.
He begins by describing Melbourne coffee and within a few carefully read sentences we’re on our way to a wedding at Wilsons Prom, then deep into the transom of his mind. His events intertwine with psychological counselling sessions, self-coaching and occasional conversations with friends.
As the show progresses we share a flight with him to India and he gives us a brief depiction of his time in Mumbai. It sounds relatively mundane – and it is! That is the curious magic of Steven. His level of detail and meticulous need to use acronyms and then break them down into their components, the repetition of basic facts we already know acts as an inclusive pull on the crowd. There is no judging, no ranting and no ego. More importantly, despite this barrage of prose, there is no padding, only careful pacing and a generous affection for every tiny piece that goes into a particular scene. I doubt there has ever been a picture of India drawn so bereft of its signature energy and vibrancy.
Steven spends most of his time in a hotel room, shades drawn letting images of Melbourne wash over him. I recommend experiencing this curiously seductive, odd, funny and refreshingly unique show as Steven experienced Mumbai – with your eyes closed, relishing each detail as the world outside rushes by.
Max and Ivan: The End
By Rebecca Liew
“You’ll love them,” the lady behind the counter is gushing, half-enthusiastically and half-apologetically. Apologetically because, you know, fuck-ups happen.
Some poor miscommunication led to a last-minute show replacement for an act I had done zero research on. It felt like I had entered the cinema not knowing what to expect because I hadn’t bothered to watch the trailer. I stepped into the Banquet Room of the Victoria Hotel and sat myself in the front row, anticipating Briton sketch-comedians, Max Olesker and Ivan Gonzalez’s MICF offering, The End.
Not knowing what to expect is kind of beautiful. From the get-go, the audience was set up for a witty ride revolving around a clever plot that’s set in Sudley-on-Sea, a sleepy and obscure English town. When a nuclear plant leak affects its small population, Sudley’s quirky collection of townsfolk goes into meltdown. And pandemonium follows – with plenty of laughs, of course.
There’s no one moment that steals the show – the story is constantly bam, bam, bam… you get the point. You don’t need to understand British humour or politics to enjoy this one – empty your head of all expectations and just know you’ll leave with a grin on your face and hands that hurt from clapping. Sudley, and its mix of curious but amusing characters, are gold – in particular, awkward Billy and his Tinder date, Amy. You’ll feel Billy’s painful awkwardness as he stammers his way through a “How’s your name pronounced?”, but then the clever writing reminds you that few meet-ups on Tinder will ever progress beyond the first date, especially when profile pictures often fail to meet expectations #LooksDon’tMatter #IChoseBooksNotLooks.
I enjoyed the characters’ thought dialogues during one-sided, one-worded conversations. I particularly loved when one character directed a, “At least I don’t look like a chubby Hitler!” at his father. Their father-son relationship is tumultuous, rickety and explosively fun – quite literally. You’ll see. Oh, and there’s this one sex scene I think everybody will enjoy. If you don’t, I have nothing to say to you except: are you human?