Tag Archives: comedy reviews

Don’t Be Terrible – A Black Comedy by Ellen Waddell & Oliver Milburn: A Review

Bunbury Magazine – ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

In the beginning, there was Alice, a dark, rumbling force of comedy with no time for fools, and Alice was good. She takes to the stage at a comedy club and storms a stand-up routine to rapturous applause. Such is the ferocity of her performance that Steve, a well-meaning, kind-hearted audience member, asks her for lessons in how to be a stand-up.

What follows from this point engrossing on every level – the beautiful writing brought to life by first-class performances by Holly Aston and Daniel Cech-Lucas, as Alice and Steve respectively. We see the development of their relationship together, the trails and tribulations of their own relationships and Steve’s journey into the world of comedy as a way to recapture his girlfriend’s love. There is an obvious and immediate chemistry between Holly and Daniel which helps the dialogue ad structure radiate over the audience.

This is not a traditional play. This is a play that, right from it’s innovative opening, has a lot to say about relationships – how they form and end and every moment in between; the desperation that can be felt; the heartbreak. It is also a sharply-observed glimpse behind the curtain of what it takes to actually be funny and how to write comedy that will make people laugh. The ‘stand-up’ sections have a wonderful rhythm and flow to them, reminiscent of the best poetry you could imagine.

The narrative of the play never wavers from its course and is wonderfully balanced from its state-of-imperfection opening through to the climax and ending, which is a superbly far away from a Disney happily-ever-after as you can imagine. It is a genuine emotional roller-coaster and a thrill to ride it – dark, funny, expressive and intelligent.

The forms and conventions of plays and stand-up are toyed with, flipped and laid bare in Don’t Be Terrible to an exquisite level. For a play which can give you everything you need from entertainment, and more, this should not be missed.

Written by Christopher Moriarty

Don’t be Terrible: A Black Comedy by Ellen Waddell & Oliver Milburn

Laughing Horse @ City Cafe, 1500

Until 26th August

Chella Quint: Adventures in Menstruating

Bunbury Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Chella Quint’s ‘Adventures in Menstruating’ is a brave and ambitious venture into the taboo that is menstruation, and how we stop the destructive influence its having on women and girls alike.

The show draws on Quint’s experiences as a teacher. Alarmed by the lack of menstrual education in schools, she embarked upon research into where the miseducation has come from that has left adolescents so clueless about periods – thus, ‘Adventures in Menstruating’ was born.

From the off, she knows how to break boundaries. She uses audience interaction to break down barriers and draw people out of their comfort zones, before getting into the gory details. It’s a daring but effective move – even the handful of men looking unsure of what they’ve got themselves into are in stitches in minutes. Though approaching an uncomfortable topic, Quint’s the tendency towards sharp pun or timely punchline is impeccable.

The show is a manifestation of Quint’s mission to normalise periods, and it achieves just that. As a performer, she is instantly charming, shameless, sometimes silly and always warm and affable.

’Adventures in Menstruating’ explores some of the misconceptions around the monthly affliction, and explores the sources of the contrived shame surrounding period that Quint seeks to dismantle. Her research pays off; even the most seasoned menstruated will more than likely take something from this informative presentation. Never a dull moment, the show is a unexpected and refreshing experience.

‘Adventures in Menstruating’ will be running at 22:10 on Friday 10th August at The Banshee Labyrinth and Saturday 11th August at 15:00 in Central Library.

Alex Farrow: Allow It

Alex Farrow: Allow It
12:00 @ Moriarty’s (Venue 332) Aug 2nd – 26th
Free Festival Laughing Horse

Bunbury Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

This show has a warm, welcoming and gentle feel right from the start with strong but comfortable audience participation. It is a very cleverly written show which has been well researched and brilliantly put together. Wonderfully informative, Farrow’s teaching background is evident and used to great effect.
The audience is made to feel relaxed and at ease while a wide range of topics are covered in this seemingly effortless performance. It is honest and interesting and really, very, very funny indeed.

It really is one of those shows that feels like it’s over too soon because it’s so funny and genuinely enjoyable.

It’s well worth going to. Alex Farrow gets top marks from us…  I know, I know. I’m sorry. I’ll leave the funnies to Alex.

Tales From The Elsewhere, Love Hard

Tales From The Elsewhere, Love Hard
20:45 @ Espionage (Venue 185) Aug 2-26th
Free Festival Laughing Horse

Bunbury Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

This show is fantastic. It’s well written, intense and brilliantly performed. Energetic from the start, the audience has no choice but to be completely hooked as they take in a performance of superb character work, excellent improvisation and a simple but highly enjoyable plot.
The show is a parody of 80’s thriller Sci-Fi with flavours of Stranger Things with subtle undertones of Stephen King’s IT amongst others.
The entire audience was completely on board from the start and didn’t stop laughing for the duration.

For us, this show is one of the rarer beasts that is, in our opinion, as close to perfection as you’re going to get. if you want lively, bold escapism, go and see this show.

This is definitely in the running for Bunbury Best Show of The Fringe and you need to see why for yourselves.

To miss this would be sheer idiocy and we know you’re all smart cookies.

Sam Kissajukian: Alcohol is Good for You

Sam Kissajukian: Alcohol is Good for You
5:15 @ Espionage (Venue 185) Aug 2-6, 8-13, 15-20, 22-26
Free Festival Laughing Horse

Bunbury Rating – ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Let’s start by stating the obvious, Sam Kissajukian has a fantastic stage presence. Blunt and very quick witted, this performance is conversational tonally with a completely laid back feel. Kissajukian is highly charismatic and his humour is very honest. Very well written and in our opinion, expertly constructed, this show is an absolute pleasure to watch and not only has beautiful, vivid language but is also completely emersive.
With superb command of the room, Kissajukian makes his experiences which, at times, are highly surreal, accessible and engaging to audience members of all ages, although at this point, we should point out that this would not be suitable for children.

This is a must see show. Take the time to go and see this extremely talented individual. It’s so worth it.

Brian O’Toole & Padraig Williams – No Star Review

Brian O’Toole & Padraig Williams: No Star Reviews – 15:00 @ Bar Bados (Venue 32) Aug 4-26th
PBH’s Free Fringe

Bunbury Rating – ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Brian O’Toole,
From the off, this was a warm and inclusive show of two halves. The first Comedian, Brian O’Toole, worked the room well, dealing with the very strange heckles with skill and efficiency. O’Toole demonstrates excellent timing and confidence with an intimate crowd. The stories he tells are not only funny but slightly haunting in parts leaving the audience wondering where the show will go next. With some very tongue in cheek descriptions and a wonderful way of putting even the most shy people to get involved and interact while making them feel comfortable, O’Toole really plays to his clear strengths.

Padraig Williams
There is a definite change in pace and style when Williams takes the stage. The tone is more conversational honest and very immersive in nature. A true story teller, Williams paints a completely relatable picture. Brilliantly satirical in parts and deep, biting and sarcastic in others, again, Williams has no problem working the room and overcoming an exceptionally strange heckle (from the same guy may I add) about geese. I also feel compelled to point out that, although many topics are covered, geese has nothing to do with the show at all… In either parts. Not on mention of the word ‘geese’ until this weird heckle. As I said before, it was dealt with beautifully.
Parts of Williams’ section are pretty edgy on occasion but it’s all rounded off and presented well.