Presented by Adelaide Comedy
Reviewed 9 January 2015
The first Adelaide Comedy event for 2015 has been in the works for a while but at the last minute, organisers rallied to redirect what was originally a showcase of Adelaide Comedy 2014 Award Winners to benefit the Country Fire Service (CFS).
Held at the Rhino Room, this well-known hub for Adelaide Comedy was at near capacity and for good reason. Not only did patrons get a free show (provided they donated $20 to the CFS at the door), the line-up featured seven of Adelaide’s best funny people, with a special guest appearance by veteran Greg Fleet.
Setting the tone for the evening in his suave Latino accent, was host and Adelaide Comedy’s Comic of the Year, Ivan Aristeguieta. Ivan’s stage presence and immediate connection with the audience, together with his clever insights into Australian culture, made it clear why this pseudo “Mexican”, and recent Australian, won the overall comedic prize. I say “Mexican” because he was quick to point out he’s often mistaken for someone from Mexico and that doesn’t’ offend him because they’re such a passionate, enthusiastic lot. He then went on to encourage the audience to “go Mexican” as each new act entered the stage.
First act of the evening was ring-in, Greg Fleet. “Fleety” is well known to most who frequent the comedy scene and he didn’t disappoint with his trademark sardonic humour and stories about the more illicit side of life. He suggested that Facebook has devalued the definition of ‘friend’ because at school, he had 18 friends and that was considered popular.
The second act was Rising Starr Best Newcomer, Matt Vesley. Matt is clearly a comedian to watch, regaling the audience with anecdotes of his auto-luminescent chest, and current haunting by 152 randomly-placed, laminated pictures of Alanis Morisette.
Progress and Development winner was Bogan Yoda, Marc Ryan. Just looking at this guy made me laugh. He was the full bogan complete with flanny, trucker-cap, and curly mullet. He told the audience that next week they’d all be back to raise money for flood relief, and that he and his family were such a mixed lot that when they traipse through the Elizabeth shopping centre, they qualify as the bogan Brad and Angelina Jolie. Marc’s delivery was off in a few places, tripping over his words, but he was still very funny and obviously committed to progressing and developing.
Leigh Qurban, winner of the Peers Choice Award, focused on gender stereotypes in relationships. He pondered why girlfriends aren’t expected to surprise their men with random six-packs the way boyfriends are supposed to buy flowers for their gal. He was funny, but not the best act of the night. In my opinion, that honour went to Fabien Clark, winner of the Best Writer Award. Fabien’s stuff was clever, articulate, and insightful on top of being bloody funny. I don’t want to give away any of his punch lines because this “white Bob Marley” is definitely worth seeing at the Adelaide Fringe. If you want to support local acts, this guy is a must.
The “Cheers Big Ears” Host of the Year Award went to Eddie Bannon. Eddie had great stage presence and, as an Irishman with a complete inability to do an Australian accent, his material wasn’t as funny as some previous acts. It was easy to see why he’d make a good host, though.
Lori Bell has been around for a decade and is well known and loved by all who frequent Adelaide Comedy. She won the Hyland Award for a local comic and while her delivery was spot on and her material funny, I’ve heard it all before. Verbatim. Hopefully she will have new material for Fringe or there’s a good chance you’ll hear the same recycled, re-heated stuff from her.
Michael Bowley was last act of the night and winner of the Hall of Fame Award. It was somewhat surprising that this guy won that award over others because while he was funny and had good presence, he wasn’t as polished or cohesive as some. His act also focused on relationship stuff, and the socio-economic divide between various suburbs in Adelaide. A funny guy who’s been around for a while.
By the end of the evening, Adelaide Comedy had raised $2,180 through ticket sales and donations. Ivan kept up the energy between each set, and just got better as the evening progressed. Again, not to give his punch lines away ‘cos he’s definitely worth seeing at Fringe and has a show called Ivan Aristeguieta and Fabien Clark are Sauce and Salsa. Two excellent locals in one show – I know I’m going, hope you will too!
Reviewed by Samantha Bond
Venue: Rhino Room, Frome St, Adelaide
Season: 9 January 2015 only
Duration: 2.5 hours