Comedy and books in a wine centre - what could be better!
Reviewed at the National Wine Centre on 16 February 2019
Presented by George Dimarelos
A Booklover’s Comedy Show is the brainchild of stand-up comedian, George Dimarelos. A certified ‘Super Greek’ (pun on ‘Super Geek’, get it? get it?) Dimarelos opened the bill of rotating comedians with the observation that a bookshow in a wine centre couldn’t really get any douchier. Delivered with a good dose of self deprecation, the audience went with him and what followed was a fair whack of audience interaction as they offered up their opinions and reading recommendations for the best books of all time.
Dimarelos performed his own book related stand-up, and acted as the glue holding together a bunch of comedians tasked with performing bookish comedy. The line-up changes nightly, but on Saturday night, the audience was treated to skits from the Burger King Illuminati (BKI), witticisms from Sam Bowden, nerdy comedy from Alexander Richmond, and astounding improv rap from MC Hammersmith. All these comedians have their own Fringe shows and are all worth checking out.
Some of the performances had tenuous links to books (BKIs skit about the Gringotts Bank from Harry Potter was fab, but their second skit lost me) but most got it over the line. Sam Bowden controversially argued that the book is not always better than the movie (Lord of the Rings, anyone?) and Alexander Richmond made everyone feel slightly uncomfortable with lots of Lolita references. MC Hammersmith is straight from the ghettos of middle-class white England and could himself pass for an older Harry Potter, but wow can this guy improv rap. The audience offered up a list of random, and quite unusual words (literary crowd show offs!), which Hammersmith promptly turned into a rap. He then did similar incorporating objects owned by audience members. (I offered up the miniature Kinder Surprise hiding in my bag courtesy of one of my children and yes, he managed to work it in.)
This isn’t a big name show, but it was an awesome start to this reviewer’s 2019 Fringe season, and I do urge people to support lessor known performers. All the comedians in this line-up were great in their own ways, and ringleader George Dimarelos deserves a big high five for his ongoing energy, enthusiasm and ability to keep smiling through all those snotty heckles! Go along to see something a little more high brow and different than your average Fringe funnies, then go home and read a good book.
Reviewed by Samantha Bond
Venue: Gallery Room at The National Wine Centre
Season: 15 Feb—2 March
Duration: 60 minutes
Tickets: $18 – 22