Presented by Feast Festival
Reviewed 27th October 2016
Feast kicked off the comedy section of the 2016 program with the annual Mass Debate. This year the topic was ‘single versus relationship’, with performers Toby Halligan, Thomas Jaspers, and Daisy Berry on the pro-single team, and Andy Bolloch, Marcus Willis, Lisa-Skye and Victoria Healy on the pro-relationship side.
Local comedian Lori Bell took centre stage as the moderator of the debate and was once again a stand out performer. She appeared in her element as comedian wrangler and emcee with swift punchlines and overall solid control over the show’s timing.
The Mass Debate was a relatively casual affair that was partially unscripted making the show a unique experience. The improv style of the show lead to a delightful chaos and a relaxed style of comedy that placed the performers outside of their individual show styles. The show featured a bit of everything from physical and theatrical humour, to political and topical themes. There was even a marriage proposal this year.
At times the debating points were unclear or lost in the performers enthusiasm but this didn’t impact on the overall level of the comedy, and instead added to the general entertainment of it. It was an optimal chance to witness the performers ad lib skills during which Willis and Bolloch thrived in a confident display that utilised all the levels of the stage.
The stage was set on the second level landing in the new Feast hub in Raj House with seating over the three levels giving the audience plenty of options to get closer to the performers. The multi-level set up did provide a challenge for a couple of the comedians who seemed to lose focus on where the crowd was located and slowed down the timing of their jokes.
The interconnectedness of the comedy community was also on show with the performers bringing personal aspects to the debate which created a little extra insight to the individual styles of their stage performances.
Feast’s comedy events are always a highlight of the festival and this year’s debate was no exception.
The debate panellists all have shows on during Feast 2016. See the festival program guide for full details.
Reviewed by Alex Dunkin
Rating (4 out of 5):
One Night Only: Season ended