Comedy Festival

26 07 2009

[This post has been in draft for months. Waiting at the E&E has given me the chance to finish it!]

At the beginning of every Melbourne International Comedy Festival I am determined to go to a bunch of shows but only ever end up seeing one or two.  I continued the trend this year seeing two, but they were both quality.

Daniel Kitson

Kitson, one of my all-time favourite comedic performers, slipped mostly under the radar this year, performing a string of small shows at RRR studios.  Tickets were sold at Polyester records and, despite very limited advertising, sold out quickly.  Thanks Desci for the heads-up

The show was called "Work In Progress" as he was trialling out new material to be complete for the Edinburgh Comedy Festival.  Tickets were remarkably cheap at $14 contributing to the rapid sales.

Work in Progress was an apt title.  The show didn’t have his usual…flow.  Numerous times he rhetorically asked "What was I saying?", his stutter was stronger than usual (less rehearsed?) and his material still needed some polish.  However, it was Kitson.  The man is a genius; I’d listen to him talk about tax returns.  I just love the left-of-centre way he looks at the world and his emotional, human, stories.  Funny, funny man.  If you’ve never seen Kitson live go do it next chance you get.


Tim Minchin

Australian lad Minchin kinda exploded on to the Comedy Festival scene a couple of years ago winning over audiences by performing his rare breed of musical comedy. 

Obviously a talented musician – a gifted pianist with a great voice – it turned out that he also had a talent for writing insightful lyrics that were intelligent and funny as hell. 

As expected, Minchin nailed every one of his songs.  From Ginger (a song about redheads – he’s a blood-nut himself though you wouldn’t know it with his crazed hairstyle) to I Love Boobies he was pitch-perfect and hilarious.  However the most memorable part of the show was where he delivered a nine-minute spoken-word piece about a dinner party he attended where he argued with a beautiful woman who rejected scientific claims (Minchin, a self-professed geek, was completely in his element).  The delivery was extraordinary.  Nine minutes, no prompting, nothing written down, just Minchin and his killer diatribe.  Sensational!

His only real weakness is with audience interaction.  When he’d get out from behind the piano and start talking with the audience he was only adequate.  Some people have that knack (Ross Noble and Arj Barker come to mind), Minchin hasn’t yet acquired it.

Still, a very polished, funny show and I can recommend him to anyone.  Thanks to Jen for organising the (front row!) tickets.

Oh, you should also go check out Rock ‘n’ Roll Nerd.  It’s a documentary about his early days as a struggling comic and is both touching and inspiring. 


Hopefully next year I’ll see more shows!


Eye & Ear hospital visit

26 07 2009

I’m writing this from the waiting area of the Eye and Ear hospital.

All this week I’ve had a "mangy" right eye.  Bloodshot and weepy I’ve got some sort of irritation that isn’t going away on it’s own.  More worryingly, the past couple of days have revealed a new symptom: slightly blurry vision.  Ick.  Saw a GP today (tried to get in yesterday; no dice, all busy) and she was very thorough, careful and understanding 1 but was unable to pin down the exact source of the irritation.  She recommended I bite the bullet and go to the E & E.

Expected waiting time is around four hours.  Can’t think of a better way to spend a Saturday evening…  😉

I’ll let y’all know what’s going on when I find out…


It wasn’t four hours.  Oh no.  Five and a half.  The staff were very friendly, patient and efficient but damn are they understaffed.  And apparently the government wants to close them down and push everyone through the public system…

Anyway.  Turns out a small ulcer on my eye is causing the irritation.  It’s treatable with antibiotics – I have to squirt some goop on my eye three times a day.  In parallel they’ve taken a swab of my eye and are going to see if any bacteria grows on it.  If my eye doesn’t respond to the current treatment they’ll know if it’s something more exotic and can use the bacteria to figure out how to progress with further treatment.

Despite the long wait the E&E staff did a great job.

Now it’s midnight and time for some dinner!


[Update #2]

All’s good!  Well, on the mend anyway.  I visited the E&E again Monday and the doctor took a look at my eye…"It’s actually a textbook case of marginal keratitis".  "Ohhhh" I replied.  Internally I’m wondering what the hell is that?!  "Yeah, it’s due to posterior blepharits.".  Naturally.  "Doc, am I going to see properly again?".  He laughed, "Yep, no problems – use these drops and you’ll see a big improvement in the next day or two and you should be at close to 100% in a week."

Now, two days later, my vision is at about 80-90%, the redness and irritation has all but disappeared.  I’ve got a check-up with them next Wednesday but it’s looking really good (pardon the pun).


1: Thanks Dr Alison Sands (at the Ivanhoe Doctors Clinic)!