Gig 54: The Shelf

The season finale of season 6 of The Shelf was a big one! As previously stated these gigs are so much fun but they take a lot of time to put together.  Turns out it is quite time consuming creating a show that is full of "controlled anarchy".  We also had some pay offs for ongoing jokes that had been building during the season.  Not unlike a TV show that makes it up as we go along, we have had a few narratives that have organically sprung up that we've subsequently built on.  Last night's show began with Adam Richard introducing me only to have the curtain part with my six foot ten friend Brett Wheeler holding in his arms Luke McGregor who was posing as me.  Check out what that looked like:

 

 

The ongoing saga of Luke thinking he's a regular member of the show has made me laugh so much it just seemed natural he would attempt to usurp my role.  I loved the interaction I had with him once I walked onstage to crush his attempt to be me.  From there we went into a video from Before the Game where Mick Molloy asked a serious question of Lehmo but when the camera cut to him it was Celia Pacquola doing her "Lehmo" impersonation.  For anyone who has been watching Celia do her Lehmo impersonation for the last six months at The Shelf, it was a great payoff that had members of the audience applauding and yelling out "Lehmo!" to the screen.  These ongoing jokes have been an absolute delight hopefully helping give The Shelf that type of feeling I used to experience when I watched The Big Gig and The Late Show as a kid.

Our guests were all fantastic:  Brad Oakes, Alice Fraser, Cal Wilson as Adele (her piece was extraordinary last night...Cal always knocks it right out of the park!), Claire Hooper, Tom from Fan Fiction Comedy, Paul McDermott, Tim Ferguson, Greg Fleet, DeAnne Smith and Sam Simmons.  Our regulars were in top form as well: Adam Richard and Tegan Higginbotham have been great all season and the Heather Locklear of the show, Wil Anderson, always brings the funny to the stage. In fact our techie Jason Young even joined in on the fun as well last night.  He's been nailing Wil for dropping the microphone onstage for nearly three seasons now so Jason created this for him:

 

 

Jason has become the fifth Beatle of the show and we love having him a part of it.  The Toff in Town is also very good to us and really help create a space which allows us to do the best we can with the creation of each show.

My setlist was very straightforward.  In the last two weeks with people walking in and attempting to find room I needed to keep as much focus as possible onstage, help create the right vibe and not allow any restlessness from distracting what is happening in the settling audience. With Luke helping to start the show and the Before The Game video helping in that regard, it was time to belt out some straight up stand up to help settle things before the first chat with Adam and Brad.  This was the setlist:

 

Turning 40

Car Crash in Adelaide

Port Power Supporters in Adelaide

Hairy Baby

Invite Who You Want To Parties

Being An Arsehole

Little Boy Joke

 

This is rock solid stand up at this point and I hadn't performed any of that material at The Shelf since the beginning of August so I didn't feel bad about repeating myself.  I keep a log of every routine I perform at The Shelf so if I have to delve into the bag I can at least make certain it isn't material anyone has seen for a while.  Also while we have a lot of returning audience there were also people in the crowd who were at their first show so you have to find that balancing act of keeping everyone happy and entertained without letting it look like that is exactly what you're doing.

Of course there were so much more material thrown about (I talked about the "Bulge Incident" from Friday and Saturday's blogs amongst other things) and we finished the show with the customary "Oscars Speech".  Tom Gleeson came back to reprise his role of "dude who goes to the mic and doesn't get to say anything" and it makes me laugh even now thinking about his cameo.  Along with such legends as Brad, Paul, Tim and Fleety rubbing shoulders with Alice, Tom and Tegan, it felt like a night that really ticked as many boxes as you would want from a comedy show.

We return in August for season 7 and tickets are on sale at Moshtix.  The season tickets will be the first to go so if you're keen I would get onto that now.  Until then thanks to everyone who made season 6 of The Shelf the best yet.  Our audience is second to none and they definitely inspire us to try more and more daft ideas every season.  I'll be honest, my head is already ticking over with ideas for when we hit the stage again.

 

Justin Hamilton

15th of April, 2013

Fitzroy North