After four nights in a row I can definitely say I have a new solo show. I wouldn't declare that it is 100% there but the flow, the themes and the structure that have made themselves evident over the past four nights are definitely what you would look for in a solo show. The Butterfly Club been a very conducive environment for testing new routines and finding my way through ideas that have lead to some pretty strong jokes. Of course the audiences have been fantastic so what the show needs to come up against is an audience that isn't totally agreeing with all my thoughts. It is easy to preach to the converted but if you can win over a crowd that isn't quite certain they agree then that is when you know exactly how strong your show really is.
The night started early for me when I travelled to St Kilda to see my friend Hannah Norris in the play "Palace of the End", an Australian premiere that scored some excellent reviews and word of mouth. I had never been to Theatre Works before and thought it was a pretty stunning environment to put on a show. You can find it at 14 Acland Street and from the outside looks like this:
Hannah was once again a stand out in the production. She is an excellent actress and performs in such a broad range of shows I find it extraordinary that nobody has taken advantage of this and snapped her up for TV. Maybe she's too good? I'd love to see her score a role in something like Rake where I think she would excel. I always enjoy seeing her perform because it is important to be taken away from the world of stand up and watch other forms of performance. They all end up informing you on your own craft in one way or another.
From there I quickly made my way to The Butterfly Club where Watson had already whipped the audience into fine shape before unleashing a first half that consisted of Natalie Harris, Rama Nicholas, Elbowskin and Lessons with Luis. I laughed a lot in the first half and then spent a couple of minutes preparing for my set which ended up looking like this:
Homeless in New York
Destroying a Nerd
"You Can Go Shit In Your Hat"
Life is Good When You're Caucasian
White Men Have It Hard
Maguire and The Ape
Country Folk vs Inner City Living
Bomb Chucker and "I'm Sorry"
How Little I Know About Aboriginal Culture
Can't Call An Aussie Racist
24 Hour News Cycle
Inspiring Women by Calling the PM Names
Reconnecting to True Feelings
Today's Tragedy is Tomorrow's Bouncy Castle
This was very much like the set the night before but I took extra time with the routines and allowed more room for the some of the ideas to breathe. From twenty odd minutes on Thursday to Sunday night I now have a fifty minute show. Exciting! While some of this material may appear topical the approach I have taken with it is to be less about what happened in the moment and instead tackle it from the angle of ramifications. As an example talking about the way our Prime Minister has been treated with a lack of class and culture by the media is a "now" topic but instead I have been talking about what it means, what the fall out will be and this will (unfortunately) still be topical years from now unless our society suddenly grows up. Looks like I'll be pretty safe then!
This ended up being a great run of gigs that have thoroughly reinvigorated me for the beginning of the second half of the year. Watson did a great job of putting these shows together at short notice and I have encouraged them to continue this type of gig as it really suits their style and the people they surround themselves with. Fingers crossed we'll do more gigs like this in the future.
In the meantime I will continue to play around with this solo show and see what it turns into from here. The job at hand now is to get back into my side projects and attempt to get them into a shape that means performing a solo show won't get in the way. It is nice to have this new show bouncing around though, it contains a passion that has been missing from my personal life and could show a way forward that could make for an interesting journey in 2014.
16th of June, 2013