2014 Gig Twenty Nine: Adelaide Fringe

Yesterday was slow. This was to be expected after the long weekend.  Couple that with sporadic rain and a humidity that suggested the weather from Queensland had migrated meant that we knew it was going to be a softer day.  Even the Gardens weren't populated with many punters wandering around.  You know that half of Adelaide was laying in bed recovering from the first day back at work and dealing with hangovers.  This is what it looked like around the Garden:


Seems more like a fairground in a small country town that wasn't prepared for the circus to come to town.


Crappy weather still provided some beautiful sights.


Going into this show I knew it was going to be a smaller crowd and adjusted my expectations accordingly.  I flyered for about an hour before the show but the people there were only there to see shows that were booked prior.  It felt more like I was doing work for subsequent nights rather than my show that evening.  The set list was the one show and was:


Johnny Loves Mary Forever 1994


There was a different type of buzz for this show and I felt it immediately.  My show begins with music playing and no introduction.  I've been surprised from the first night that audiences have been very generous and applauded once I've hit the stage.  Last night I walked out to silence.  Immediately running through my head I'm thinking, "Right, this is interesting."  It didn't feel bad onstage.  Far from it.  It is just when something new and unusual occurs you can't help but be mildly thrown.  I could feel a smirk creeping up on the corner of my mouth because I wished I could make eye contact with my techie Claire. Since she has seen every show I figured she would be thrown by this as well.

With a half full room the show progressed and the laughs came in different places. Jokes that have been crowd favourites (the Bronzing up section comes to mind) seemed to elicit smiles while throw away lines received belly laughs.  It made for a very interesting performance (for me...I'm certain nobody in the audience would have noticed) as it meant the cadence of the show was slightly off beat.  It meant that I had to hold longer in certain sections of the show and had to hit other lines with a different type of energy.  These gigs are great because it stops me from performing a show without thinking.  It is easy to get so caught up in your performance that you can almost exclude the people watching.  With my audience enjoying the show in a different way to previous audiences it meant that I was 100% engaged and also working some different types of comedy muscles.

After the gig I had to find Claire to have a chat about the show and she too was on the same wavelength as me.  We enjoyed the show, it went well but it was completely different to the previous shows in the season.  It is always good to have a debrief afterward and enjoy what just happened.  I had a couple of old school comedy friends (one of the girls first saw me perform at the end of 1994 and we've been mates since then. She's a mother and I still perform stand up so at least one of us grew up...) but I was also approached by a few lads who had been at the show.  They were nice to have a chat to and since I wasn't in a rush I invited them to join me for a drink.  With old friends and new friends in tow I then bumped into a young couple who had also been at the show.  We had a chat about a few things (he had good taste in comics carrying with him a copy of Grant Morrison's "All Star Superman") and so I invited them to join us as well.

There is a small bar in the Garden that looks like a venue from the outside and it has been a great place to go for a drink.  I had a great time hanging out with this new gang and it was nice to shoot the breeze with some new faces.  My old school buddies had to leave (children will curtail a late night out on a weekday) and soon I had to make a run to the Rhino Room before heading home.  Here is me with the gang that had been at the show:


From left to right:  Tom, Sam, Tim, Bryden, Tom and this idiot.


What a delightful end to the night.

Then I bumped into my friend Wil at the Rhino Room.

Then I returned home much later than I intended.

That is the full Adelaide Fringe experience right there.


Justin Hamilton

12th of March, 2014