2015 BLOG SIX: GIGS 24 – 29: PERTH FRINGE

Well the rumour that the Perth Fringe was awesome was more than on the money. In fact “Fringe World” may have been so good to me that the next few festivals might struggle to match up to it.  Time to pull up your socks Adelaide Fringe and Melbourne Comedy Festival, there’s a new, younger festival in town and it is nipping at your heels.

I flew over the morning of the 20th of Feb and was back home the night of the 22ndhaving just performed four sold out shows and two late night gigs.  I had that moment of sitting on my bed wondering if it had all been a fevered dream it all happened so quickly. My venue was a 160 seater and originally we only had two shows at 7.30pmbooked. These sold out so quickly we added a 10.45pm show on the Friday and a 4.15pm show on Saturday.  For the debut of “Snacks!” this was a great way to get it up and running.

I was more than pumped for a lot of gigs in a short amount of time but what I hadn’t taken into account was the three hour difference.  By the time my first show kicked off at 7.30pm it was already feeling like 10.30pm.  Luckily adrenalin is the greatest pick me up in the world and the opportunity to open the new show to a sold crowd was too exciting to even consider being tired.

I thought the first show went down really well and over the course of the four performances it was exponentially better by the end.  I like to start a season off around the 52-55 minute mark because the more you perform your routines the bigger they become. You find new jokes and new approaches.  You grow so comfortable with the material you ad lib more and by the end you’re blowing out to around the 60-65 minute mark.  On my opening show I came in at 63.  Yikes!  Way too long.  I did a bit of editing and dropped a couple of routines to help it come in at a tighter time.

In fact by the end of the season I had dropped two routines that I was convinced were going to be big parts of the show.  That is a nice situation to be in.  Another idea I had only just thought of recently went down even better than I hoped and that is now going to be a big part of the show.  If you see the show it is the routine about how Mumdeals with stray cats in her backyard.

After greeting audiences at the door for the Edinburgh Fringe I decided I would continue that practice with this new show.  I want this show to be loose and relaxed so meeting everyone at the door before and after the show adds to that feeling.  I also don’t have any big opening so hopefully we’re into the show before anyone realises.  I thought it worked really well in Perth and hope it continues to work like that for the remaining festivals.

So the set list for the four shows over the two days was simply:

Snacks!

I’ve also had a totally different approach to this show.  I haven’t written anything down, I haven’t written any scripts.  I haven’t worked out a theme and I haven’t worked on the material with anything in mind.  I want this to be totally different to anything I’ve produced in recent years and I have to say it has been rewarding.  I’ve thoroughly enjoyed this approach and feel with the hard work that went into the development of the material back in Oct/Nov/Dec that this is the most relaxed I’ve felt leading into festival season.

I knocked off a couple of late shows on the Friday and Saturday night too.  On the Friday night I was a guest on the “Lords Of Luxury” show.  It turned out there were a few people in the audience who had just seen my show so I pulled out a story I hadn’t told in ages. It felt like a good story to rip out for a late show:

The Lords of Luxury

The Acid Story

On the following night I was a guest on “Comic Strip” that is produced and booked by Asher Treleaven and Gypsy Wood.  I thoroughly enjoy working with these guys and this was no exception.  It was my final gig in Perth and I hit the stage close to midnight. It was a fun way to see out the festival for me.

Comic Strip

-Partying During the Week

-Getting older is bullshit

-20s, 30s, 40s

-Before The Internet

-“I Don’t Give a Hoot!”

-Hushed Angry Conversation

-Fix Your Flaws

It was a fantastic weekend.  The time difference may have kicked my arse but I wouldn’t have changed any of the experience.  It was great to get the show up and running and if the rest of the festivals are half as good I’ll be up for a fun couple of months.  Fingers crossed this good vibe follows me over to Adelaide.

Justin Hamilton

24th of February, 2015

Fitzroy North