Following ImproMafia‘s Heartfelt High on Tuesday night we next made plans to catch up with some friends on Saturday for the last round of After Hours and of course if we were going to do that then we decided we would attend Queensland Theatresports Championships the same night at 7:45pm. So on Saturday 23MAR2019 that’s exactly what we did. There were no pepperoni pizzas or chips with aioli though beloved they remain. We went up to the balcony and chatted with an airline employee from Hong Kong before the show began. I still marvel that this show is for free and it adds so much to the festival. One team, BCF, we’d seen compete two weeks earlier once again they were great as was everyone.
Afterwards I got some lemon, lime & bitters and sat down with Karen killing time. I ran into the talented sketch comedian Mark Lombard who confirmed with me that I had written the review of Brisburned@Work for Scenestr. He thanked me for the review and I congratulated him on the show. I enjoyed the exchange. You see performers around all the time at the Festival and I never quite know what to do but Mark did.
As we got closer to the time for After Hours our friends arrived and we went outside to the river to meet them. I talked up the highlight reel aspect of the first After Hours we saw but noted it could be different tonight and boy am I glad I added that disclaimer. We descended to the Turbine Studio that night and saw something more akin to what I was expecting the first time. Some comedian came out snorting and rubbing his nose before referencing he’d been drinking. Another felt he was dying and referenced that a fellow comedian Demi Lardner was laughing at him backstage while this happened. I don’t know if anybody was trying out rawer or edgier material for this particular show but if not, they were hardly conservative acts. Also with the festival wrapping up there were no cabaret shows trying to sell last show tickets, just comedians plying their trade. We saw Demi Lardner (energetic and brash – totally owning her set), Matt Stewart (the nicest and one of the funnier people on the night), Tom Ballard (the biggest name probably there that night and a solid closer although even he seemed to note there was a lot of anger in his bit). Blake Freeman (who does the kind of gross awkward humour that makes you nervous but kind of gets away with it because there’s something so likeable there). There were two more and I liked them but their names escape me. Dusty Rich was of course on hand to compere and came away the winner of the night doing some audience interaction with a big unit named Cammo. The only thing funnier for me was Ballard explaining where smashed avo comes from. We stole off into the night again certainly having experienced an After Hours not as good as the first one we saw but still remaining a show we would be eager to see next year. In fact a strong had been made to see if more than once every year!
That left my assignment for Scenestr magazine the next day over at the Ithaca Auditorium in Brisbane City Hall at 5pm. If you’re of a certain age you know of the Doug Anthony All Stars, they were just before my time but I saw some old The Big Gig episodes on Foxtel in the 90s and heard them whispered about in awe. One member Paul McDermott became a big deal to me with a little show called Good News Week which was of my time.
A relative of mine had MS and I saw her fight it for two decades. I took part in the fundraising Moonlight Walks for MS along my city’s river in 2007, 2009 and 2010 thinking about her and many like her. Some of them taking part in the walk.
You see Tim Ferguson has MS, he’s 55 and he’s in a wheelchair. He was diagnosed in 1996 and went public in 2010. That was nine years ago when he walked with a cane. Diagnosis means one thing in terms of how things are going to end but that one thing is coming for us all. There was something deep and shared in Tim’s show. There was a little boy talking about his Dad, a rebel apologising, an young man passing on wise counsel, a sick man proving his virility, an old man looking forward to the future. I told Mark Lombard on Saturday night that Brisburned@Work was Karen’s favourite show at the festival and I was telling the truth. On Sunday night we left the auditorium and Karen turned to me and said “I have a new favourite.”
You can read my review here http://scenestr.com.au/comedy/tim-ferguson-review-brisbane-comedy-festival-2019-20190326
Produced by Eyeball Media Enterprises Scenestr. is an online national magazine with local offices around Australia. Having started in 1993 they’ve excelled at moving into the digital realm but they remain at heart from the streets. They still publish magazines in print for Western Australia, South Australia, New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland every month.
That concluded Brisbane Comedy Festival 2019, I had been on assignment 4 times with Scenestr, once for Weekend Notes and seen all up 11 shows. It has been quite a month and I feel really blessed and I thank you for coming along for the ride.