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Arts Features

Posted 14 Apr 2016 @ 12:23pm

Welcome to Beat's weekly rundown of what's hot in the coming seven days of cinematic releases. Sadly, we can't say this will be the last week we'll ever have to mention the Divergent series, because distribution models for young adult sagas are effing stupid.

 

Never fear - the...

Posted 7 Apr 2016 @ 3:50pm

“It was one of those experiences that took a while to fully comprehend,” Bonnie Wright says of the moment her decade-long stint as Ginny Weasley in Harry Potter came to an end. “It takes days to come to realise what the experience meant to you and what it was. It was definitely one where all of us were really excited with the next chapter ahead of us – having spent such a long...

Posted 6 Apr 2016 @ 4:00pm

“I'm still torn between the large box of Nutri Grain at the supermarket being $3.50 and the small box being $4.90 and buying the large box – even though we're on holidays and it's only going to be two days and my wife is going to get angry at me for the large box, not the small box - but I can't walk away from the value of the large box of Nutri Grain being cheaper than the small box of Nutri...

Posted 6 Apr 2016 @ 3:57pm

It's certainly not uncommon for modern comedians to rely on personal anecdotes and brute honesty as a way of better relating to their audiences. We see it from prolific comedy icons like Ricky Gervais, Jerry Seinfeld and Louis CK, with the latter only reaching success after he got older, fatter and had a couple of kids to complain about. Australian humour has always had blunt, genuine and...

Posted 6 Apr 2016 @ 3:54pm

The exceptionally talented and effortlessly funny Sara Schaefer is coming to Australia for the first time this year, making her debut at this year's Melbourne International Comedy Festival. "My father served in the Navy in the Vietnam War, and he has always said – and he has travelled all over the world – that Australia has the nicest people he's ever met," she laughs. "So there's a high...

Posted 6 Apr 2016 @ 3:52pm

With the 30th Melbourne International Comedy Festival officially in full swing, Sam Taunton and Pat McCaffrie – two of the stars of The Comedy Zone – are very much excited to be amongst everything. “It’s the only time of year I feel like comedians are almost on par with AFL players for the most important people in Melbourne. It’s bizarre,” jokes Taunton. “You flyer down at the Town Hall and...

Posted 6 Apr 2016 @ 3:19pm

Once upon a time, long before he became the face of Australian stand-up comedy, Wil Anderson was weighing up his options, career-wise. Looking back, what seemed like a roll of the dice actually turned out to be a pretty safe bet. “When I quit the 'safe' world of newspaper journalism to tell dick jokes to strangers in bars, that probably seemed like a crazy choice," says Anderson. "But...

Posted 6 Apr 2016 @ 2:57pm

The cheeky and charming Amos Gill is back at this year’s Melbourne International Comedy Festival with his new show, Netflix and Gill. Covering a range of topics from sex to nuclear waste, the stand-up comedian is set to win over an even bigger fan base with his honest and very Australian humour.

 

Gill first knew he was going to be a comedian...

Posted 6 Apr 2016 @ 2:55pm

Given our relative countries are about as far apart as you can get without stepping into myth (it's no coincidence Russia and Narnia have the same number of letters), it's possible you've yet to discover Igor Meerson. But with Hou I Lernt Inglish, all that is set to change. We chat with the friendly but oddball Russian about comic identities, national stereotypes, and ubiquitous ushankas....

Posted 6 Apr 2016 @ 2:07pm

Colin Lane has been gallivanting around the comedy scene for almost as long as the Melbourne Comedy Festival has been in existence. An expert of his craft, he’s even been around long enough to remember the “old days,” when the festival always began on April Fool's Day. “It was just such a perfect day to start it on,” he explains. Lane is still delighting audiences just the same as ever, and...

Posted 6 Apr 2016 @ 1:52pm

“I might be at a point in my life where I don’t really have time to take an animal that really should be wild and domesticate it,” Charlie Pickering laughs. “Although there is a woman online who is convinced it’s possible. Her guide on how to do it is a very interesting insight into her life and – I assume – the life of fellow squirrel tamers.”

 

When I call for our interview, I...

Posted 6 Apr 2016 @ 1:49pm

Tanylalee Davis is something of a veteran of the Melbourne International Comedy Festival, although there's admittedly a bit of time between her debut performance and Actual Size, her second. She first appeared here back in 2001, having forged a name for herself both at home in the US (though the 3'6” comedian is Canadian born) and across the UK. She has just wrapped performances at the SoHo...

Posted 5 Apr 2016 @ 12:58pm

Welcome to Beat's weekly rundown of what's hot in the coming seven days of cinematic releases. Frankly, given the horrendously massive turnout to the horrendously horrendous Batman v Superman, it's about time we broadened the horizons and looked for something brighter.

 

Still, there's good...

Posted 1 Apr 2016 @ 10:14am
Blake Everett is the youngest solo performer to grace the 2016 Melbourne International Comedy Festival stage. Straight out of high school and into the spotlight, the Melbourne-based 18 year-old is yet to shake off his charming schoolboy ways. Leaving the final preparation for his show, Ready Since I Was Five, to the very last minute, the young talent is in search of that top grade. “I’ve left it...
Posted 1 Apr 2016 @ 10:09am

Scottish comedian Daniel Sloss has been making waves on the international circuit since he was 16 years old. After receiving world-wide acclaim, he's making his way to Australia for his debut Melbourne International Comedy Festival appearance.  

 

“I’ve been coming across since I was 18 or 19, so it’s my seventh or eighth time here,” says Sloss. “I’ve got so many friends that I...

Posted 1 Apr 2016 @ 10:05am

 

When Beat speaks with Jen Kirkman from her LA apartment, the comedian and author is at war. Not with terrorism, racism, or even herself. Instead, she's in battle with a new sub-sect of Twitter trolls known as 'Bernie Bros' – those that want to make their love of presidential candidate Bernie Sanders known via a continued tirade and abuse of Hillary Clinton. “It's just crazy,” says...

Posted 31 Mar 2016 @ 6:50pm

American actress and self-professed “shy girl” Amy Acker will be making an exclusive trip to Australia in April for the Melbourne leg of the Supanova Pop Culture Expo, joined by a host of big-name television and film stars alongside comic book creators and more. The Supanova convention, hosted in six capital cities across Australia until November, will see Acker return to Australia for the...

Posted 30 Mar 2016 @ 12:57pm

If only I had waited another fifteen minutes, this could have been a much juicer interview. Sure, Matt Okine is still a forthright and funny guy, happily acknowledging the darkness of comedy and his struggles to keep his days from capsizing – between hosting triple j's breakfast show with Alex Dyson, his stand-up schedule, hip-hop and his first DJ gig, the man is effectively running four lives...

Posted 28 Mar 2016 @ 12:48pm

They’re real, you guys.

 

I saw one. With my own human eyes. On a dance floor. At the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras After Party, no less.
 
They’re real.
 
I spotted my friend Jake from a distance and walked through the sweaty throng to hug him and say hello. I hadn’t seen him since last Mardi Gras. He was wearing overalls over a bare chest. Fair...

Posted 28 Mar 2016 @ 10:15am

Ross Steeves is the ultimate jack of all trades: he is an actor, improviser,  dancer and a clown with a love for performance and stunt fighting. This all-rounder has expanded his horizons by impersonating all sorts of different characters and roles that he enjoys improvising himself, and now he’s about to take the stage in Melbourne for the upcoming show, Cirque Adrenaline – boasting the world...

Posted 28 Mar 2016 @ 10:12am

“I’m a pretty good cook,” declares Dawn Wells, the woman the world knows as Mary Ann from Gilligan’s Island, the world’s longest running sitcom which still screens around the globe in more than 30 different languages. Wells has just completed her second cookbook and she’s proud to tell Beat about it when we speak to her ahead of her appearance at this year’s Supanova Pop Culture Expo – now in...

Posted 24 Mar 2016 @ 9:26am

Jake Johannsen is an unlikely first-timer at this year’s MICF. Not because he already has 30 years of making audiences laugh with his quirky takes on everyday events and his understated yet warm, relatable delivery.

 

Not because he’s one of America’s most prolific standups on the back of virtually non-stop touring, award nominations, several TV specials and a record 46...

Posted 24 Mar 2016 @ 9:23am

Last time I saw Ross Noble, he very nearly killed us all. Well, alright, so maybe not directly. Sydney had been lashed by weather so severe that the roof of the Enmore Theatre buckled under the strain, and the performance we were promised had to be postponed. ‘An act of God!’ I hear you cry, ‘That’s not Ross’s fault at all!’. But now, as his show Brain Dump approaches its run at the Melbourne...

Posted 22 Mar 2016 @ 5:01pm

Welcome to Beat's weekly rundown of what's hot in the coming seven days of cinematic releases. The folks over at DC are pooling the heroes of their expanded universe for one big all-in brawl, even if it comes rather late - Marvel are already teasing their third.

 

But hey, maybe you find Marvel's happy-go-lucky scamps to...

Posted 19 Mar 2016 @ 11:31am

The month of March brings with it a series of guarantees: the leaves will begin to yellow, the Blues will lose to the Tigers and we’ll all feast on far too many Cadbury Creme Eggs. As far as the Melbourne International Comedy Festival headquarters is concerned however, the atmosphere is equally as assured. “It’s busy!” confirms Festival Director and CEO Susan Provan. “When it gets to this...

Posted 19 Mar 2016 @ 10:51am

Daniel Sharman has recently crossed a goal off his performance bucket list.  He'll be appearing on the silver screen alongside one of his longtime idols, fellow actor John Cleese in Albion: The Enchanted Stallion. “He’s a bit of a hero of mine,” Sharman says. “It was an absolute pleasure. He’s a genius"

 

Sharman likes to joke around with his co-stars to diffuse the tension. “...

Posted 19 Mar 2016 @ 10:47am

Acclaimed Irish comedian Jimeoin will be celebrating the Melbourne International Comedy Festival’s 30th year in style, presenting a new ninety-minute show, For One Night Only. Those who have already perused the festival’s online guide or flicked through the program may have noticed that, in actuality, For One Night Only runs for three dates. Nicely done. Of course, this one...

Posted 19 Mar 2016 @ 10:42am

We love dinosaurs. It’s a home truth that has seen the film Jurassic World gross a total of $1.67 billion across the world, and which will now see Jurassic World: The Exhibition offer people the chance to get up close and personal with the prehistoric stars of the show. Organisers describe it as “interactive” and “immersive”,  which is an impressive way of saying that the dinosaurs in this...

Posted 4 Mar 2016 @ 9:59am

In a few weeks time, the Castlemaine community and surrounds will come together for the biggest Arts Open and Fringe events yet, and  Arts Open project manager Rob Jennings couldn't be more excited.

 

"It’s looking fantastic because it’s a community run event, so it’s all run by artists themselves, plus myself. Everyone is really working hard at it themselves,” he beams.
...

Posted 4 Mar 2016 @ 9:55am

Beat talks to Glaswegian dancer/choreographer Claire Cunningham, currently in Perth for the Perth Festival and on her way to Melbourne to perform in the Festival of Live Art. Cunningham, on her first visit to Australia, will perform two different pieces, Guide Gods in Perth and Give Me a Reason To Live, at FOLA, the latter a work inspired by the paintings of sixteenth century Dutch artist ...

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