The 1 Like Fish
Topping & Butch
Two Episodes Of MASH
Composer, actor and pianist Tim Minchin lept into the British comedy scene in 2005, with his Perrier-best-newcomer-winning Edinburgh show Dark Side.
It was a show he had debuted at the Sydney Big Laugh Comedy Festival earlier that year, and performed to critical acclaim at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival, where it won the Festival Directors' Award.
His follow-up show, So Rock, was nominated for the Barry award for the most outstanding show in his native Melbourne in 2006 before returning to Edinburgh. That year he also appeared at the Just For Laughs comedy festival in Montreal.
He performed his first show, Navel, in Australia in 2003 and was a Victoria state finalist in the Raw competition for new comedians the following year.
As an actor, he has played Amadeus in Peter Schaffer's play, and Hamlet, both for the Perth Theatre Company, and has appeared with the Australian Shakespeare Company.
Winner of the best music and variety act at the Chortle awards in 2009, 2010 and 2011, where his show with a full orchestra was also named best tour.
In 2010, he wrote the music for the Royal Shakespeare Company's adaptation of Roald Dahl's Matilda.
Tim Minchin at the 2011 Montreal Just For Laughs festival
Hollywood’s Variety magazine last week named Tim Minchin as one of the top ten comics to watch – but this Montreal audience were clearly well ahead of that advice. Given the reception something like his awesome Pope Song gets, they’ve clearly been hitting YouTube. O nce there was a self-irony when he drolly announced he was about to embark on a ten-minute beat poem – now the audience know what it entails, the excitement’s genuine.
Both these pieces eloquently vocalise Minchin’s overarching theme; the folly of blind faith that leads to every wrong-headedness from the vacuous frippery of aura-reading to the serious evil of covering up child abuse. Although his rationalism scores instant points with like-minded audiences, it’s also comedy’s de facto stance – so empirical comedians need more than simply an urge to pillory the church or mock the feeble-minded beliefs of hippies to stand out.
This is where Minchin shines. Not only does he have a grand piano, rock-star charisma and considerable musical talent to make his point, but he approaches his writing with an intellectual vigour that makes all the difference between yelling ‘Fuck the Pope’ and telling us in precise, unarguable detail, why the pontiff should be violated and in which holy orifice…
In a similar vein to that witty, tricksy beat poem, Storm, is Thank You God, which effectively dismisses the belief in the power of prayer with a jaunty chorus. But not everything is so declamatory, he mocks his own rock-and-roll pretensions in his show-stopper Dark Side, and also plays with ideas that are just plain stupid. Conversely, he’s prepared to venture into areas that are decidedly uncomfortable, such as his frustrations with his baby, which have a real sense of edge and catharsis about them.
The stand-up between the songs is in similarly daring vein, and even seems to share the tempo of his epic musical compositions, with long, detailed build-ups evoking a certain felling before - bam! – the reveal, showing you’d been misdirected all along. It’s not laugh-a-minute but a complex, exciting emotional journey towards the safety of the punchline.
Master showman Minchin also knows it doesn’t always have to be laughs, and that’s never better demonstrated than in his well-deserved encore, the heartfelt Christmas song White Wine In The Sun. The soul might be a difficult concept for Minchin’s beloved science, but one thing’s for sure, if you’re not moved by this, you don’t have one.
|Date of live review: Sunday 31st Jul, '11|
Review by Steve Bennett
Thursday 14th Feb, '13- Winchester Theatre Royal
Monday 9th Jul, '12- Udderbelly South Bank
Wednesday 14th Dec, '11-
Tuesday 6th Sep, '11- Old Royal Naval College
Tuesday 14th Dec, '10- Brighton Centre
Monday 26th Oct, '09- Hammersmith Apollo
Show - Misc live shows -
Show - Edinburgh Fringe 2008 -
Show - Misc live shows -
Show - Adelaide Fringe 2007 - Saturday 31st Mar, '07-
Show - West End run -
Show - Montreal 2006 -
Show - Edinburgh Fringe 2005 -
Show - Melbourne 2005 -
Show - Edinburgh Fringe 2006 -
Show - Misc live shows -
Yes great to see Tim in intimate venue, just him and piano like it used to be. Love the band, but also solo. The 16-year-old was not embarrassed, nor her parents -- all big fans.
Saw TM for second time at Beautiful Days this weekend, one of the most gifted and brilliant performers I have ever seen, who also happens to be extremely funny.
That's the trouble with people called Mandy, they just don't do irony ....
@vicky... um what? guess I'm not 'intelectual' enough...
An utter pleasure to watch perform and a delightfully down to earth person. Eagerly awaiting his interpretation of Matilda to hit the west end.
I would advise this Art School Stilgoe to revise his sixth-form debater-informed 'Storm Movie' poetry - too preachy for his target crowd of rebounding Brand-ettes and too ill-informed and twitterati-driven to draw any intelectual audience worth its salt.
I saw Tim at the Glasgow Pavilion. Wow what a night.
You just can’t fault this guy. Saw his ‘Ready for this’ tour in Cambridge and was utterly brilliant. I bought his CD and listen too it regularly and you really start to appreciate all the ironies. All round good fun, sort off bloke if you met in a bar you would be entertained for hours just listening to him rant! Top class!!
|'Judas' Minchin sued over corporate gig
Company had sought five-figure sum
15/02/2013 Permanent link
|Review: Tim Minchin in Jesus Christ Superstar
By Steve Bennett at the O2 Arena
24/09/2012 Permanent link
|Tim Minchin: You can't tempt fate
...as he demonstrates with a shock soundbite
03/06/2012 Permanent link
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Tim Minchin and The Heritage Orchestra - Live at The Royal Albert Hall
Tim MInchin: Ready For This?
Tim Minchin and Friends
Mark Watson Makes the World Substantially Better
Series one of his radio show
Laughapoolooza [Adelaide 07]
Edinburgh Fringe 2005
Tim Minchin: Dark Side
Edinburgh Fringe 2006
Tim Minchin: So Rock
Edinburgh Fringe 2008
Tim Minchin: Ready For This?
Tim Minchin: Dark Side [Melbourne]
Misc live shows
Nine Lessons and Carols for Godless People
Secret Policeman's Ball 2008
Late Nite Down Under
Tim Minchin And His Orchestra
West End run